HOW VCC OPERATES
Our organization was founded over 20 years ago by Vermont cheesemaking businesses that wanted to foster the Vermont cheese community, pursue collective learning efforts, and collaborate through their combined marketing power to represent the Vermont Cheese Brand in the marketplace. Today, our core members include 40+ cheese-producing organizations from across Vermont. Some are larger, have over 50 staff members, and work with 20+ dairy farms; others are small, with one or two employees and their own herd of animals that provide milk for cheese production; and some are in the middle. These licensed Vermont cheese producers make up our Principal Members. We also have Associate Members, which include businesses that supply our cheesemakers; distributors that help promote and sell their cheeses; retail shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and others who help sell their products; state agencies/resources that help them run their businesses; cheesemakers from outside of Vermont; and cheese lovers and supporters.
Operationally, we’re a member-driven 501(c)6 organization, and our Principal Members (the Vermont cheese producers) control our primary strategic direction. This helps our team ensure that we are doing the work we should be doing to help and provide value to this community. Our leadership team and Principal Members, who make up the bulk of our board, work together to craft our strategic plan and overall organization vision, and then our staff gets to step forward to help create the programs, projects, resources, and tools that make that plan and vision come to life!
SUPPORTING OUR MEMBERS
As a member-driven organization, first and foremost we’re committed to providing services that provide value to Vermont’s cheesemaking businesses. Through our work we advance the production and image of premier cheese from Vermont by supporting the health, growth, and success of each of our members in four focus areas:
- Organizational health
- Professional cheese education
- Business support
- Industry sustainability-specific issues
Because some of our cheese producing members have over 80 employees and others only have 1-3, their needs vary greatly. Our team is committed to learning about the nuance of members’ different needs – and developing products, tools, resources, and programs that help meet those varied needs.
If you are interested in helping to provide education and business support services within the cheese industry – and investing into the future of the dairy farmers behind it – we encourage you to join our team or supporters!