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What is a Community of Practice (CoP)?

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group that evolves or is created specifically based on common interests in a particular field, with the goal of gaining knowledge related to that field. It is through the process of sharing information and experiences within the group that members learn from each other and have an opportunity to develop. Though this type of learning has been going on for centuries, spatial barriers have hindered this type of exchange and therefore new techniques will be experimented with in our project, such as online networking tools.

The three communities of practice the Foodlinks project is exploring have been created specifically for this project with the strong desire that these groups evolve and grow over the length of our project and beyond.

Foodlinks themes and Communties of Practice (CoPs)

As a response to the multitude of food-related health and sustainability concerns a new food geography is forcing itself onto the scientific and political agenda. This new food geography is grounded in a different logic and incorporating different values than the industrial global food geography. Central to this new geography of food is a sustainability discourse that no longer accepts the externalization of environmental, social, and even economic costs. Driven as it is by new concerns about food quality and safety, nutrition, food security, and carbon foot prints, the emerging new food geography is developing along three partly interrelated lines:

To support bringing the new food geography into the policy arena, Foodlinks will analyse and engage in knowledge brokerage activities and create effective linkages between scientists, civil society actors and policy makers. To achieve this, Communities of Practice (CoP) were established in each of the three themes: researchers, policy makers and civil society actors sharing a common interest, a practice, a concern, a set of problems or a passion together build up learning communities.