SPRINGFIELD, MA – (September 30, 2020) Big Y World Class Markets has announced their first connections with new local food producers through their participation in the MassGrown Exchange launched last month by the Baker-Polito Administration. The MassGrown Exchange is a business to business platform that assists farmers, fishers, food buyers and agriculture related businesses to connect, exchange and find products and services across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Exchange is designed to facilitate business to business connections within the local food system for products and services.
“Our administration developed MassGrown Exchange to serve as an important tool for the Commonwealth’s agricultural and seafood industries to expand business opportunities and access new markets, and improve food security for the people of Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. He further stated that through this new platform, a variety of businesses will be able to source locally caught and produced food more efficiently. Big Y is the first supermarket in the state to use this exchange to source more local products for their customers.
In a release last month, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Commissioner, John Lebeaux said, “the platform is now live and ready for businesses looking to sell and purchase Massachusetts’ products and services. It is our hope and intent that this platform will increase business activity and revenue for the agricultural and aquaculture communities.” Big Y was notified of the MassGrown Exchange through their membership with the Massachusetts Food Association which served on the state’s task force to develop this important tool.
As part of their ongoing initiative to provide even more local products for their customers throughout the 71 store chain, Big Y has already begun working with the following new local producers from the MassGrown Exchange in order to sell their products in local Big Y markets:
Beverly – New Entry Sustainable Farming Project: organic delicata squash, curly and lacinato kale, cabbage and tomatoes
Newton – Tanuk, Inc./Meal Mantra: all natural Indian Curry sauces, casein and spices
Peabody – Giuseppe Argentieri Mozzarella House: all natural small batch mozzarella
Shelburne Falls – Hager’s Farm Market: pure maple syrup
Topsfield – Elizabeth Mulholland Valley View Farm: goat cheese
Wellfleet – Field Point Oyster farm: oysters
Worcester – Alicia’s Homemade Sauces and Spice Co. : all natural, gluten free sauces and spices
Worthington – Just a Mere Tree Farm: granola, maple syrup, pancake mix
These new local producers will join the other 500 plus local partners and that work daily with Big Y to sell their fruits, vegetables, seafood and other artisanal products in their markets. More than 3000 different local products can be found at a typical Big Y supermarket. Through the MassGrown Exchange, they will continue to grow this list in support of local businesses throughout the state.
According to Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, “though the platform was designed to address COVID-19 disruptions to the local food supply, it will continue to benefit the local food system long after the pandemic has passed.”
“We are grateful to all who helped to make the MassGrown Exchange a reality. It is a valuable tool for our buyers to enhance our local product offerings for our customers throughout the year. These new local producers will be joining our family of over 500 local partnerships. Our goal is to use all of our resources to continue to add more and more local products to our markets. ” said Charles L. D’Amour, Big Y president and CEO. “We appreciate everyone’s role in this important initiative, including the essential work of the Massachusetts Food Association in shepherding this entire process.”
Big Y Foods, Inc. is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England. Big Y operates 82 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut including 71 supermarkets, Fresh Acres Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors and 9 Big Y Express gas and convenience locations with almost 12,000 employees. Big Y has been recognized by Forbes as a Best-in-State Employer in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as 2018 Employer of Choice by the Employers Association of the Northeast. Founded in 1936 by brothers Paul and Gerald D’Amour, the store was named after an intersection in Chicopee, Massachusetts where two roads converge to form a “Y”.