In June, Relish Rhody is sponsoring Good Food Mercantile in New York City and we want to make sure Rhode Island companies are aware of opportunities to participate!
We heard you – Rhode Island producers want more access to regional and national distributors to carry the amazing products being made here in our little state! By sponsoring the NYC Good Food Mercantile, we will be able to get more Rhode Island products in the hands of supportive distributors in creative ways – including ads, marketing, and special events highlighting Rhode Island products. We would love to see as many RI businesses as possible participate in this event – and the State will be there with you tabling for Rhode Island food producers more broadly.
The Good Food Mercantile is a trade show associated with the Good Food Awards exclusively to ‘celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced’ – exactly what we are producing here in Rhode Island! Designed to highlight small and medium-scale businesses, you will not be fighting for space or attention against large multi-national companies with giant marketing budgets.
Spots are limited and the cost to participate is $900 if you sign up by April 13th (for reference, the Fancy Food Show registration is nearly $4,000). But we don’t want anyone to miss out because the price is prohibitive, so please reach out if this is too burdensome for you.
Please sign up today & tell other RI food system businesses! If you have any questions or want to participate in other ways, please be in touch with me.
Did you know that approximately? of the food produced in this country is never eaten? Relish Rhody recognizes the importance of both reducing food waste and diverting it from the waste stream.
As an early implementation priority, we are partnering with the Office of Innovation and Rhode Island’s Colleges & Universities on a unique food waste reduction competition for Spring Semester 2018! Six schools have opted in to participate: Johnson and Wales University, Brown University, University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University, and Rhode Island College. The participants will be working with Phood, a unique new company that has created a simple and intuitive software solution that helps large institutions track, measure, and reduce their food waste through useful metrics.
Each school will be able to individually measure, track, and reduce their food waste -- and Phood has created a simple shared platform specifically for Rhode Island so that we can jointly ‘compete’ across schools.
The schools had their equipment installed in February and are collecting baseline data through the end of the month -- then March, April, and May they will track and compete to reduce from that baseline. We’ll be monitoring their progress and driving action along the way -- so check back on Relish Rhody for updates!
Today I'm excited to help kick-off the partnership between Supply RI and Relish Rhody with the Suppy RI event at Johson & Wales University.
What is Supply RI? Announced in Governor Raimondo’s State of the State, Supply RI is a new initiative to to help Rhode Island's largest employers use their spending power to support local businesses.The Commerce Corporation will maintain a comprehensive database of local suppliers and will provide support services for employers and suppliers, including networking events and information sessions on procurement.
The first sector to move forward in this exciting initiative will be our local food system - starting with a kick-off event at Johnson & Wales University on March 7th. This first event will focus on education -- including information on the range of products an services available in the food sector, celebration of current success stories, and Q&A with participating employers on the unique rules and opportunities for partnership. The programming will be followed by a networking reception, featuring local foods. Participants include some of the state’s largest employers - such as Gilbane, Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University - farmers, fishery businesses, aggregators and distributors, food processors and manufacturers, food service management companies, and more.
We will be following up this kick-off event with both tailored education events, as well as networking and matchmaking events throughout the spring and summer.
A big thank you to our host and sponsor Johnson & Wales University!
If you missed the kick-off, but would like to be involved in future events, please contact me!
Ocean State Innovate brings together people from diverse backgrounds - who have deep passion and commitment to our state - to break down silos and make new solutions possible. The two-day gathering was centered on the Core Themes of the Food Strategy: Environmental Sustainability & Resiliency, Public Health & Equitable Access, and Economic Development.
The forum will be facilitated by by Brown alum Frans Johansson and The Medici Group, a firm that specializes in helping organizations learn how to utilize intersectional thinking to drive innovation in organizations and initiatives. It is bringing together approximately 100 Rhode Islanders from diverse backgrounds - students, interested members of the community, emergency food system professionals, farmers, restaurateurs, policymakers, retirees, and many others - to develop new, community-based solutions to difficult food-system issues.
We will be taking pictures & recording the event on social media, so please check us out on Facebook or on my personal Twitter!
A big thank you to the members of the steering committee who gave their time to make this forum possible:
And an extra big thank you to the teams at the Swearer Center and the Medici Group for donating so much of your time to this effort. You have been such fantastic partners, and we can’t wait to see what comes next from this!
In Summer 2017, Governor Gina M. Raimondo released Relish Rhody, Rhode Island’s first comprehensive Food Strategy. We created this strategy to build on the state’s momentum in growing its local food economy in a way that benefits all Rhode Islanders, enhances Rhode Island’s environment, and celebrates the state’s unique food cultures and landscape.
Please take a few moments to read the full Strategy to better understand its full scope.
As we move forward with the Strategy, RelishRhody.com will be the place where we share implementation successes! We will also be highlighting and celebrating actors across the Rhode Island food system. We’ve already taken many implementation steps. Please see this recent memo to the Inter-Agency Food and Nutrition Policy Advisory Council that outlines our progress.
If you ever have any questions or feedback -- or even want to submit a story for us to share - please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly. And please follow us on Facebook.