The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announces the relaunch of the Virginia Specialty Food & Beverage Association (VSFBA). Originally founded
in 1947 as the Tidewater Canners Association, this non-profit, member driven trade association has evolved to assist the specialty food and beverage producers across the Commonwealth.
The mission of the Virginia Specialty Food & Beverage Association is to provide its membership with educational, marketing and sales opportunities that grow their businesses and promote their passion for creating the finest and diverse specialty food products throughout the Commonwealth. As interest in craft made and local food continues to rise nationally, the VSFBA has evolved to meet the growing needs of its members. This association seeks to further the development and awareness of the Virginia specialty food and beverage industry.
VDACS and the VSFBA also announce that Scott D. Stephens has been selected as the
association’s executive director and will lead the launch and rebranding. Stephens has been in the specialty food industry for more than 25 years. He has chaired the VDACS Specialty Food Advisory Committee and has served the national Specialty Food Association as a member of the Producer Supplier Committee. Locally, he has been a supporter of both the Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest programs. He has also worked with a variety of food manufacturers in sales, marketing, brand management, licensing and distribution. In addition, he has served as an educational conference speaker at both the state and national level.
“I am excited to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones and work with an amazing group of talented entrepreneurs, as together we promote Virginia products and the producers behind those beloved iconic brands,” said Stephens. “I am also grateful for the opportunity to lead an organization with members who are focused on bettering the communities in which they serve and the farmers that produce such wonderful ingredients.”
For additional information about the Virginia Specialty Food & Beverage Association contact the VSFBA Executive Director, Scott Stephens at 757.377.9435.
For additional information about the Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest programs contact VDACS Office of Promotions Manager Karin Taylor at 804.371.6002.