Who we are:
The Northeast Grainshed is a group of farmers, millers, maltsters, brewers, bakers, distillers, restaurants, educators, researchers, and home baking and brewing fans committed to building a local food chain in the Northeast.
The Northeast has built a beer and bread supply chain from the ground up. Other areas see our region as leaders in this work, and many of us feel it is time to take another lead and strengthen the development of our grain systems. Together we have the land, experience, and passion to take this localized supply chain beyond its current stage.
Recent discussions have been happening around the future growth of malt barley and wheat in our Northeast Grainshed. A group of Northeast researchers, growers, maltsters, distillers, and bakers believe that we should initiate a coordinated marketing effort that creates consumer awareness and demand for locally grown grains.
We envision a coordinated consumer marketing campaign to educate and create excitement around local grains, and support goals to strengthen the emerging market. Initial conversations suggest setting 5-year goals for acreage in our grainshed in NY, NJ and New England.
By offering an identifiable “local grain brand” we will educate consumers to directly support the Northeast Grainshed. A coordinated campaign will support the brewers, bakers and distillers using local grains, and encourage new brewers, bakers, and distillers to adopt the use of local grains in their products. Many of the early adopters are eager to recruit peers and help create a second wave of craft beverage and bread producers.
We see this effort as a tool for peer to peer outreach, and for consumer education. Consumers already know the value of spending their dollars locally. This campaign will help make visible the other pieces of the supply chain that bread and beverage makers are using — the essential processing facilities of malt houses and mills, and the critical work of farming food and beverage grade crops. Getting brewers, bakers, and distillers to pledge to use local grains in their products will strengthen this existing infrastructure and help grain growers.
The hope is to create a third wave of grain use, employing the same peer to peer recruitment strategy and facilitating consumer demand. This grassroots recruitment effort and complementary marketing campaign will be how we meet our acreage goals.