Community Supported Agriculture Webinar

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Finding Your Markets Webinar Series “Starting a CSA” Sponsored by Bright Agrotech

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Transcript of Community Supported Agriculture Webinar

  • Finding Your Markets Webinar Series Starting a CSA Sponsored by Bright Agrotech
  • 1. What is a CSA 2. The Pros and Cons of CSAs 3. CSA Sales 4. Getting Started 5. Finding Customers 6. The CSA Contract 7. Marketing & Management 8. The CSA Season 9. CSA Takeaways webinar overview
  • Dr. Nate Storey
  • 1 CSA What is
  • CSA is a contract between producer and customer by which shares of farm production are sold community supported agriculture What is it? 17% 17% 17% 17% 17% 17% Your Farm
  • History of CSA Consumers of farm produce looking for better, more accessible, more affordable products would band together and buy a farm and hire a manager. Each customer would get a share of the production from the farm correlating with the amount of the farm that they owned.
  • The concept evolved, with established farmers offering CSA options to their established customer base, while eliminating the upfront cost of investing in a farm Sold production by shares for a set price Season by season- no long term investment Limiting large risks, sharing seasonal risks Arguably the ideal form of this type of arrangement Month by month or Season Lump payment History of CSA (continued)
  • The Pros and Cons of CSAs2 Pros Cons
  • The Pros Producers get guaranteed cash ows (lump payment) Budgeting is easy Seasonal risk sharing with customers Niche market with higher pricing Strong customer relationships- marketing foundation Accountability and Connection Community Supported Agriculture
  • Must still be marketed- Fill those share slots! Must be able to deliver on expectations Must deliver quality Must have semi-established production before you start Must accurately predict production and manage crops for variety- keep your customers interest! Accountability and Connection Community Supported Agriculture The CONS
  • 3 Community Supported Agriculture Sales
  • Growing area of sales for small farms Offers incredible amounts of security through risk sharing with customers ! Can be the single best way for small producers to gain a foothold in their local market
  • 4 Getting started
  • This gives you an accurate idea of what you can produce Step #1) You must be producing. This allows you to sell an appropriate number of shares Once you know what you can produce you can sell the right number of shares
  • you are producing, right? Save 15% on ZipGrow towers Thru April ZIPGROW04 coupon code:
  • Disappointment in your product is destructive CSA TIPS Make sure your customers know what theyre getting. Dont promise them something you cant deliver Word of Mouth is a great marketing too, but can also ruin your reputation
  • Where can you nd them? Finding Customers5 - Farmers markets - Local Health Food Stores - Personal Connections - Advertisements
  • This often requires printed materials explaining what youre doing , why youre doing it, what crops you will be growing, what they can expect, etc. This is an active process that requires you to seek, nd and sell people on your product!
  • Put together a contract & explain the relationship the Contract6 Bright Agrotech 1938 Harney St. Ste 152 Laramie, WY 82072 Email: [email protected] 308-249-2301 Community Supported Agriculture 2012-2013 Winter Contract We believe that healthy, civically engaged communities are a powerful force in the fight against hunger and the fight for fresh, healthy food. Because of this, we have designed our products to strengthen the ties between people. Local agriculture offers not only a chance to grow local economies, but the bonds between people within communities. We believe that knowing the person who grows your food should be an important part of the American lifestyle, and an important part of remembering where your food comes from. The CSA is designed to both support local year-round growers and to provide local, nutritious, and delicious greens and herbs to the Laramie Community. We believe that even small programs can combat very big problems in the world and are very excited to invite you to embark on this adventure with us. This CSA will deliver greenhouse produced greens and herbs year round. All of our products are grown within Laramie City Limits using sustainable and organic production techniques and (mostly) renewable energy. All pest control is accomplished using OMRI certified controls and methods. We invite CSA members to come and learn about our greenhouse and our production techniques first hand on Farm Tour Days (Dates TBA). PAYMENT POLICY We expect payment due in full when turning in the contract. There will be two 6 month CSA periods that will run on a weekly basis. The first CSA will start Nov. 1 and end Apr. 25. The second CSA will start May 2 and end Oct. 31.* Use our template What do they get? What do you get? What are the risks inherent in the relationship? The contract should explain EVERYTHING!
  • - Term of contract - Delivery/pickup days/times - Days off? - Location - Introduction to Staff - Explanation of growing techniques/controls - Contact Information - How do you accept payment? Terms? - Any other relevant details (excess food, friends picking up, etc.) The fewer questions you have to answer the better- eliminate your customers surprises Other details to include: the Contract (Continued)
  • Put together a contact list Marketing & MGMT7 Sally J. Susan P. Marky M. Snoop D Oh Double G Chett S. Gary S. Nicky W. CSA CONTACTS * Primary marketing tool * Educational tool
  • Figure out how to take payment, track members and subscriptions ! Managing members Excel Recurly ! Other online tools Good old paper books
  • Take payment (sell as many of your available shares as you can) with signed contract Managing payments Check your emails for a CSA Contract Template
  • Up Front is better - Limits your initial number of customers - Less expensive to manage, fewer logistic costs - Guarantees payment taking payment: Up front vs monthly Monthly is more common, but more risky - Collecting Payment/Follow up is time consuming and expensive - No guarantee customers will continue to pay (defeats the purpose)
  • You should have been growing in the meantime. . . !
  • Budget your cash, month by month Know your costs ! Know what your CSA will cost !
  • Plan out newsletters & educational materials transparency & Communication News-events, tours, information on the greenhouses, successes & failures What theyre getting that week Recipes to use with the weeks produce Every week we email our customers & tell them: *Marketing Note* Using sites like Yelp that help with social proof is important1
  • The rst day you deliver Be on time Be friendly- shake all of your customers hands. Plan on talking with as many of them as possible Remember that relationship covers a multitude of sins! Explain everything THE CSA Season8 Do this every time you deliver!
  • Start selling your next cycle midway through your current cycle. Never stop selling. mid-season ! Keeping enrollment and expanding enrollment is a never-ending cycle. Dont take your eye off the ball.
  • Plan tours Plant treats for your customers Communicate! Throughout the season
  • You will have a core of enthusiastic, dedicated, wonderful people, but there will aways be some folks that dont appreciate or understand the value of what you offer ! Do what you can to make things right, but if thats not enough, know when to refund a customer ! Fill their slot with someone who will be one of your enthusiastic core ! Never stop listening to your customers, but sometimes all the changes in the world wont make a customer happy. csa takeaways9 Firing customers Know when to hire and re new customers
  • You will fail. ! You will screw things up, forget people, lose shares, have crop failures, light baskets, bug problems, etc. ! Dont be unsympathetic to your customers Do what you can to make things right when things do fail. They understand the risk ,but that doesnt mean you can disrespect their money. making things right 9 times out of 10, if you have a relationship with your customers, this process is much, much easier.
  • remember Theyre the ideal market because they are relational. CSAs are not traditional markets. Never forget that!
  • Webinar bonuses To help you be as successful as possible CSA Workbook CSA Contract Templates
  • Get Growing Today & Save Save 15% on ZipGrow towers Thru April ZIPGROW04 coupon code:
  • The Bright Agrotech Team Chris Paul Noah Questions?