Business Case Description

In 2011, Shagbark Seed & Mill started piloting a price class as part of a small enterprise grant received from the Wallace Center HUFED program. The below market pricing is exclusively for food access programs--and offers distributor pricing to schools, food banks, church groups and others that feed those who are food insecure. We call this program, Good Food for All–a strategy to make high-nutrition whole grains, beans, and oilseed products part of rural economic development and food access– a critical next step toward improving health outcomes among the poor in our region and to building regional economies around local food production.  We are looking for collaborators from Food Access Programs and Local Food Businesses, as well as funding to convene stakeholders and plan this concept and brand.

Shagbark Seed & Mill has sold to the Southeast Ohio Regional Food Bank, Summer Food sites for kids, the Tri County Career Center, Local Matters in Columbus, Job & Family Services, Athens Health Dept./Live Healthy Appalachia’s Food Pantry Project, and Community Food Initiatives. To increase the potential impact of Good Food for All, we devised a marketing plan that proposes branding Good Food for All as a partnership with food access programs and other food producers and processors to pitch local healthy food as a strategy that simultaneously addresses reducing hunger and building food economies in food insecure regions.

The Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative seeks  $25,000 to develop the Good Food for All brand by convening food access and business partners to assess their capacity to buy and sell at this lower rate, and create the branding materials necessary to  market the concept and enlarge its scope to include other regionally produced crops. We want to include those who grow and process fresh fruits, dairy products, and vegetables so Good Food for All offers our region’s food access programs a complete line of locally produced food. By joining together, good quality food to schools and food access programs will create an enterprise strategy that can fill the plates set out by hunger programs with good grain, vegetables, dairy, fruit, beans and more.

Please contact us for more information about how you can help us take this step.

Contact-
Michelle Ajamian,  Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative          740-590-1501     goodfooddirect@gmail.com

Proposed Location

Athens, Ohio

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Business Case Information

Value Proposition

<p>Good Food for All, a brand used by Shagbark Seed &amp; Mil, has already sold thousands of dollars worth of flour, beans, crackers and chips to Food Banks, Schools Meal Programs, and other food access non profits at prices 17% below wholesale. We&#39;ve also developed a marketing plan with funding from HUFED for moving forward to expand the concept to other producers (fruits and veggies), with the up front work of developing the brand, assessing how to meet the budget constraints of institutional markets serving the food insecure, and gathering producers to assess their interest and ability to meet the potential market. Ultimately, the brand is about a values shift to getting locally produced foods out of niche markets and into everyone&#39;s mouths, rather than setting a price class that all producers use</p><p>The benefit would be to those who rely on meals and boxes to fill gaps in their food access, and to farmers and food processors who want to scale up to serve larger markets. This subsequent system for getting local healthy food to the food insecure will create more food business opportunities in regions that have fewer good paying jobs than available workers. A FoodWorks training program for low income community members could offer internships, apprenticeships, jobs, and business start up support.</p>

Workload

<ol><li>The first step, is to fund the recommendations for a nine month project to assess how expansion of the brand can be achieved, posed in the Good Food for All Marketing Plan, outlined below-</li></ol><p>Key to achieving the goal of the <strong>Good Food for All </strong>brand---which is to open new food access program markets to regional small to mid-sized farmers---is the need to collect and aggregate specific data from a diverse set of stakeholders.&nbsp; Here&#39;s what we expect the workload to look like-</p><ol><li>A comprehensive list of stakeholders will be compiled to include mid-sized farmers with the established capacity for larger markets, regional community-based food processors, regional food hubs that include warehouse and distribution facilities, farmers who are interested in scaling up their operations, representatives of food access programs, agriculture clearance programs, public schools, as well as government officials, foundations, and non-profit organizations who are interested in supporting food system reform. 20 hours</li><li>Design a strategy to provide effective, creative, and continual messaging to the public and to the stakeholders that creates a narrative reinforcing the image differentiation of the brand concept.&nbsp; This objective of this effort is to build a more intimate attachment to the brand concept with the public, as well as among stakeholders, to achieve the advantage of emotional branding in the food access market (Kotler and Keller 2012). (30 hours)</li><li>Convene and facilitate focus and advisory groups to begin capturing data, as well as to build social capital, comprised initially of one group representing the food community and one group from food access programs. 30 hours</li><li>Create a social media hub through a page on Facebook or building a group page on existing regional network sites, like Ohio Foodshed. 40 hours</li><li>Organize data from both focus groups into one document, presented as a SWOT analysis, and onvene opportunities for stakeholders to comment on, edit, and approve the document;&nbsp; this document will provide a foundation for the Phase 2 marketing plan (20 hours)</li><li>Collect and disseminate appropriate statistical data to support policy change.</li></ol><p><strong>Potential Strategies / Marketing Mix (9 months)</strong></p><p><em>Raise awareness of the <strong>Good Food for All</strong> brand by creating an active internet presence</em></p><ul><li>Create a blog and a Facebook group page to attract national attention to the <strong>Good Food for All </strong>brand concept.&nbsp; This initiates brand positioning with international visibility and creates a participatory framework---a public portal for networking around the issues related to opening the food access program markets to regional food producers.</li><li>Attract 100 friends or &ldquo;likes&rdquo; to the Facebook page</li><li>Post a new article on the blog weekly and new entries to the Facebook page at least two times per week</li><li>Link Facebook site and blog to 5 other web sites; at least two regional</li></ul><p><em>Establish a comprehensive contact list/data base</em></p><ul><li>Create a digital database that includes media contacts, elected officials, and potential stakeholders; include a data category for basic network information and associations. Without accurate and broad information of the stakeholders and other key participants, the brand lacks communication efficiency and the advantage of effectively targeting marketing efforts.</li></ul><p><em>Create an active networking site for stakeholders only.</em></p><ul><li>Establish a private learning community on the Ohio Foodshed web page.&nbsp; This is open to active participants engaged in Phase One of the brand process and can serve as a repository for meeting notes, for group communication, etc.; encourages network weaving/relationship building.</li></ul><p><em>Provide educational resources for local, state and federal elected officials and USDA</em><em> regarding the <strong>Good Food for All</strong> brand concept.</em></p><ul><li>Create two &nbsp;&ldquo;one pagers&rdquo; for distribution to elected officials that engages them with the trends, data, and economic justification for a review of food access program buying policies while presenting the <strong>Good Food for All</strong> brand concept and narrative/language</li><li>Speak personally with all selected elected officials about the Good Food for All brand concept; offer help sourcing any additional resources/data</li></ul><p><em>Develop and distribute promotional materials to engage participants in the process.</em></p><ul><li>Design quarter-sheet hand-out with basic information and internet links</li><li>Develop content for blog and Facebook page</li></ul><p><em>Directly engage stakeholders</em></p><ul><li>Call or contact by email potential stakeholders regarding participation</li><li>Add participants to private brand networking site</li></ul><p><em>Keep the <strong>Good Food for All</strong> brand name and concept in the media</em></p><ul><li>Provide regional and state print media with at least four stories and contacts</li><li>Add all media contacts to database</li><li>Solicit WOUB (public radio) to produce a radio story (for regional broadcast and posted on local public radio website).&nbsp; (Can be a collaboration with a broadcast journalism or production student.)</li><li>Present the brand concept to the &ldquo;Soul of Athens&rdquo; project as a topic consideration for production (Ohio University Communications Department)</li><li>Publish one piece regarding the brand and the process for state or national publication in print media</li></ul><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td>&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td><div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;</p>

Mapping

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Required Resources

<p>$25,000 will staff the project to accomplish the 9 month goals listed under workloads.</p>

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