Value Chain Cluster Initiative

vc2-wv-counties-mapThe Value Chain Cluster Initiative provides hands-on business development and coaching services to strengthen local food and farm businesses in four regions of West Virginia.

» Eligibility Criteria and Quiz
» Submit an Online Qualification and Interest Form
» Download Overview Handout
» Download “Steps to Requesting Technical Assistance”
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If you live in one of 17 eligible counties, and are a new or existing producer, processor, aggregator or distributor of local food, you can apply for:

  • Business planning help
  • Legal assistance (e.g contracts, incorporation)
  • Web technology to access markets
  • Consulting services for marketing and branding
  • Flexible, patient loans through Natural Capital Investment Fund
  • Development of HACCP Plans
  • Recipe Formulation
  • Facility Design; Compliance with State & Federal Regulations & 3rd Party Audits
  • Website Development & Label Design
  • Transition to Organic Certification
  • Energy Audits
  • Assistance with REAP Cost Share Grant Applications and other programs
  • Set-up of Accounting Systems
  • Market Assessment and Planning
  • Feasibility Studies for processing or distribution facilities
  • and more…

 

Organizations that serve several businesses, such as co-ops, farmer groups, or farmers markets, can also apply for assistance with projects such as:

  • Needs assessments and feasibility studies to expand aggregation or meat processing
  • Design for regional local food branding campaigns
  • Food safety trainings and other trainings for farmer groups

 

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The Value Chain Cluster Initiative is a program of Natural Capital Investment Fund. Funding is made possible by USDA, the US Economic Development Administration, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Program partners include the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, the Collaborative for a 21st Century Appalachia, the West Virginia Small Farm Center, the West Virginia Department of Education, the Entrepreneurship Law Center at WVU College of Law, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the Small Business Development Center at WVU Institute of Technology, WVU Extension Service in Roane and Doddridge Counties, Doddridge County Economic Development Authority, the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department,  Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Authority, Heart and Hand Inc., and Tygart Valley Growers Association.