Building capacity across Victorian food hubs
Disruptions to food supply in 2020 highlighted the importance of Community Food Enterprises (CFEs) as they maintained food security for their communities. For many enterprises, it felt like a window of opportunity to connect with consumers who were being awakened to the possibilities of becoming a food citizen.
Open Food Network and some of these enterprises identified an opportunity to work together to build capacity in the sector, particularly in response to 2020 shifts in customer demand for shorter-supply chain food.
Support provided through the Working for Victoria Program (funded by Department of Jobs, Precincts & Regions) enabled us to create a range of roles to support regional food activation, commencing in April 2021. This included six Regional Food Activation Officers (RFAOs) co-located with four partner food enterprises, plus marketing coordination and enterprise training roles. Using a combination of these roles and Open Food Network’s existing capacity and expertise, the project involves strategic enterprise support for the 4 partner CFEs, as well as support to create opportunities for collaboration between those CFEs, other CFEs and other organisations in their regions.
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