As defined by WealthWorks, a value chain is a network of people, businesses, organizations and agencies addressing a market opportunity to meet demand for specific products or services—advancing self-interest while building rooted local and regional wealth. Learn more about the principles behind a WealthWorks value chain here.
As defined by Investopedia, a supply chain is a network between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute a specific product, and the supply chain represents the steps it takes to get the product or service to the customer.
Value chains start with demand, not supply. While traditional supply chains typically focus on the needs of one company and how they make their products, value chains look at the needs of an entire community and how to meet demands within those communities.
Here in the PA Wilds, we know people are coming to see and explore our unique assets, communities and businesses. The demand for services around those experiences is there - and our value chain seeks to ensure these visitors' needs are met. By working together toward common goals, businesses and organizations involved in the value chain bolster each other up and, in effect, create more value in their work and communities.
It means we have been building a Value Chain Network since the inception of the PA Wilds Artisan Trail in 2008. As interest in the Artisan Trail grew, there was an opportunity to expand participation among small businesses that focus not only on locally-made products, but also the types of unique locally-made experiences that can only happen in the PA Wilds.
By 2015 the Trail was rebranded as The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania (WCO) and expanded to include not only visual artisans and retail outlets but also food and craft artisans, creative industries, outfitters, craft beverages, hospitality hosts and state parks; as well as Heritage Regions and Destination Marketing Organizations.
The WCO Value Chain is a network of people, businesses, organizations and agencies addressing a market opportunity to sell local products and place-based experiences, helping businesses and communities throughout the PA Wilds thrive.
As the value chain coordinator, The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania works to create, connect and develop market opportunities for our membership.
As a network of professional businesses and services, the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania provides the unique opportunity to provide a platform for commerce and regional marketing.
For Creative Makers (Juried Artisans - Visual, Food & Craft)
PA Wilds Conservation Shop is a commerce platform that was created as an opportunity for the professional makers in the WCO to sell products to consumers interested in taking home a piece of the PA Wilds. Profits from the Shop are reinvested in regional marketing to help drive more foot traffic into the region, with a goal of infusing outside dollars into our region to stimulate local economies.
For Experience Makers (Trading Posts & Host Sites)
Through PaWilds.com, marketing campaigns, and dedicated customer support at the PA Wilds Conservation Shop the WCO connects place-based businesses like outfitters, B&Bs, unique lodges, restaurants and retailers with the opportunity for tourism foot traffic.
For Creative Industries (Creative Service Partners)
Small business owners need the support of experts in graphic design, writing, music, marketing and the other creative enterprises that help to keep their business running – and our Creative Service Partners can provide that expertise! That's why the Wilds Cooperative connects Creative Service Partners with other businesses across the region.