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Supporting Local Processing: Walden Local and Vermont Packinghouse


Walden Local Meat, a Massachusetts based meat company with the mission to nourish its member communities across New England and New York with meat raised sustainably and humanely in their region, announced that it has fully acquired Vermont Packinghouse (VPH), a premier regional meat processing facility with the mission to “make meat as it ought to be.”


“Our decision to fully acquire Vermont Packinghouse reflects Walden’s commitment to building a quality supply chain that serves regional producers. As a long-time customer of the plant, we’ve experienced firsthand the benefit that a positive processor relationship provides to a growing business,” said Nancy Pak, CEO of Walden Local Meat. “We see great potential in expanding the capacity and capabilities of Vermont Packinghouse to serve Northeast farmers and continue to grow the market for local meat.”


Vermont Packinghouse is a USDA-inspected large animal facility specializing in beef and pork processing. The company currently serves over 100 farms in the Northeast. Walden Local Meat, founded in 2013, has been a customer of Vermont Packinghouse since 2017 and a partial owner since 2020. With this announcement, Walden Local Meat is purchasing its majority interest from Lorentz Meats, a nationally renowned, family-owned, mid-scale plant owner and operator. Pak shared that Walden is “grateful to the Lorentz family for the strong foundation they have built in Vermont, and our team is looking forward to working with the employees of Vermont Packinghouse to further the plant’s impact in the region.”


“Walden has been a great partner, and we are confident they will continue to serve the farmers of the Northeast to bring locally raised products to the region,” said Mike Lorentz, CEO of Lorentz Meats. “Thank you to all the staff of Vermont Packinghouse, the farmers of the region, and a special thanks to Mark Curran and Steve Birge. Without the efforts of all, none of this would have happened.”


Mark Curran, co-founder of long-standing Vermont food distributor, Black River Produce, and part of the founding Vermont Packinghouse team shared his excitement to see Walden Local Meat’s continued investment in Vermont’s food system: “It was over ten years ago that [the Lorentz brothers and I] converted an idle ice cream plant to New England’s premier meat processing facility. Walden, a certified B Corp, has been a major player in the operation of that facility, and I know will continue its commitment to Vermont growers and the local food economy.”