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Make Connections at 2021 Grower Buyer Mash Up

The 2020 Grower Buyer Meetup was held indoors, but the 2021 Mash Up will be held outdoors with social distancing. In addition, the agenda has expanded to include a panel discussion, food samples, and more.


Make Connections at 2021 Grower Buyer Mash Up

Distanced Event Set for March 22


This story appears in the February 4, 2021 issue of the South Carolina Market Bulletin.

Connecting farmers and buyers is one of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s core roles. And this year, the agency is teaming up with the Midlands Local Food Collaborative to host farmers and producers, chefs, farm to institution & farm to school personnel, distributors, retailers, buyers, food writers, and local food leaders at the Certified South Carolina Grower Buyer Mash Up in West Columbia.

The Grower Buyer Mash Up offers a chance for growers to meet potential buyers for their products. It’s also an opportunity for chefs, distributors, retail and wholesale-level food buyers who want to include local food in their menus or product offerings to meet local producers to supply that demand.

SCDA has hosted similar events in the past, but the 2021 event is unique in several ways. First, it’s being held outdoors, allowing for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, it’s more than a networking opportunity, with educational components and food to sample.

The event kicks off at noon with a two-part educational panel discussion and box lunch. The panel will include wholesale, food hub, and restaurant buyers, with a discussion on the unique value proposition of incorporating more local food items into menus and other topics.

Following the educational session, producers will exhibit trade show-style from 2–5 p.m. with product lists, marketing materials, production calendars, and pricing. There will be several featured chefs exhibiting and a chance to try food prepared with products grown by some of the exhibiting farms.

Both the educational and trade show portions of the event will be held outside at the State Farmers Market in West Columbia, SC following social distancing guidelines. To attend, you must register at by March 1.


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