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Categories: Networks

Defining a Community of Practice

Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups of people in organizations who come together to share what theyknow, to learn from one another regarding some aspects of their work and to provide a social context for that work.Through our work in Value Chain Partnerships, we have found that communities of practice (CoPs) functionstrategically as:1. Catalysts for cooperation of diverse interests to create solutions for food and fiber producers andbusinesses;2. Hubs which create, capture, document, and leverage knowledge and deploy this knowledge astechnical assistance to assist value chain partners;3. Magnets to attract funding, and for leveraging, channeling, and distributing funding to researchand development efforts for differentiated food and fiber products; and4. Scouts to identify emerging value chain opportunities with high potential to deliver economicbenefit to sustainable agriculture stakeholders.

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Retail Training Collection

The Retail Collection includes resources developed or used by the Independent Grocers Task Force to complement its statewide in-store retail trainings, including the Take 5 video series and the Small Bites newsletter archive along with written resources designed to help retailers more effectively source and merchandise local food. Video episode topics include promotions, purchasing, merchandising, in-store displays, signage, sampling, and procurement. The written resources cover purchasing, merchandising, operations, financials, and staffing. Farmers and specialty food producers interested in learning more about best practices in retail merchandising may also find value in the video series.

Retail Training Collection Daily Huddle

A daily huddle provides a way to solve minor issues quickly, keeps line staff informed of operational details, allows for staff participation in problem solving, and increases personal accountability.

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Farm Viability

A collection of resources aimed to aid farmers and technical assistance providers in strengthening the financial performance and viability of farm and food businesses.

Farm Viability Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm

The following pages detail options and considerations for crafting unconventional financial arrangements that have been used in other sectors of the economy, but might be new to the agricultural sector. We guide the reader through basic legal issues relevant to farmers and community members when pursuing these arrangements.

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Vermont Agriculture & Food System Plan 2021-2030

In 2009 the Vermont Legislature tasked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) with administering the Farm to Plate Investment Program (10 V.S.A. § 330), to “create a strategic plan for agricultural and food system development, which may be periodically reviewed and updated.” The Farm to Plate Network formed in 2011, and set about implementing the first statewide Farm to Plate Strategic Plan. We came together out of a love for good food, strong communities, and our working landscape, to intentionally support the farmers, food entrepreneurs, and farm and food workers who provide nutritious, delicious food for us all. Over the past ten years, Vermont’s food system economic output expanded 48%, from $7.5 billion to $11.3 billion, which includes $3 billion (26.5%) from food manufacturing—Vermont’s second-largest manufacturing industry. The food system added 6,560 net new jobs (11.3% increase), and more than 64,000 Vermonters were directly employed by over 11,500 farms and food-related businesses. Local food purchases rose from $114 million (5%) to $310 million (13.9%) of the total $2.2 billion spent on food in the state annually, and Vermont farms sold $781 million worth of product per year. Recognizing the success of the first Plan and the continued importance of agriculture and food to Vermont’s economy, environment, and culture, the Vermont Legislature and Governor Scott reauthorized the Farm to Plate Investment Program in 2019.

Vermont Agriculture & Food System Plan 2021-2030 Food System Financing Inventory

A listing of capital providers who help to finance farm and food businesses, including debt, equity, and royalty financing, as well as various grant programs. The inventory is a supplemental document to the Vermont Agriculture & Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030 as requested by the Vermont Legislature as part of Act 83/S.160 (2019). The full Plan can be found here: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/document/vermont-agriculture-and-food-system-plan-2020 If any of the information contained in this directory needs to be updated or is missing, please email relevant information to info@vtfarmtoplate.com and we will make corrections. Version 2021.2

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Vermont Agriculture & Food System Plan 2021-2030 Vermont Agriculture and Food System Plan 2020

In response to the ongoing dairy crisis and other significant changes happening within Vermont’s agricultural and food sector, and a desire to stimulate more rural economic development as well as regional market access for Vermont products, the Legislature passed and Governor Scott signed Act 83 (S.160), an act relating to agricultural development, in May 2019. Section 1 of this Act calls for the development of a report with recommendations to stabilize and revitalize Vermont’s agricultural industry. This report was delivered to the Vermont Legislature in January, 2020. As part of a planned update to the 2011 Farm to Plate Strategic Plan, a second set of 31 product, market and issue briefs, along with a vision for Vermont's food system, a new set of goals, objectives and indicators of progress will be published in February 2021. Titled the Vermont Farm to Plate Strategic Plan 2021-2030, it will serve as our guiding implementation document over the next 10 years.

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Takeaways - Farm Transfers - F2P Financing CCT

Takeaways & Next Steps 2/6/19 Farm Transfers Convening: Financing Sticking Points & Solutions Hosted by the VT Farm to Plate Network’s Financing Crosscutting Team

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