Back to top

About

Mission Statement

The Value-Added Food Team provides both research and educational programs for farmers, food entrepreneurs, processors, food hubs and shared use processing facilities, and other food systems stakeholders in Massachusetts and across the country. The Team focuses on the intersection of profitability, food safety, and food quality to support the development of sustainable markets that balance consumer demand for regional attributes and safe, high-quality food products.

There is an opportunity to meet the growing demand for local and regional foods and increase farm sector profitability by supporting and developing new markets for value-added products. In particular, farmers, food entrepreneurs, processors, food hubs and shared used processing facilities can capitalize on opportunities provided by recent investments in regional food processing facilities by processing fresh produce for later sales. The Value-Added Foods team recognizes the challenges and limitations involved in accessing market-research data that helps to determine profitability and the navigating the critical food safety regulations and managing key quality attributes that impact production costs and profitability. Therefore, we aim to address the challenges of value-added food production to help improve the economic development for local food-based businesses. 

The UMass Value-Added Food Team is a multi-disciplinary group that includes economists and food scientists. We work with NECAFS and Multi-states, FPC, Commonwealth Kitchen, MDAR, CISA etc. 

Contact us

General Question related towards value-added foods, email valueaddedemail@umass.edu

Faculty and Staff

Jill Ann Fitzsimmons
Jill Fitzsimmons
Assistant Research Professor
Specialty: Behavioral economics and industrial organization, focused on firm, consumer, and community decisions in regional-scale agricultural markets.
209B Flint Lab
University of Massachusetts
90 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9247
Tel: (413) 545-5728 Email: jfitzsim@umass.edu
Adrian Jordaan
Associate Professor
Specialty: Fish Population Ecology and Conservation
309 Holdsworth Hall
UMASS Amherst
160 Holdsworth Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9285
Tel: 413-545-2758 Email: ajordaan@eco.umass.edu
Amanda Kinchla
Amanda Kinchla
Extension Associate Professor
Specialty: Food Safety, Product Development, Commercialization, Food Science Outreach Education.
231 Chenoweth Laboratory
University of Massachusetts
100 Holdsworth Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9282
Tel: (413) 545-1017 Email: amanda.kinchla@foodsci.umass.edu