Meet the Farmers – Meet the Buyers

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March 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Farmers throughout Illinois are invited to attend a Meet the Buyers event to meet local and regional food buyers March 22, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, 273 Dearborn Court, Geneva.  

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Meet the Buyers events are an opportunity for farmers to hear directly from buyers about what it takes to do business with their organizations. Buyers representing retail grocery stores and chains, foodservice distributors, wholesalers and others are invited to participate.

“Farmers will hear from several buyers and meet with them one-on-one so they can begin building working relationships,” said Cynthia Haskins, manager of business development and compliance, Illinois Farm Bureau. “It’s an excellent opportunity for both farmers and retailers.”

The following organizations are partnering to support the one-day event: Illinois Farm Bureau, Kane County Farm Bureau, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, and several surrounding county Farm Bureaus and University of Illinois Extension offices.

 According to Haskins, a partial line up of participating buying organizations includes: Jewel Osco, Fresh Thyme, Blue Goose Market, Goodness Greeness, Niemann Foods (County Market), Artisan Specialty Foods, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Testa Produce, Midwest Foods, Get Fresh, WI Food Hub Co-op among others.

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“This event is popular among farmers and buyers,” Haskins said. “More than 600 farmers have been able to link up with more than 100 decision makers among the grocery and foodservice industries.”

Farmers are encouraged to bring business cards and any handouts they have about their farming operation to share with buyers.

The event is $15 for Farm Bureau members and $20 for nonmembers. For online registration and more information, please visit http://www.ilfb.org and select the News and Events tab, Conferences and Events, then the March 22, 2016 Meet the Buyers Event.

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