STATEMENT AND PRESS RELEASE - Bytable Inc. Awarded Over $462,000 in USDA Grant Funding
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**EDIT NOTICE: Since the announcement, the grant award has been amended to total $462,951 in funding.**
COMPANY STATEMENT: We are incredibly excited and honored to announce Bytable has been awarded a Local Food Promotion Program grant of over $462,000 from the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service!
With this award, our mission to create a regionally-focused food system that supports growth for sustainable and regenerative food producers, particularly in meat, will be greatly accelerated over the next three years.
Over the next three years, we’ll be able to not only provide at least 20-small scale food producers with affordable USDA-inspection food processing, fulfillment, and marketing services, but we will be able to continue to grow the Bytable Marketplace, connecting our producers to consumers across the United States who want to support sustainable and regenerative food producers.
We are so grateful for this opportunity to have a positive impact on the agricultural community and beyond. We would like to thank Ranch Foods Direct in Colorado Springs, CO, White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA, and Exponential Impact for partnering with us to make this grant possible, as well as a huge thank you to everyone else that has helped us grow and thrive along the way (if you’re reading this, this means you!)
Thank you to all for your support, we can’t wait to get to work.
The Bytable Team
Colorado-based, Iowan-founded food tech startup Bytable Inc. Awarded Over $460,000 in USDA Grant Funding to Improve Regional Food Systems
Funds will be used to support 20+ small sustainable and regenerative food producers in the greater Rocky Mountain and Atlanta regions for the next 3 years.
Colorado Springs, CO (December 9th, 2019) -- Bytable Inc., a Colorado Springs based company, announced they have received a grant award for $463,951 from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Local Food Promotion Program. The grant funds, authorized through the 2018 Farm Bill, will be used over the next three years to create a regionally-focused food system that supports growth for sustainable and regenerative food producers, particularly in meat.
Grant funds will be used to support at least 20 small-scale food producers in both the greater Rocky Mountain and Atlanta regions by providing them with desperately needed affordable USDA-inspected food processing, fulfillment, and marketing services. Bytable will also continue to grow the Bytable Marketplace (https://shop.bytablefoods.com) which connects the producers to consumers all over the United States.
Jacy Rittmer, CEO and cofounder of Bytable said, “Our team is so grateful for the opportunity to have a positive impact on the agriculture community and beyond. We hope to use this grant to flip the statistic of the food dollar and put 70-80% of food sales in the pockets of quality food farmers and circulating in their rural communities, as opposed to the current 14%.”
The grant project will be done in partnership with Ranch Foods Direct, a Colorado Springs specialty food retailer and USDA-inspected meat processing plant. “In today's highly industrialized and increasingly opaque global food system, nothing could be more important than restoring consumer access to good healthy food and providing our best food producers with the chance to make a livable income. Bytable's transparent and fully traceable producer-to-consumer food sourcing platform is the right idea at the right time,” said Mike Callicrate, owner of Ranch Foods Direct.
Ranch Foods Direct currently partners with Bytable to provide processing, packaging, fulfillment, and marketing services for sustainable meat producers in the greater Colorado Springs area. “As a 20-year-old company doing pioneering work in this space, we at Ranch Foods Direct have never worked with a more talented, professional or hard working team than the founders of Bytable. They have already helped us streamline our shipping capabilities and greatly enhanced our online store, and we are looking forward to more great achievements from this worthwhile project in the years to come,” said Callicrate.
White Oak Pastures, another project partner, will be providing a second USDA-inspected processing and fulfillment location for expansion in Year 2 of the grant. “White Oak Pastures is proud to work with Bytable to strengthen regional food systems. More farmers can be successful in selling products from their farm if infrastructures like these become the norm. Bytable is taking the next big step in getting ethical meats to your home,” said Jenni Harris, Director of Marketing for White Oak Pastures.
"We are ecstatic to see Bytable’s achievement in the Colorado Springs region, and we are looking forward to supporting them in their future endeavors. We knew when we met Bytable that they were destined for success and are confident that they will transform the transparency and traceability of our food system," said Hannah Parsons, CEO of Exponential Impact. Exponential Impact, a startup accelerator program in Colorado Springs of which Bytable is an alumni and current member of their secondary Amplify program, will provide needed office space and other business services throughout the project.
“We would like to thank our project partners for their help, experience, and dedicated support throughout this project and beyond. Together, we’re all looking forward to continuing to truly make a difference for small farmers. We know if we can make having sustainable and regenerative farming practices a viable business for farmers, we will all benefit through vibrant rural communities, successful small businesses, better soil and water quality, cleaner air, and more nutritious and delicious food,” said Bytable CEO Jacy Rittmer.
The project being funded focuses on the following objectives for sustainable and regenerative food producers:
- Refine a scalable infrastructure model for online direct-to-consumer sales for regional and local food businesses in the Rocky Mountain region, and to adapt this model to a second region with partner White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA.
- Provide a targeted variety of services to food producers and niche meat processors, including slaughter, processing, packaging, and fulfillment.
- Publish consumer resources to promote understanding and accessibility for regional and local food systems
- Provide consumers with easy and affordable access to well-produced regional and local food products
Bytable is a food technology company building an alternative food system for ethically produced foods. They create food traceability software to generate product records used to track food from farm to fork, and make that information available to the consumer. In the existing U.S. food system, the producers they work with face many barriers to scaling their businesses. In response, they have built the Bytable Marketplace for producers to receive marketing, processing, logistics, and fulfillment services to sell their products direct-to-consumer on the Bytable Marketplace and through their own webstores. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram (@bytablefoods). Learn more at www.bytablefoods.com.