Another local farmer that we reached out to was Bill Suhr at
How are you doing considering the current circumstances we find ourselves in?
We have generally seen local purchasing increase with customers appreciating the reliability of the local food supply and our ability to fulfill orders and deliver on short notice,
Vermont has an amazing history of supporting its local communities and farmers, any specific moments that have stood out to you during this time?
We are very fortunate thus far to have had a robust and healthy staff who have been able to step up and fulfill the increased demand for local purchasing. We are really proud that our Co-op community and state have done such a great job of promoting and encouraging local purchasing which has allowed Champlain Orchards to scale up over time and be in a position to respond to the increased demand when other supply channels may have been unable to deliver and fulfill.
How do you see Vermont farmers adjusting to the “new normal”?
We are hoping consumers will remember the value and security of being able to source food locally from their community. We are hoping that elevated processing hygiene and food safety measures which have been implemented better help ensures local packers & processors can compete and remain ever more relevant. Seeing large meat processing facilities that supply 10% of our national pork close down is scary in terms of food security. Adding online sales and pre-order convenience options is helping farms find new ways to serve existing customers and also develop new customers
How are you changing or innovating your farming practices during this time?
We have increased food safety procedures, developing online ordering opportunities, and strengthened administrative practices to ensure business continuity such as offsite work stations.
What are you looking forward to most once the “stay-at-home” order gets lifted?
Having some super events to celebrate our conserved farms, our loyal customers and most importantly our staff who have worked extra hard under unique circumstances to ensure our customers received critical food on time and with extra love to help them celebrate and appreciate their investment in our local ag economy.
Any words of hope or inspiration you would like to share?
Vermonters are kick ass and we are proud to be serving such a great community who persevere in adverse conditions and build strength daily through wise decisions such as how they invest in the food they consume and who they source the food from.