The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) launched Virginia’s first Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign in 2006 with the goal of supporting local farmers, productive agricultural lands and rural economies by helping consumers easily find and purchase locally produced foods. Today you can find seven Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters throughout Virginia. The Piedmont Environmental Council is the regional coordinator of three of those chapters — Northern Piedmont, Charlottesville Area, and Loudoun County.
PEC creates food guides and marketing materials, conducts educational outreach, and helps to develop new market outlets for farmers by building networks of producers, business owners, community organizations and consumers that are dedicated to the local food movement.
Buy Fresh Buy Local supports local farms, retailers, restaurants and food businesses by promoting local farm and food products to consumers. Our program includes local food producers of all philosophies who are interested in connecting with local markets. Our website and guides include farms that use conventional, alternative, traditional, chemical and organic practices. We encourage consumers to ask their restaurants and grocers about their local purchasing habits, and to get to know their farmers and the farming practices they use to produce the food you eat.
Finding Local Food
Our guides are compilations of family farms, restaurants, grocers, farmers’ markets, and value-added producers who share a common mission to support and promote local food. Whether they are farmers growing fruits and vegetables to sell at a market, or restaurants buying fresh ingredients from local farms, the folks listed in our guides strive to Buy Fresh and Local with the seasons, just like you.
What You’ll Find
- Farms & Producers
The family farms and orchards featured in this guide are producing fresh healthy food in ways that benefit the community and the environment.
- Farmers’ Markets
Farmers’ markets have the freshest foods and greatest seasonal variety that can be found. Farmers’ markets are also the best place to meet a farmer. Each market is different — reflecting the desires of the local community and the farming conditions of the area. They all provide a direct connection between the farmer and the consumer and have the freshest, healthiest food available.
These grocers, co-ops, and butchers are committed to buying and featuring locally produced foods. Many of these participating stores are campaign partners and display the Buy Fresh Buy Local logo. Look for this logo at your favorite store and be sure to ask for local food wherever you shop.
These restaurants, bakeries and caterers have made the special effort to connect with local farms to serve the freshest and healthiest food available so you can enjoy the great taste of regional cuisine. Ask for local foods at your next dinner outing or for your next event and eat the freshest foods while supporting local farm families.
- Value-Added Producers
Local food isn’t just available from the farm. Over the years small businesses focused on processing local farm ingredients into value-added products like jams, jellies, salsas, fermented vegetables, kombucha, breads, etc have become a significant sector of our food system. These value-added producers strive to source local ingredients to use in their products.
- Specialty Beverages
From luscious reds and tangy ciders to bubbly brews, our guides have your local beverage sourcing covered.Grapes, apples, hops, and grains grown in Virginia soil are used to produce some of the finest specialty beverages, and these vineyards, cideries, breweries, and distilleries are part of our Buy Fresh Buy Local program.