Note to readers, attached is a complete final report for FNE00-352.
This project explored issues related to the research, development, and marketing of farm raised pork products with the overall goal of developing a technically, financially, and regulatory sound plan in place to turn the hogs Barbara raises into a quality product that is marketed through retail channels.
Barbara enlisted the help of Pennsylvania State Cooperative Extension, the Bucknell Small Business Development Center, and the Pennsylvania Retail Farm Market Association to thoroughly research issues related to business structure, insurance requirements, choosing slaughter and processing facilities, and retail marketing options.
The development phase of her project included development of a business plan and a marketing plan. Among the items included in the marketing plan were development of a logo, labels that would comply with government regulations, packaging, brochures, and pork products to market, as well as market outlets for her pork products. During the development phase she also chose slaughter and processing facilities to work with, and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) guidelines were established.
The final phase of the project resulted in marketing of her pork products through a small retail location, starting in December 2000.
Barbara has internalized more of the marketing stages of marketing pork products by eliminating brokers, distributors, and retailers, while outsourcing the slaughter, processing, and packaging portions of the value-added process (the portions that require significant capital investment). The long-term economics of the project are not known at this time. The percentage of hogs that Barbara was marketing directly at the end of this project was just over 1.5% of her total annual production. She learned that she will need to continue her research and development activities, expand her marketing efforts, and find uses for parts of the animal that are currently discarded.
Barbara put together a resource paper that is a summary of Pennsylvania regulations for retailing brand identified pork, guidelines for writing a business plan, business financial worksheets, and a summary of business legal structures. She also held a direct marketing meat seminar for local livestock producers.