- Farm Business Management: economic/marketing
In 2005 Jubilee Project and the Appalachian Spring Cooperative once again met or exceeded all but one of its goals for substantial progress in establishing the Cooperative and enabling it to begin serving its members. A variety of recruiting resulted in the growth of cooperative membership 34% from 65 the year before to 87 members. Thirty of these members (increased from 16 the year before) made 64 different food or farm products, most of which Jubilee Project and the Cooperative assisted with business and on-farm technical assistance; this included helping develop recipes and labels, and helping place their products in local markets. A diverse Advisory Committee composed of farmers and agricultural professionals, local officials and representatives of local business, community, college/university and economic development groups, began assisting with the development of a retail store feasibility study to increase markets for the value-added products of members.
1. Development of current member production of value-added products.
1a. Assist in production requirements for farmers already producing value-added items or in the development phase of production, including business plan development, recipe development, understanding and complying with legalities of production, obtaining product liability insurance and other requirements.
1b. Develop appropriate product presentation, from labeling to shelf-tags.
1c. Ensure adequate market placement of these products. .
1d. Development of additional market outlets and opportunities.
1e.Nurture and expand partnerships with agricultural professionals, Extension, farmers, entrepreneurs, businesses and community and religious organizations.
1f. Develop ASC outreach to include promotion of these products as show case examples.
2. Grow the Cooperative: Business Development and Membership Opportunity.
2a. Increase ASC membership through outreach to farmers and community.
2b. Direct farmer-to-farmer outreach, tours of the kitchen, brainstorming of value-added potentials with farmers and community members. Implementation of Kitchens and Cooperative business plans.
2c. Establish ASC as a formal network of producers marketing desirable value-added products.
3. Expand farmer and community use of the Jubilee Community Kitchen.
3a. Development of in-demand, value-added market products.
3b. Promotion of the Kitchen as valuable tool for use by the community, area churches, school
and others for bake sales, holiday gift ideas and more.
4. Development of the Jubilee Community Kitchen as a viable and sustainable opportunity for employment.
4a. The use of value-added production at the Kitchen as a means to provide employment for local residents and workforce development programs.
5. Promotion of ASC as an instrument for sustainable agriculture in East Tennessee, influencing local government policy, community development and family nutrition.
5a. Enhance relationship between Jubilee Project/Clinch Powell Community Kitchens and ASC, producers and local government, emphasizing the importance of sustainable agriculture and the role it can play in rural community development.
5b. Provide technical assistance to small farmers.
5c. Enhancement of “community food security” and nutritional awareness through promotion of homegrown farm products to help increase the intake of nutritional fruits and vegetables by at-risk families and the general population while supporting local farmers.
5d. Establish the long-term role of ASC and the Community Kitchen and the interdependence of farmers, the environment and the economy: linking ASC and the community through business incubation and growing self-sufficiency.
5e. Encouraging the development of farm plans to adopt new strategies to achieve farm viability through value-added production, farm diversification, niche marketing and sustainable practices.
6. Development of new value-added projects for ASC members and potential members: exploring the options that best fit the communities, sustainable agriculture and sustainable businesses.
6a. Some ideas: Frozen food entrées; Fruit-flavored honey; Food production for nursing homes, schools and other area institutions; value-added production for home use; gift-giving, holiday baskets and fund-raising items; private label food production for restaurants and chefs; production of high-value gourmet, natural and organic food products from vegetable and fruit over-production by area farmers.