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A Presentation on Sandhills Farm to Table Case Study


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This PowerPoint was presented by James Matson at the 16th Annual National Value-Added Agricultural Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on May 13th. This is a presentation on the article written by James Matson and Jessica Shaw for the National Agricultural & Rural Development Policy Center. The presentation highlights the research and commentary on the operations of Sandhills Farm to Table.

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A Presentation on Sandhills Farm to Table Case Study

  1. 1. A Presentation on Sandhills Farm to Table Case Study Presented By: James Matson Partner- Matson Consulting
  2. 2. Business Profile (SF2T)= CSA + multi-stakeholder cooperative. Sandhills Farm to Table Co-op’s goal: Meeting local food needs with local food
  3. 3. Services • Product delivery • Aggregation • Producer & Consumer Education/ Training • Community Outreach • Produce box subscriptions ▫ Sample items:  Fresh produce.  Shelf stable items: honey, jams, dry pasta, and bread.  Special handling products: meats, eggs, and dairy.
  4. 4. Subscription Schedule SF2T Produce Subscriptions Full Year (April to November) Spring/Summer Season (April to August) Fall Season (September to November) Standard Produce Box •Weekly: 28 boxes •Bi-weekly: 14 boxes •Weekly: 18 boxes •Bi-weekly: 9 boxes •Weekly: 10 boxes •Bi-weekly: 5 boxes Double Produce Box •Weekly: 28 boxes •Bi-weekly: 14 boxes •Weekly: 18 boxes •Bi-weekly: 9 boxes •Weekly: 10 boxes •Bi-weekly: 5 boxes “Lite” Produce/Bread Box •Weekly: 28 boxes •Bi-weekly: 14 boxes •Weekly: 18 boxes •Bi-weekly: 9 boxes •Weekly: 10 boxes •Bi-weekly: 5 boxes
  5. 5. Location • Rural area. • Whispering Pines in Moore County, NC. • Local is Moore County and nine contiguous Sandhills Counties.
  6. 6. BUSINESS SITUATION: INTERFACE WITH LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS SF2T helps 1. Local farms find economic viability 2. Residents gain access to local foods. 3. Provide conventional prices and education for healthy eating.
  7. 7. Multi-Stakeholder Structure • Create solidarity between groups. Consumer Membership Consumers Clients Families of Clients Institutional Purchasers Worker Membership Professional Employees Workers Producer Membership Producers Groups of Producers Processors, Distributors, etc. “We’re all in this together.”
  8. 8. Entrepreneurial Focus of Study • Success is highly impacted by:  Unique organizational structure Community outreach  Understanding and use of marketing, the supply chain, and growth challenges.
  9. 9. Marketing and Expansion Current Market • Most sales through subscription model. • Social media sites and interactive website. Opportunities for growth: • Institutions, Wholesale, Online Sales • more products to low income areas.
  10. 10. Supply • Built a network of farmers and producers. • The cooperative continues to grow:  Includes over 38 farmer members and 14 invested core growers.
  11. 11. Customer Base • 2013-Cooperative delivered to more than 1,500 members. • Around 3.5% of households in the County. • Retiree community. • Military family from Fort Bragg.
  12. 12. Sales 2011 sales increased 48% 2013sales levels of about $600,000; cooperative delivered 22,000 boxes. Farmers receive 70% or more of retail price for their products. $320,000 returned to farmers and artisans in 2013
  13. 13. Barriers to Growth: Producer Growth • Limited to local farmers and producers • Competition within the cooperative. • Difficult and costly to become organic.
  14. 14. Barriers to Growth: Customer Growth • Revising business plan to further explore how to capture a larger audience. • Making changes and/or additions that better meet consumer needs.
  15. 15. Positive Outcomes • Provided fresh local food to over 1,500 members. • Provide producers with 70% of food dollars. • 25 gathering sites are used for members to pick up their boxes. ▫ Host sites receive $2 for every box picked up.
  16. 16. Benefits to Community • Started SF2T University (farmer training). • Inspires other rural cooperatives. • Donated more than 3 tons of produce. • Donated about $40,000 to the community, schools, & churches, • Works with schools to raise money and engage students.
  17. 17. For More Information James Matson Matson Consulting (803) 233-7134