MassGrown Exchange Partners With Big Y

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Big Y World Class Markets announced their first connections with new local food producers through their participation in the MassGrown Exchange.
The MassGrown Exchange, launched last month by the Baker-Polito Administration, 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," Governor Charlie Baker said. 
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. 
"The platform is now live and ready for businesses looking to sell and purchase Massachusetts' products and services," Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Commissioner John Lebeaux said. "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
"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," Charles L. D'Amour, Big Y president and CEO said."We appreciate everyone's role in this important initiative, including the essential work of the Massachusetts Food Association in shepherding this entire process."
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. 
"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," Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said. 

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Pope Francis Names 10th Bishop of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Pope Francis has named the Rev. William D. Byrne, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC as the 10th Bishop of Springfield. 
The announcement was made Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the U.S. papal nuncio.
Bishop-elect Byrne was born Sept. 26, 1964. A native of Washington, D.C., he is the youngest of eight children of Mary (Largent) Byrne and the late Dr. William Byrne, a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon who passed away in 2011.
As a youth, the bishop-elect attended Mater Dei School in Bethesda, Md., went on to Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, Md. and completed his undergraduate studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. He then taught for three years at Mater Dei before being accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
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