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Value Chain Coordination: Creating Partnership Through Policy


Value chains rely on multiple entities working together, even when their goals may not always align. One role of value chain coordination is to help these entities figure out how to collaborate. In this webinar we will look at how value chain coordinators create policies and procedures to create win-wins along the chain. 

We call this role of value chain coordination "policy thought leadership." 

This webinar will look more at little-p policy (inter-business operating principles). Value chains can receive crucial support from intelligent and strategic policies that push participants toward transparency and effective purchasing, and we will see how external value chain coordination can help move all parties to enacting these beneficial rules. 

Vanessa Zajfen, now at the Center for Good Food Purchasing has a long history of working with institutions of various sizes on increasing their serving of local, sustainable food. She will share her wisdom on the tactical and strategic levels when working with institutions, such as what policies are effective for creating real impact on the food and the communities they serve. 

Dan Hobbs of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has created a food hub trading network that is beneficial to all parties. He will share how to create policies that respect the needs of all parties, and bring them success - collectively and individually.




Webinar Slides (pdf)

Presenter Bios

Dan Hobbs

Dan HobbsDan is lead cooperative development specialist with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center. He has over twenty years agricultural and rural development experience in the United States and South America and formerly served as executive director of Organic Seed Alliance, NewFarms and Nuestras Raices, all 501(c)(3) organizations. He is a 5th generation Coloradan and a first generation farmer.  With his partner, Dr. Nanna Meyer, he owns and operates two irrigated farms in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico that specialize in varietal garlic, open pollinated seeds, ancient grains, and fresh vegetables and herbs.  

Vanessa Zajfen

Vanessa ZajfenVanessa Zajfen is the Director of Institutional Impact at The Center for Good Food Purchasing. Previously she was with School Food Focus where she directed ProCureWorks, a program catalyzing food system change by leveraging the aggregated purchasing power of 530 school sites and 55 hospitals to develop, deliver and serve healthy, sustainable and regional foods. Prior to School Food Focus, Zajfen worked at the United States Department Agriculture (USDA), Food & Nutrition Service. While at the USDA she served as a Farm to School Regional Lead for the Midwest region; a region covering six states, 5,500 school districts and home to more than 45 million Americans. As such she provided training, technical assistance, and generalized support to a wide variety of farm to school stakeholders in her region. Vanessa also specialized in the provision of technical assistance related to local meat sourcing for K-12 school districts. Prior to the USDA Vanessa worked for the Food Service Department at San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). The Food Service Department of SDUSD serves over 100,000 students, 80,000 meals daily and ranks in scale as the 20th largest school district in the Country. There Vanessa was the Farm to School Specialist where she launched the District’s first farm to school program, sourced and served over 1 million pounds of local and organic foods and worked directly with family farmers. From 2006 to 2009 she worked at the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute where she developed and managed various farm to institution programs, including the nation’s first Farm to WIC program. From 2005 to 2006 she worked as the Community Supported Agriculture Manager at South Coast Farms. She also founded Beyond Organic Produce Company which specialized in sourcing and selling locally grown foods. Vanessa has a BA from UC Santa Cruz and an MS in Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University.

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