DATCP: Register now for the Wisconsin Local Food Expo

Contact: Ashley Huibregtse, 608-224-5002, [email protected]

Local food sales mean more business in Wisconsin, and now there is a new, unique opportunity to build those local food relationships. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) invites local food producers, buyers, sellers, distributors, and farmers to attend the first Wisconsin Local Food Expo titled, “Local Food Means Business.”

The Wisconsin Local Food Expo will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall in Madison. Meeting highlights include:

* Networking sessions for one-on-one meetings between buyers and sellers to establish business relationships.

* Workshops led by producers about using local foods.

* Exhibitors of local foods offering samples and information.

* Special keynote speaker discussing the media portrayal and economic impact of local foods.

“The Wisconsin Local Food Expo will offer support to local businesses, farms, distributors, and buyers who are working to cultivate business partnerships,” said DATCP’s Lois Federman, a Senior Agriculture Marketing Specialist. “Relationship building is the key to increasing the sales of local foods in Wisconsin and moving the economy forward.”

The Wisconsin Local Food Expo is coordinated by the Institutional Food Market Coalition and DATCP’s Something Special from Wisconsin™ Program. The Institutional Food Market Coalition was established to expand market opportunities and sales for regional growers, connect large volume institutional buyers with local products, and identify and resolve obstacles to local sourcing. Something Special from Wisconsin™ is a trademarked program of DATCP that’s trademark logo guarantees that at least 50% of a products’ ingredients, production, or processing activities are from Wisconsin.

Space for the Expo is limited. To register, visit http://www.ifmwi.org. There are special rates available for Institutional Food Market Coalition and Something Special from Wisconsin™ Program members. The registration deadline is Friday, September 9, 2011.

“Attendees are also welcomed to be an exhibitor or sponsor for the Wisconsin Local Food Expo,” added Federman. “By purchasing an exhibit space, attendees will be able to showcase their operation and offer product samples. Sponsors who contribute to the event will be recognized in program materials and acknowledged at the Wisconsin Local Food Expo.”

For more information, contact Institutional Food Market Coalition’s Laura Witzling at 608-266-6389 or [email protected] or DATCP’s Lois Federman at 608-224-5124 or [email protected].