1.0 Executive Summary
Once the humble family vegetable garden, Franks Organic Farm is today a one acre working farm with over 30 varieties of vegetables. When Frank Burns was laid off from his corporate position three years ago, he first he turned to the vegetable garden for money saving / economic reasons. But with the uncertainty of recent events in the Middle East, the energy crisis, the long term effects of reliance on fossil fuels, and his personal philosophies on conservation, Frank Burns and his wife Kathy, turned this family vegetable patch into a thriving certified organic produce business.
Franks Organic Farm is based on the sound principles of conserving natural resources, limiting the carbon footprint, growing, hiring and eating locally grown and prepared foods, and making the world a better place to live in. This unique perspective clearly shows in the quality of the produce, the well cared for gardens, and natural friendliness and ease of its owners.
Franks Organic Farm was created to meet the growing needs of a community that shares these same views and is concerned about what they eat and feed their children. This is a community that is tired of ‘fresh’ tomatoes bought at the local grocery store. When more than likely the “fresh” tomatoes were picked while still unripe, shipped 3,000 miles over several days/weeks, and then artificially "ripened" using ethylene gas, thus robbing it of practically all of its nutritional value.
Franks Organic Farm is a Community Supported Agriculture (“CSA”) Business entity. CSA is both a marketing strategy and a philosophy. The farmers sell shares (subscriptions) in the next season’s produce, usually before the season begins. Each week of the season, the member receives a ‘share’ of produce from the farm. In some cases the members are involved in decision-making of all aspects of the operation; in others the farmer makes all the decisions. Each CSA is as unique to the farmer and the community it serves. Members may pick up their boxes at the farm, at delivery sites, or home delivery may be offered.
The purpose of this business plan is to provide a blueprint for near term and long term goals. The business plan will be utilized as a tool to gauge how well the farm is doing in the future compared to their initial goals and keep them on target. The business plan is also a tool for lenders, explaining the need for initial financing, the source and use of funds, and debt repayment capabilities.
1.1 Business Objectives
Franks Organic Farm has simple objectives: provide healthy and delicious tasting vegetables while simultaneously leaving a minimal carbon footprint. In order to accomplish this, the farm plans to:
- Sell 60 shares by Year 2 and have full-time income or 90 shares sold by Year 3.
- In Year 4, Franks Organic Farm plans to purchase an additional 9 acres for a total of 12 acres. The initial 3 years of operations will provide the excellent credit history and track record necessary for this large purchase.
1.2 Mission Statement
Franks Organic Farm’s mission is to raise the best tasting and finest quality fruits and vegetables for the local community. Franks Organic Farm uses only natural and sustainable farming methods, free from pesticides or fertilizers. Natural foods and natural farming methods leaves a smaller carbon footprint while simultaneously improves the health of its customers and its local community.
1.3 Guiding Principles
Franks Organic Farm’s slogan is simple: “Live life simply and simply live”. The owners also believe in contributing to their community and the planet by:
Franks Organic Farm believes that in order for the survival of the planet, we must rely on local resources. Buying from local farmers supports the local economy.
2. Sustainable Living
By reducing reliance on energy is better for the planet and conserves our natural resources.
3. Satisfied Customers
Happy members ensure repeat business and their referrals grow the business.
1.4 Keys to Success
Below are a Franks Organic Farm’s Keys to Success:
- Superlative Communication – Franks Organic Farm keeps its members current on all aspects of the farm – through its weekly newsletters and blog updates on what is happening during the winter months such as new and exciting vegetable offerings being planted in the greenhouse. Additionally, Franks Organic Farm encourages member feedback and input and has its members complete surveys and questionnaires regarding how the farm is doing and what can be done to improve operations.
- Healthier Food Choices - All vegetables are USDA certified organic. The vegetables are pesticide free and chemical free and no preservatives are used.
- Support the Local Economy - Statistically more than 70 percent of the local food supply is grown outside the state. Buying from Franks Organic Farm ensures that its members buy locally and creates jobs that support the local market.
- Offer Personalized Selections - Franks Organic Farm strives to be the leading CSA farm supplier of choice by providing customized offerings to its members. If, say a member wants a cucuzzi fruit – Franks Organic Farm will grow this item if the soil and temperatures can accommodate this item. By providing foods the customers want (and will actually eat) cuts down on waste and makes the planet a better place for everyone.
- Home Delivery - Franks Organic Farm will establish weekly delivery times that are convenient for its customers. This saves customers time and gas money – making everyone happy. Alternatively customers will also have the option to pick up directly at the farm.
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