Operations

Manufacturing decisions, quality assurance, regulatory compliance and permitting are all essential to building efficient and compliant operations. Our resources help food, beverage and value-added agriculture businesses learn the essentials so they can focus on getting profitable and raising money.

Old Fort Market Gardens

The Farmer Education Continuum In The Colorado Mountains

55 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

The Old Fort at Hesperus' team sees farming education as a continuum where different people are best served by discreet programs, depending on their interests and stage of development. Their sustainable agriculture program includes an educational garden internship, a farmer-in-training program, and market garden incubator.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Food Manufacturing

Should I Manufacture Food In-House Or Use A Co-Packer?

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

The inevitable question food entrepreneurs face when scaling is "should I manufacture food in-house or use a co-packer?" The food entrepreneur's business model, stage of business, financing capacity (i.e. how well they can raise money) and the availability of co-packing capacity for their specific needs all make a difference in deciding how to answer that question.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Food Business Reality Check Ahead

Reality Keeps Your Food Business Grounded

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Being a food entrepreneur is in some ways about balancing empirical reality and a belief in something you cannot see clearly, like where your business will be in 3-5 years. Food entrepreneursshould clearly state their assumptions about the future and test their assumptions constantly, asking the advice of people who they can trust to ground-truth their ideas.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Keewaydin Farms

Rightsizing The Ship: A Farmer’s Tale of Scaling Down

1 hour & 40 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

This hub discovered that the bigger the business got, the more money it lost and that moving aggregation functions off of the owner's farm caused the operation to be less efficient at that level of sales. The owner chose to contract the business to focus on getting profitable and repaying existing suppliers.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

When Should Food Businesses Go Online

When Your Food Business Should Go Online

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Food businesses should know the role that online sales will play in their revenue stream and in their business model. Consumers are starting to become omnichannel in their food shopping expectations. Like most things in food entrepreneurship, it is best to let your customers lead the way, and if they expect to find you online, go online and conquer.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Seal The Seasons Blueberries Berry Blend

How Seal The Seasons Matches Mission With Scale

1 hour of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Seal The Seasons began production in one of the partitions of a shared-use commissary kitchen facility where they installed an Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) production freezer, later partnering with a co-packer in 2017 and almost doubled their gross margin contributions as a result, passing more money to their farmer suppliers.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

When Is the Right Time For Your Food Business To Pivot?

How You Know It’s The Right Time To Pivot

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Decisions to pivot should be based on a food business' target consumer's preferences, category growth (or decline) and other general market trends. Many traditional food and beverage companies have been slow to respond to changing consumer preferences, loosing market share and profits in the process.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Focus And Discipline

Focus And Discipline Are Key To Food Business Success

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Focus is what gives food business owners clarity about their strategy and about the tactics needed to carry it out. Tools like the business model canvascan provide focus and clarity to their business model and the strategic implications of choosing a particular business model path or going after a particular target customer.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Business Team

Both The Results and The Process Matter For Your Food Business

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Food businesses need both process and results-oriented people and the healthy tension their (sometimes conflicting) orientations create. Both kinds of people seek to understand the financial reality about their business performance.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Financial Management For Food Businesses

Refining Your Processes and Building Great Financial Packages For Your Food Business

45 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

The more you have the ability to analyze what went right or wrong, the more useful your financial model and plan are to making business decisions. Being able to have both an accurate history and a record of making realistic projections that were met can give entrepreneurs credibility with lenders, investors and the business' board of directors.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups | Growing and Scaling

Food Entrepreneurs Are Backed By Great Teams

Building The Right Financial Team For Your Food Business

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Behind every great food entrepreneur is a great financial team, whether that team is employed by the business directly or through an outsourcing method. Building that team helps the entrepreneur, management and board make informed decisions and allows the business' key stakeholders to focus on growing their customer base and strengthening their brand.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Adding Value to Farm Products: The Legal Issues

26 pages of Free report content by Farm Commons

The decision to add a value-added line is a serious one. There is no single set of laws that apply to value-added products and no single definition of a value added product. Instead, each law may have its own specific definition. This guide helps you to navigate what to look for in terms of legal implications when you are adding value to your products.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Host Safer, More Legally Secure On-Farm Events

19 pages of Free report content by Farm Commons

Events are a wonderful way for farmers to deepen their connection with customers. To meet these goals, farmers must make sure that hosting events does not expose the farmer to greater legal liability. If things go wrong, on-farm events can be create tremendous legal problems.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Calculating Your Cash Flow

Cash Flow Basics (For Farmers)

11 minute Free read by Compeer Financial

Tight cash flow can be challenging, even for the most experienced grower. For a beginning farmer, however, a cash flow crunch can quickly become a disaster. An annual cash flow projection is a very useful tool for a farm. You plot out on a month-by-month basis when cash income will be received and when cash expenses will need to be paid.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Adam Haen

Essential Advice For Food Startups

15 minute Free read by Adam Haen

Startup food businesses have a multitude of things to consider and do before they every make their product commercially for customers. This guide walks new and aspiring food and beverage business owners through these essential considerations, everything from finding a good mentor to insurance to pricing.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Big Idea

Execution Matters More Than Your Big, Brilliant Idea

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Entrepreneurship and the "Eureka" moment where the entrepreneur has their big, brilliant idea is often glorified in the media and American mythology. What is more difficult is figuring out how to execute on that idea by building the right team/processes and optimizing every aspect of the business for long-term financial success.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Road Map For Food Businesses

Essential Questions and Steps For Food Startups

Free checklist by Adam Haen

All food and beverage businesses have an overwhelming amount of stuff that they have to sort through to launch their business. These questions help new and aspiring food and beverage business owners navigate the plethora of considerations, everything from incorporation to permits to designing your business to be defensibly unique.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Midwestern BioAg

Midwestern BioAg and the Business of Biological Farming

45 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Midwestern BioAg is a company that provides farmers with consulting and products (mostly inputs) that help improve yields, resiliency and profitability by using biological farming methods i.e. treating the farm like an ecosystem and preserving the long-term health of the soil.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

FaB Wisconsin

New Product Development and Rollouts For National Food and Beverage Brands: A Process

1 hour & 10 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Big food and beverage companies start the new product development process by focusing on their target consumer and the value proposition they are offering that consumer through their brand promise. Discovering and defining a consumer driven product is much harder to do than making a food product.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Direct Farm Sales By Region

Direct Sales of Farm Food – USDA 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey

44 pages of Free report content + lots of excel data by USDA

From the USDA 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey: In 2015, farmers produced and sold $8.7 billion of edible food commodities directly to consumers, retailers, institutions, and a variety of local food intermediaries such as distributors and wholesalers that market and sell locally branded products.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Connect With The Resources You Need