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Mark Curran Honored by VBSR

Mark Curran Honored for Good Business Practices

Black River Produce Co-Founder Recognized with VBSR’s

Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business

Burlington, VT – On Tuesday, September 9th, nearly 150 members and friends of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) came to Shelburne Farms for an event in honor of Mark Curran, Co-founder of Black River Produce and winner of the 2014 VBSR Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business. The sold-out dinner and award ceremony was a celebration of local food, relationships, and socially responsible business practices.

“We were thrilled to be able to honor Mark this with award,” noted VBSR Executive Director Andrea Cohen. Named for the late owner of Hemmings Motor News and a founding member of VBSR, the award is given to a VBSR member who best exemplifies Terry Ehrich’s commitment to the environment, workplace, progressive public policy and community. “Mark and his business partner Steve Birge have worked hard to grow Black River Produce in a sustainable way. They’ve been instrumental in supporting our local food movement and have taken a number of steps to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their energy efficiency while growing quality jobs in our state.”

Chuck Ross, Secretary of Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets opened the award ceremony by discussing the importance of Vermont’s local food economy while highlighting how much Black River Produce has done to further that mission. After glowing remarks from VBSR Board Vice Chair, Chris Miller of Ben & Jerry’s, Mark spent a few minutes discussing how his upbringing shaped him into the business person he’d become.

Curran explored how far his company has come (opening a new meat processing facility), how they had grown sustainably (reinvesting in the company), and how they practice social responsibility (supporting local farmers, utilizing renewable energy and biodiesel trucks). Curran also took time during his address to thank and highlight the leadership and vision of his business partner Steve Birge. Attendees expressed their appreciation of the moment by honoring both Mark and Steve with a standing ovation.

The 2014 Terry Ehrich Award Ceremony and Dinner was sponsored by Black River Produce, Prudent Living, Inc., Let’s Grow Kids, Main Street Landing, Housing Vermont and Vermont Rural Ventures, People’s United Bank, Efficiency Vermont and Renewable NRG Systems.

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