Huddle Notes from December 21st, 2020

The huddles this month focused on additional COVID-19 relief funding, the Food Finance Institute’s most recent events, and fundamental changes caused by the pandemic. Check-out the recording here.

Talking Points

  • COVID-19 relief funding
    • PPP – more funding available!
    • Stimulus – up to a $600 relief check for many Americans
    • Rental assistance is back
    • $300 extra on unemployment
    • Ag – 13 billion
    • Education – K-12 additional assistance
    • Roadways and Amtrak receiving funding
    • Ending surprise medical billing
    • Provision – a cost of meals is a deductible again
    • No funding for state and local governments though… Yikes!
  • First Edible-Alpha® Live! Event
    • Presenting Businesses: Farms and food companies – all had social or regenerative social impact dimensions that are front and center in their business models.
      • Also, a part of a coaching cohort over the past year, receiving 1-on-1 coaching from Tera as well as monthly group meetings.
    • Famous Founder Interviews with
    • Interview with Briana Warner of Atlantic Sea Farms; an amazing example of regenerative agriculture with kelp
    • Check out the recordings, which will be released over the coming weeks, on our Edible-Alpha® YouTube channel! Tera’s keynote is available now for viewing!
  • Scenario Planning Workshop
    • Piloted virtually with 10 companies which worked very well with great progress made by businesses; Eric DeLuca facilitated, certified Scenario Planner.
    • Look at the external environment for drivers in the economy and where the uncertainties are coming from to drive your strategy
  • Resilience
    • Foresight – anticipate things before they happen from strategic thinking
    • Manage your investment portfolio by diversifying with supply chain, customers, geography terms, processors, relationships (Don’t have a brand that is so narrow that it’s only from your farm, add in flexibility)


  • Major disruption in the international food supply chain
    • The UK has a more contagious mutation which is out of control in London
    • 25% drop in food imports, most food comes from southern Europe
  • Fundamental changes to businesses due to COVID-19
    • 4700+ companies are cutting back on real estate costs over the next year – space they have and negotiating rent costs
    • Some companies will be cutting employee pay for those who moved from a more expensive area to a less expensive area (ex: NYC to Albany)
    • What will the impacts for food businesses be if people don’t return to cities? If Millennials continue to cook at home and no longer want grab-and-go snacks?
    • Risk mitigation with diversification in business models – not purchasing everything from the same place
  • Cliodynamics – applying math to history
    • Quantifying the rise and fall of empires over time
    • Research shows you can predict the fall of empires based on the degree of income disparity and the degree of political disfunction

Tips & Next Steps

  • Scaler Series Monthly workshops can help your food and farm clients 
    • The FFI Scaler Series offers food and beverage businesses the flexibility to learn how to successfully grow their business, one virtual workshop at a time. Enrollment is free for 2020-21 training, brought to you by funding from the Small Business Administration.
    • Topics and dates include:
      • Sales and Distribution Planning | Jan. 14, 2021
      • Marketing and Branding Planning | Feb. 4, 2021
      • Operations and Organizational Planning | Feb. 24, 2021
      • Sources and Uses of Capital Planning | March 18, 2021
      • Food Safety and GFSIPlanning | April 15, 2021

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