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Working Groups: Consumer Education and Marketing (Working Group)

Farm to Institution

A collection of resources exploring the world of local food in schools, hospitals, colleges, and other institutions.

Farm to Institution Vermont Farm to College: Opportunities and Barriers to Greater Local Food Procurement in Vermont Higher Education Food Service

Institutions of higher education present an opportunity for increased procurement of locally produced foods. This report provides an overview of findings to date, followed by summaries of successes, innovations, and challenges. Analysis focuses on comparing and contrasting Vermont interview results with recommendations gleaned from other regional institutions’ and organizations’ reports. It concludes with a list of best practices for food service operations and technical assistance providers.

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Vermont local food campaign under development

The Farm to Plate Network is developing a statewide local food campaign to increase consumer demand for local food. As farmers and producers scale up production and additional market channels (retail, restaurants, institutions, direct sale) are opened to more Vermont food, the local food marketing campaign will target messaging to Vermont consumers to stimulate increased purchases, participation and awareness in Vermont’s local food economy. The campaign aims to help Vermonters feel connected to local food and celebrate individual entry points – whether it’s gardening, hunting, visiting a farm, or purchasing local products. Campaign messaging will encourage increased local food awareness and engagement that will help Vermonters connect the local food economy to the growth and success of Vermont communities, and ultimately lead to increased purchases.

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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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