The above link is to an evolving draft of a business plan for a Net-Zero energy farm kitchen. Urban Homesteaders LLC (DBA Blackberry Meadows Farm) received $94,710 dollars in 2008 to hire consultants to hep think about and develop a construction, production and marketing strategy for transforming the farm’s unsold produce into Value-Added Products.
There are alot of things to think about when starting a food manufacturing operation, and this document is posted here to serve as a template, or an example for other farmers on how to think about these types of activities on their farms. Blackberry Meadows may implement portions or all of this plan over the next few years, as their time and money allow.
On our farm, we lose 25% or more of our produce to cosmetic damage, timing ripeness with markets, and in unexpected ‘bumper’ crops. The unrealized revenue is significant – considering if our gross revenue per year was around $100,000 – we could estimate (even at discounted rates) this loss represents at least $12,000 of unrealized profit.
The plan also describes a customer appreciation system – to reuse packaging and further eliminate variable costs – while discounting community members who regularly support the new kitchen.
By eliminating or reducing 1) the ingredient costs, 2) the packaging costs and 3) the energy/operational costs -farm kitchens start to make a lot more sense financially.
Check this page over the next few months for updated versions of the document – as the Blackberry Meadows farmers attempt to turn the dream into a reality!