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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 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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