This report represents outcomes of the Processing Infrastructure Workgroup formed at NESAWG's November 2009 It Takes a Region Conference and reflects the group's meat production and processing research and planning efforts at two scales: the Northeast region and the state of Vermont. Workgroup member NOFA Vermont played a leadership role in this report, especially in regard to Vermont food systems development.
During its initial meeting, the NESAWG Processing Infrastructure Workgroup decided to target the theme of appropriately scaled, decentralized processing infrastructure in its 2010 workplan. Multiple state-level projects were initiated to complete inventorying, outreach, and analysis. In Vermont that work centered on meat, a sector whose indicators suggest market potential. In light of the variation in processing infrastructure issues across the Northeast region, the Workgroup decided that a basic inventory of VT meat processing stakeholders, establishments, issues, and previous research would help guide future work to develop a more vibrant and viable meat processing system in the region. Meat processing refers to the slaughter and other processing including cutting, packing and additional value-added production. This report provides an overview of that inventory.