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Retail training to boost local food sales

Take 5 is a series of 12 local food sourcing and merchandising training videos for Vermont retail stores to help increase local food sales. The Farm to Plate Independent Grocers Task Force launched the Take 5 series of five-seven minute training videos for convenience, general, grocery and other retail stores as well as distributors, food hubs, and regional food organizations interested in increasing sales of Vermont products. Episode topics include promotions, purchasing, merchandising, in-store displays, signage, sampling, and procurement. Farmers and specialty food producers interested in learning more about best practices in retail merchandising may also find value in the video series.

Annie Harlow, chair of the Farm to Plate Network Independent Grocers Task Force, serves as the project manager in collaboration with the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association, Mark Mulcahy of Rising Stars & Organic Options, and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. Additional support was provided by The Intervale and UVM Center for Rural Studies. To find out more about the videos or inquire about receiving technical assistance, contact Annie Harlow at or by phone at 802-922-7060. Sign Up For Retail Tips.

Watch Episode 1                                                        Watch Episode 2

# 1 Local Foods Intro_3    # 2 Building Relationships with Local Food Producers_3



Watch Episode 3                                                         Watch Episode 4

# 3 Sourcing Direct from Local Producers_2    # 4 Bell Curve of BUYING_3



Watch Episode 5                                                          Watch Episode 6

# 5 Bell Curve Merchandising_2     # 6 Display Tips  Tricks_2



Watch Episode 7                                                           Watch Episode 8

# 7 MORE Display Tips Tricks_1      # 8 Merchandising for Small Stores_2



Watch Episode 9                                                            Watch Episode 10

# 9 Instore promotions_2       # 10 Signage_2



Watch Episode 11                                                          Watch Episode 12

# 11 Sampling_2       # 12 VT Retail Showcase_2

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The need for these videos was identified through research conducted by the task force in 2014 and 2015 to better understand the opportunities and barriers to selling local food at independent grocery stores, and to assess what local products stores currently carry. Retailers requested technical and marketing assistance to help increase local food sales. In response, the Take 5 videos were created to provide short and easily accessible trainings for retailers.

By helping Vermont retail stores effectively source and merchandise more local food, the Take 5 retail training video series provides retailers with technical assistance that can lead to increased local food purchases and sales at Vermont retail outlets and improved profitability in the farm and food economy. These efforts support Vermont’s Farm to Plate food system plan goals to increase local food availability, consumption, and farmer/producer viability.



  • Marketing
    • Support organization: Marketing
    • Food system media
    • Other: Marketing
  • Food Production
    • Support organization: Food Production
    • Beef
    • Eggs
    • Pork
    • Lamb
  • Food Processing or Manufacturing
    • Support organization: Food Processing or Manufacturing
  • Food Distribution or Storage
    • Support organization: Food Distribution or Storage
  • Retail Food Outlets
    • Support organization: Retail Food Outlets
  • Food Access and Nutrition
    • Support organization: Food Access and Nutrition
  • Education
    • Support organization: Education
    • General food system education
  • Workforce Development
    • Support organization: Workforce Development
  • Business Planning and Technical Assistance
    • Access to capital
    • Feasibility and planning
    • Marketing
    • Regulations and permits
    • Other: Business Planning and Technical Assistance
  • Financing Organizations
    • Other: Financing Organizations
    • Grants
    • Royalty financing
  • Energy
    • Support organization: Energy
  • Regulations and Public Policy
    • Advocacy organization
    • Regulatory authority