> August 21, 2014: Ins-TRUCK-tion Manual - Lease, Buy, or Other?

One major expense of food hubs (and many other Good Food businesses, including farms) is vehicles. How do you decide whether to lease or own? There are many expenses including repair, resale value, potential lost business due to malfunction, typical delivery miles, frequency of delivery, garage fees, etc... How do you weigh all of the financials in a clear way? Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Credit Council have created a new tool that will give you a definitive financial answer to that question. We will illustrate how to use this tool with an engaging example so that you may apply it to your unique business situation.

... and then there is a third option: neither lease nor own, but using a third-party trucking company. Though it may seem counter intuitive, there are many cases where this option is the most reliable, and the most cost effective solution. Dennis Derryck of Corbin Hill Food Project, will relate their story of trying all three options, and found great efficiencies, including monetary, using a third-party logistics company.

This webinar will takes through theory and practice of making the right decision for your business.

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> July 24, 2014: Making IT Click - Choosing Appropriate Technology to Run Your Good Food Business

Good Food businesses are complicated. There are many types of exchanges that a business must track accurately, including money, food, plans, etc. And there are a large number of constituents that need to these goods or information - growers, buyers, consumers, drivers, and warehouse personnel to name a few.

In the 21st century, we must use software to ensure all pieces of our business are accurately served. But how do you choose the right technology to help run your business? A solution that does not fit your business could well cost a lot of money, and worse, lost productivity.

The first step in choosing the right solution is a deep understanding of your own business. With the right analysis you can make technology choices with greater speed, and with confidence. This webinar gives you the tools to perform an accurate analysis of your business technology needs. Although the presentation focuses on food hubs (arguably one of the more complicated Good Food businesses, as a "middle man" interacting with all pieces of the food system), the same theories apply to ALL businesses.

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> Jun 19 2014: Community-Based Food Business Financing

In Austin, Texas a group of folks hungry for local food have cracked the code to access capital – looking to the community. Using a cooperative model they are continuing to innovate. Starting with the knowledge gained from such ventures as a co-op grocer, their success led them to experiment with opening a co-op brew pub. This venture has been another striking success, and are now working to open a cooperative food hub.

This webinar starts with the basics of what a co-op is, how it works, and then discusses accessing community-based capital through what is called a Member Investor Share Offering (MISO, also known as a Direct Public Offering or DPO). By leveraging the dollars from the community, they have been able to finance the start-up and beginning operations of innovative co-ops. Hear what the organizers of these businesses believe to be the secrets to their success, and some suggestions on how you might consider financing your planned operation in this way.

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> Apr 17 2014: Net Value: An Innovative Approach to the Seafood Supply Chain

As a fisherman, business as usual means heading out to sea, battling the elements, catching as much as you can, and heading back inland to sell what you caught on auction. You do not know what will sell, and you do not know what price it will fetch.

As an institutional, retail or other mid-scale buyer you are also at the mercy of the auction. Budgeting is difficult, and there is generally no means to assure that the fish you are buying has the attributes you value, such as being sustainable caught, allowable bycatch, etc. 

Open Ocean Trading created an innovative online marketplace, called FYSH-X, that allows buyers and sellers to trade commercially harvested and farmed seafood products in forward time. This value chain approach means that fishermen can leave the docks secure in the profitability of their trips by locking into a price and selling all or a portion of a catch in advance. And buyers are empowered by having prices they can budget for, and by being able to negotiate directly with vessels for any attributes that are important for them. 

In this webinar hear the history and context of the fish trading business, and how the Open Ocean Trading marketplace works. A seller (a fisherman) and an institutional buyer speak from their perspectives about how FYSH-X has changed their businesses. And as always, we end with questions and answers. 

Watch the archive.