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2018 Business of Farming Conference: Introduction to Niche Meats Workshop


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With Seth Church, Apple Brandy Beef
PJ Jackson, Chop Shop Butchery
Holly Whitesides, Against the Grain Farm

Published in: Food
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2018 Business of Farming Conference: Introduction to Niche Meats Workshop

  1. 1. Introduction to Niche Meats Seth Church, Apple Brandy Beef PJ Jackson, Chop Shop Butchery Holly Whitesides, Against the Grain Farm
  2. 2. The Chop Shop Butchery Established Brick and mortar shop, well-respected, neighborhood staple, expert knowledge...
  3. 3. What are we going to talk about? - What are “niche meats” and why diversify with meats? - Market Opportunities - Choosing the species that’s right for your farm - Do the numbers work? - What’s the regulatory market? - Choosing and working with a processor - Creating a marketing plan
  4. 4. What are niche meats? Differentiate it in two general ways: ● Superior or unique product qualities ● Socially or environmentally responsible attributes These “alternative” attributes of meat respond to increasing consumer concerns regarding environmental impacts, animal welfare, and human nutrition. organic production grass -fed pasture -raised heritage breed local small scale raised without antibiotics or added hormones cage -free free -range
  5. 5. The Apple Brandy Beef Niche Sell the STORY before the steak ● LOCAL ○ 3rd generation family farm ○ North Carolina Century farm ○ Processed at 3rd generation family abattoir ○ Cooperation with other family farms ■ Source other non beef proteins from local family farms ■ Cooperation keeps cost down - basic economic principle
  6. 6. The Apple Brandy Beef Niche Sell the STEAK after they are intrigued by the story ● CORN FED ● Dry Aged ○ 14 Day minimum ○ Maximizes tenderness and flavor ● Consistent Quality ○ A quality that can only be achieved by CORN FED ○ Conventionally Raised ○ Hereford and Angus Genetics ■ Genetics proven high in MARBLING ● Marbling is “risk management for bad cooking”
  7. 7. How we differentiate Why Local Beef Matters
  8. 8. How we differentiate
  9. 9. How we Differentiate - The Chop Shop Butchery THE AVENUE BETWEEN FARMERS & EATERS
  10. 10. Why Diversify with Meats?
  11. 11. Why Diversify with Meats?
  12. 12. Why Diversify with Meats?
  13. 13. Choosing your Species
  14. 14. Choosing your species - What is your land base? - What assets or infrastructure do you own or have access to? - How will the livestock fit into your overall farm production plan? - How will the livestock fit into your whole farm cash flow? - How will the livestock fit into your overall marketing plan? - What’s the market demand? - Who’s the competition?
  15. 15. Market Opportunities ● Direct markets ○ Farmer’s markets ○ CSA ○ Direct online sales ○ Farm store ● Restaurants ● Wholesale
  16. 16. Direct Markets: Farmers Markets PROS ● Retail price/immediate payment ● No pre-commitment ● Lots of direct customer contact ● Low start-up costs ● Minimal Advertising responsibility CONS ● Specific time frame off the farm ● No pre-commitment ● Lots of direct customer contact ● Start-up costs/COGS (depending on display) ● Competitive
  17. 17. Direct Markets: CSA PROS ● Pre-payment ● Significant level of pre- commitment ● Lots of direct customer contact ● Builds social capital and community ● Medium time away from the farm CONS ● Specific delivery times ● Promised value with no back-ups ● Lots of direct customer contact ● Heavy advertising responsibility ● Diversity of offerings implied
  18. 18. Direct Markets: Restaurants PROS ● Close to retail price (sometimes) ● Some pre-commitment ● Zero direct customer contact ● Low start-up costs ● Semi-flexible/short delivery times ● Minimal advertising responsibility CONS ● Up to 30 day terms ● No guarantees ● Zero direct customer contact ● COGS ● Minimum delivery ● Direct Chef contact and communication
  19. 19. Do the numbers work?
  20. 20. Do the Numbers Work? - The Chop Shop Butchery What to expect when it comes to charging different customers...
  21. 21. Do the numbers work? Enterprise Budgets ● Includes income (lbs of certain cut per price) ● Includes expenses both fixed (asset depreciation, taxes, etc) and variable (cost of stock, cost of feed, cost of processor, cost of labor) ● Profit and loss by species (Quickbooks or excel) ● - price and yield calculator
  22. 22. Regulatory Environment ● Meat handlers licence ● Product liability ● On farm processing ● Storage/transport ● Labeling claims: Grassfed, pasture raised, no added hormones Resources: ➢ NC Choices, including FAQ resource for beginning niche meat producers ➢ Whole Animal Buying Guide (Small Meat Processors Working Group, Iowa State)
  23. 23. What are the options? ● NCDA ● USDA ● Custom Butcher
  24. 24. Choosing a Processor
  25. 25. Working with a Processor - The Chop Shop ButcheryWhat should you be asking them? What do they want? What can you give? What can go wrong?
  26. 26. Working with your Processor Price and volume and consistency
  27. 27. Create a Plan ● What are your goals for diversifying with meats? ● What species you are going to start with? ● What will your market outlets be? ● How will you differentiate your farm/products? ● Do the numbers work (on paper)? ● What are your processing options? ● Do you understand the production, processing, packaging and distribution requirements? ● Where can you go with questions?
  28. 28. Questions?