Vibrant, equitable local food systems require more than trucks and warehouses; they need trusting relationships, networks, and communications channels to be able to compete with the mainstream system. Value Chain Coordination (VCC) helps create the “soft infrastructure” that makes a local food system work. VCC focuses on building relationships among diverse actors across the food value chain to strengthen market access for farmers and increase the availability of local food. Through activities like market matchmaking, providing technical assistance, and convening stakeholders, VCC can help food systems leaders counteract power imbalances in the food system.
The Wallace Center, in partnership with trainers Sarah Rocker and Elliott Smith, developed a Value Chain Coordination Training and curriculum to support practitioners currently engaged in VCC work to learn how to understand, organize, prioritize, and evaluate their VCC activities. As a result of this training, 93% of participants stated they would make changes to their practice and 88% felt more confident in their capacity as a food systems leader. We have since delivered this training at several food systems conferences and are excited to continue iterating and evolving it.
Years Active: 2020 – 2023