Operation and Management of the Nebraska Based Small Farms Cooperative
The Small Farms Cooperative (SFC) started as a marketing group in 1999 with 9 members, this membership stands at 29 today with a waiting list of 150.
1. Complete organizational requirements.
2. Attend the Annaheim Natural Food Show
3. Develop approved labels for products being marketed by SFC
4. Hire professionals to help guide the organization of the SFC.
Following receipt of the grant, SFC attempted to enter the Omaha retail natural meat market. SFC is also exploring the possibility of entering the international market.
HyVee outlets in Omaha were approached and allowed marketing of SFC products (beef, pork and bison products) under the Nebraska Natural Products(NNP) brand label. Sales were good on days when sampling aws done but slumped on non-sampling days, so, members have since decided to look elsewhere for their market.
SFC is about to introduce a line of unique meat products in the domestic U.S. market in partnership with an Oklahoma based marketing firm, MDI. This is a line of pre-cooked ready to eat meat entrees. Right now this includes four beef entees, with five more in the pipeline. The marketing division is also working on introducing at least one pork and one pultry meat entree.
Additionally the SFC is selling beef to the E.U. (in spite of the ban) , more than half the beef producers in the U.S. who are permitted to ship to the EU belong to SFC. SFC has concentrated on beef and will follow it with pork, poultry, lamb and bison.
Members of teh SFG are and have been at the forefront of tne Non=Hormone Treated Cattle Program (NHTC). Adherence to this program is required tobe able to sell beef in the E.U.
SFG has developed a comprehensive program of documentation for its beef , this kind of documentation and production standards (esatblished by the SFC,E.U and USDA) which are environmentally sound, sustainable and humane,have been considered worthy of an exemption to the ban on U.S. beef.
SFC has also had enquiries from Asian buers about selling beef in Asian markets.