As we all saw this spring, CV-19 disrupted market channels for MT producers. Because AERO’s Abundant MT links consumers and producers state-wide across multiple channels, we are actively pursuing expansion of Abundant as a virtual “local market” for MT food products and vendors, providing a direct-to-consumer and intermediate retailer market channel that can stabilize, diversify and even increase farm income.
Thanks to a Business Innovation grant through the MT Covid Relief Fund and other contributions, we’re upgrading Abundant based on input from Montana food and ag business and customers. Please take 5 minutes to fill out a survey now:
Abundant will have enhanced search functionality and more lister-friendly interface and functions. Listers can manage their own listing to provide relevant updates as we navigate CV-19 disruptions in the marketplace.
We’ll also be adding a real-time, open source catalog of food needs and assets (including food, funds and distribution ability), commonly referred to as a “food exchange ” Check out the City of Philadelphia’s Food Exchange as an example. In these evolving post-pandemic times, the updated directory will also serve as a state-wide clearing house for CV-19 safe distributing resources, supplies and education for vendor “best practices” regarding sanitation, distancing and communication.
We’re gearing up to implement a marketing campaign for increasing awareness of the Abundant Montana Directory and Map. By increasing visibility of Abundant, we hope to increase the number and geographic diversity of listings, customer traffic, and overall value of the directory. The more listings, the more we connect Montanans with their food. In particular, we seek to include producers, cottage food businesses, food hubs, food pantries, food banks, community meal sites, and invite greater participation in frontier and tribal communities.