Vermont Specialty Foods Association Announces Virtual Fall Annual Meeting & Upcoming Webinars on Trade Spend & Advanced E-Commerce Optimization

Montpelier, Vt. –  Vermont Specialty Food Association (VSFA) is excited to announce that registration is now open for its virtual Fall Annual Meeting set for October 7th. Participants will hear from and speak with Natalie King, Chief of Sales & Marketing at Stonewall Kitchen, learn about post-COVID-19 specialty food trends from the (national) Specialty Food Association, and review new and impending regulatory updates that will impact Vermont producers from Cassandra LaRae-Perez of Gravel & Shea. Food producers, retailers, and distributors are invited to participate. 

VSFA’s Fall Annual Meeting is FREE to members of VSFA and Vermont Retail & Grocers Association members. Non-members can participate for $10. Learn more about these events and register here:

Leading up to the Annual Meeting, VSFA is offering a dynamic lineup of educational webinars:

  • Wednesday, September 16th at 1:00pm – Trade Spend webinar
  • Wednesday, September 23rd at 1:00pm –  Advanced E-Commerce Optimization webinar
  • Wednesday, October 7th from 1:00pm to 3:30pm – Fall Annual Meeting: A Virtual Event 

September 16th webinar:
Trade Spend: What is it? How much does it cost? Where to account for it?
Presented by Rose Wilson of Rose Wilson Consulting and Annie Harlow, VT Farm & Food Ambassador.
If you are a food producer working with, or considering working with distributors and/or brokers then this webinar is for you! Trade Spend is the amount a company spends to increase demand for its products including coupons, preferential shelf display locations (slotting), co-advertising, and more. Calculating and tracking these costs can be difficult, resulting in incorrect financial reporting and leaving food producers unsure if they are making a profit. Attendees will come away with a clear understanding of what Trade Spend is, what it includes, how to account for it, and how to negotiate terms and expectations. Each attendee will receive take home tools including: price waterfall calculator, Local Food Wholesale Assessment Market Assessment, a list of acronyms and descriptions of often utilized Allowances, Discounts and Trade Spend terms. Register here:

September 23rd webinar:
Advance E-Commerce Optimization
Presented by Bud Reed, Lean Edge Marketing
Thank you to our Webinar Sponsor: 
Gravel & Shea
In May 2020, VSFA worked with Lean Edge Marketing to develop a three part E-Commerce webinar series. In this follow up session, Bud Reed will present an advanced version on Optimizing Your E-commerce site. During this webinar Bud will cover: How to increase good quality traffic to your website via SEO and build your email list in the process; Keeping visitors on your site longer and converting more of them to buyers – including usability analysis and abandoned cart programs; How to measure the results of your efforts using Google Analytics and Search Console along with other measurement tools, and how to develop KPIs (key performance indicators) specifically for your business. Register here:

October 7th event:
VSFA Fall Annual Meeting: A Virtual Event
Thank you to our sponsors: ImageTek LabelsMerritt & MerrittPLEX, and Vanguard Renewables
Typically held in-person, VSFA’s Fall Annual Meeting will be held virtually this year. This 2 ½ hour event features our Keynote Speaker Natalie King, Chief of Sales & Marketing at Stonewall Kitchen, and a session on Specialty Food Trends Post-COVID presented by Ron Tanner, Vice President, Education, Government & Industry Relations for the (national) Specialty Food Association. While VSFA was hopeful to meet in-person this Fall, the VSFA Board agreed that in the best interest of everyone’s safety to remain virtual for 2020. After success with our Virtual Spring Meeting, we look forward to connecting with members again for our Virtual Annual Meeting. Register here:

Registration in advance is required for all VSFA events. Find information for all of these virtual events on VSFA’s website at

In response to COVID-19 VSFA has adapted to the needs of their members by moving their two in-person conferences to virtual events, and developing impactful and reactive real-time educational webinars for specialty food producers, retailers, and the small business community. 

VSFA recognizes that these resources are needed now more than ever. Since March VSFA has been working closely with their partner association Vermont Retail & Grocers Association (VRGA) to develop valuable webinars and resources for their members during this unprecedented time. Since March, VSFA and VRGA have offered 13 webinars. In the spirit of collaboration during these hard times, these Webinars are FREE for all. Past webinars are free and may be found here:

To learn more about the work VSFA does, visit their website at, follow them on Facebook & Instagram, or call their office at (802) 839-1930.

About the Vermont Specialty Food Association:

The Vermont Specialty Food Association is the leading information resource for all specialty food and beverage producers, service providers, and industry professionals. VSFA seeks to grow specialty food businesses and the Vermont industry through education, promotion, and statewide and national collaboration. It is the nation’s oldest and most highly regarded specialty food association, celebrating over 30 years of service to the industry.