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Newly Updated Free GUIDE – How to start your Food Business in Massachusetts

December 7, 2021

YOUR ORGANIZATION, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the UMASS Extension Food Safety Program is pleased to present the Massachusetts Food Processors Resource Guide (GUIDE)

The on-line, on-demand GUIDE has approachable information about what’s needed to start a food business. The focus is on growers looking to add value to their crops and food entrepreneurs in their start-up phase.

Value-added products can help farmers improve their bottom line by processing and preserving excess produce and extending the marketing season. Local farmers and food entrepreneurs are part of the formula to support local communities and boost local food security, for a food system that’s more resistant to supply chain interruptions.

The GUIDE includes basic information about what’s needed to start a food business. Incorporating safety early-on helps to keep development costs in check and avoid delays in time to market. Newly developed videos emphasize product development and food safety resources.  

GUIDE Chapters include 1) Getting Started, 2) Performing Market Research, 3) Scaling up, Where to Make Your Product & Licensing, 4) Calculating Costs & Setting a Price, 5) Food Safety Basics, 6) Labeling, Regulations and Design 7) Business Planning, Registering a Business, Insurance 8) Marketing, Promotions & Social Media 9) Sales, Brokers, Distributors & Trade shows, 10) Resources (from all chapters), and 11) Resources for Women, BIPOC & LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs.

Though the GUIDE includes regulatory information specific to Massachusetts, much of the information is relevant, no matter the state.

The GUIDE was developed in collaboration with Stephanie Blanchard, B. Savvy Creative; Kim Concra, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension; Jen Faigel, Commonwealth Kitchen; Stevie Schafenacker, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA); Chris Laughton, Farm Credit East; Sharon Wyrrick, Many Forks Farm; Bonita Oehlke, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources; Carol Coutrier, Massachusetts Specialty Foods Association; Elizabeth Newbold, Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS); Amanda Kinchla, UMASS Extension Food Safety Program; Kate Minifie and Liz Buxton, Western MA Food Processing Center.

The GUIDE was supported by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture through grant AM170100XXXXG054. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of the USDA.

Value-added Food
Food Science