Agriculture Fruit Farm Business Plan

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Farmers Group

Execution

Marketing & Sales

Marketing Plan

Farmers Group will initially market and supply its products to target customers. The company is further exploring marketing opportunities on the Internet. To this extent, the company would like to set up a website to market its products.

The company will utilize aggressive advertising strategies to further market its products. These strategies include the promotion of products through the sponsoring of spots on cooking shows and exhibitions, and also engaging prominent chefs to help promote this fledgling industry.

Sales Plan

At Farmers Group, the sales process is primarily the same for vegetables as it is for composting products, in that both products will be mainly sold through wholesale marketing. As in the past, live shipments will be delivered by contract carriers in special oxygenated tanks carrying 8,000 vegetables or more, and will be continued as demanded. Farmers Group’s bagged manure products will be delivered and unloaded in sizable wholesale quantities by the pallet.

Smaller, more local orders will significantly increase the overall sales when the 300-450 live vegetables carrying tank system is put into service late in 2000 or early in 2001.

The company’s average sales cycle from first contact to closing of the sale is approximately 3 to 12 days for vegetable products. Farmers Group plans to shorten this cycle. Furthermore, the company estimates that from first contact to sale conclusion, the cycle for fresh strawberries will run 3 days or less. Composted products sale cycle should run from 3 to 12 days.

Operations

Locations & Facilities

The farm is located in Calhoun county approximately 4.5 miles outside of Jasper.

The operation will utilize:

  • One large greenhouse, enclosing the vegetable area.
  • Horticultural greenhouse.
  • Filters, water treatment devices.
  • Backwash facilities.
  • Outdoor vegetable facilities.
  • Business office building.

An additional portion of the operation will be the manure composting facility. Local and regional dairy operations have trouble with manure accumulations, and the company hopes to enter into contracts in removing the manure. Farmers Group will then turn this into a saleable product. The company plans to supply the region’s nursery outlets with a top-quality, premium garden and soil amendment product for area horticulture.

Technology

While at Mobile Farmers Vegetable Farm James Jackson, steadily used and experimented with compost and fertilized with manure of different kinds. The most important things with manure usage is to eliminate the viable weed seed drawback by thoroughly composting the manure, to add enough cellulose on product to bring it to the proper ratio and to bring its water content to proper levels. A properly composted manure product has no seeds that will germinate and proliferate in it. Additionally, a properly composted manure product has something a chemically formulated synthetic fertilizer does not have: enzymes. Enzymes are critical for producing a truly nutritious and superior flavored product. Research has shown that the superior flavor of a fruit or vegetable is closely related to vitamin content and folic acid content in green vegetables. 

The company is currently seeking contact with Alabama universities in order to learn about and acquire new hybrids of strawberries and vegetables that are hardier and grow faster in our local microclimates. These and other available species and systems will be constantly tracked.

In addition to the above, the company is seeking contacts at Universities in Italy and Germany that are involved in greens, and will continue the quest for the best flavored, large, and firm fall and winter strawberries.

Currently, Farmers Group is conducting research to test certain clay-sand-manure mixture levels to obtain better, cheaper bedding and agronomic soil mixtures that are more effective than the standard used in the industry in Alabama (Pine bark mulch-composted).

Equipment & Tools

The state-of-the-art vegetable equipment starting up in the new location utilizes revolutionary harvest designs that:

  • Allow faster, longer growth
  • Cut the harvest labor by over 80%
  • Cut the harvest time and by so doing:
    • Decrease loss in weight gain, and
    • Eliminate weight loss from shock.

Products

Vegetables

Farmers Group’s first line of production will be the green vegetable and red vegetable. During the summer months Farmers Group will be growing carrots, romaine lettuce, leeks, red onions, summer squash, and spinach. In the fall, production will center on pumpkins, winter squash, globe beets and winter greens. With the growth of the popular organic food niche, and the federal government’s new organic labeling policy, Farmers Group will focus its produce on the intermediate organic label. This means that approximately 70% of the food production process will be organic and all foods produced by Farmers Group will be eligible for the "contains organic ingredients" label. The company’s farm will have a capacity sufficient to produce in excess of 200,000 lbs. of vegetables per year.

Strawberries

The company’s more technical horticultural aspects include efforts to utilize traditional and more advanced plant technologies to produce new cultivars of crops such as strawberries and lima beans with locally-adapted superior characteristics for the Gulf-South growing area. Flavor, disease resistance, adaptability to green-house culture, fall and winter season production are factors being combined in greens cultivation to tap into the $2.99 pint berry market of the fall and winter.

Farmers Group’s strategy is a combination of the two technologies during the cool winter months which will allow the utilization of normally wasted space in the greenhouses for the high price winter greens production. This will allow double cultivation of the greenhouses with almost no additional heating necessary in this climate.

Future Products

In the meantime, the company would like to explore the possibilities of crayfish production. Farmers Group believes this to be a high revenue venture with retail prices running in excess of $15.00 per pound in most places. The company also believes that if crayfish production is successful then it could become the number one endeavor of Farmers Group.

Currently there is a defunct fish farming production facility with all the necessary capital equipment approximately two miles from the current farm. Purchase of this facility would allow Farmers Group to begin production and to capitalize on this higher margin product. What makes this most attractive is the two ventures have significant joint cost potential, allowing for a reduction in marginal costs for all products and creation of real economies of scale that would provide Farmers Group with a competitive advantage.

Milestones & Metrics

Milestones Table

Milestone Due Date
Legal terms laid out
Oct 09, 2020
Purchase/merger completed
Oct 09, 2020
Launch ready
Dec 09, 2020
Q1 review
Apr 18, 2021
Q2 review
July 18, 2021
Q3 Review
Oct 10, 2021
Q4 Review
Jan 09, 2022

Key Metrics

  • Sales and cost of sales
  • Greenhouse output by crop
  • overall output per crop
  • spoilage
  • Fertilizer usage
  • Water usage
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