Connecting people in production and allowing for an open channel for developing knowledge is a core aspect of our cooperatives mission statement: “Developing and supporting the local grain farmers and craft maltsters, through product sales, purchasing, educational outreach, best practices in production, grain handling routines and certification of the members and their crafted malt qualities through a democratic and open environment”. We have recently developed this “craft forum” for all of our members and interested parties, enabling them to freely discuss all aspects of the craft production value chain. This forum is similar to most social media platforms, allowing members/users to develop individual profiles, freely interact with other users and also to upload images/videos, open topics, discussions and online educational courses and resources. The ability for our members and others, to connect with all aspects of the production process and highlight their own growing, malting and brewing requirements, will be of great benefit to the end product. The forum (when complete) will be efficient in design with clear navigable pages and threads. All topics are quick to search and follow up on, and the forum will be suitable for any mobile device. The site will be administered through the cooperative`s founding members and will have a group of industry mentors/specialists available online to assist in answering important questions and threads. On a monthly basis new topics will be started and craft production methods and practices will be promoted and shared. This will include discussions on varietal selection for the farmers, recipes in the malting process for our maltsters and brewing tips for the craft brewing members and their community. The forum is designed to allow for an open network that promotes connectivity to all members in the production chain. THE FORUM WILL BE LAUNCHED IN JANUARY 2016 - THIS CURRENT SITE IS A TEST AND DEVELOPMENT SITE FOR UPDATES AND PROGRESS REPORTS E-books – growers guide, small-scale malting guide and a craft brewers guide We understand clearly that not all online E-learning opportunities can be developed through a social media platform. Hence we have been working with valuable partners, whom have all contributed to developing an online E-book for developing the capacities of the farmers, growing malt quality grains. This E-book will be available to all members and interested parties through the “craft forum”. The “Growers guide” will provide a detailed overview of best practices within the industry and a live data link for all soil tests, fertiliser applications and weather conditions to ensure farmers are given the best opportunity to produce malting quality grains for the market. Thanks to our cooperation with Danish Malting Group, North Dakota State University and the French Institute for Brewing and Malting (and numerous other industry specialists) we will also publish data on diseases, the management of these in the field, and improved methods for better quality of the Barley in storage and for final malting. The guide will be interactive and dynamic, allowing for continual updates and improved methods for ensuring we promote the highest standards in crop management techniques for our partnered growers. Accompanying the “growers guide” in the craft forum, will be an additional publication designed for our malt producers. The “small-scale malting guide” is a publication that has been authored by a recent graduate of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Thomas Heggelund has worked hard over the last year to formalise the publication and to ensure that the topics covered are relevant for today's craft malt enthusiast. There has been a suggestion that we should also consider to publish a “craft brewers guide” that can also aid brewers with ideas in brewing with local craft malts and also work towards creating new and interesting ales from Nordic based ingredients. We hope to start a review of this opportunity in early 2016 and then look to make this available as an E-book to the forum in a few short months. We are convinced that allowing these publications to be circulated to our members and interested parties will help improve the quality of the production chain and the products we develop for the markets. We have spoken with many farmers, maltsters and brewers and all have highlighted the benefit of knowledge sharing and educational outreach platforms. The forum and E-books will help to promote linkages between the members in the value chain and we also believe strongly that this can add value to the sale and purchase of the finished products for the consumer. As more locally produced ingredients and recipes start to filter into the shops, we hope to provide a final marketing tool for the business model – The story of the ingredients.