Farm-Level Business Plans

Farm-Level Business Plans (various)

Upland Agricultural Consulting has worked closely dozens of new and experienced farmers to identify opportunities to grow their farm businesses. Upland has experience in developing business plans for a diversity of farm operations, including mixed-vegetable, berry, livestock, goat dairy, hops, seafood, flowers, mushrooms, and specialty crops (e.g. wasabi) as well as value-added products.

Ione Smith, Director of Upland, is a Qualified Business Consultant as conferred by the BC Ministry of Agriculture. If you choose to work with Ione you may be eligible for funding through the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program.

Upland will work directly with you to ensure your farm business goals are met while providing a road-map on how to get you there.

Examples of business planning activities that Upland can provide are, but not limited to:
- Determining your business strategy including goals, vision and mission statements,
- Identifying consumer market trends, industry competition, and market gaps,
- Outlining the farm production plan for each farm activity and including best environmental practices of production,
- Performing a risk assessment using a strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats assessment (SWOT) and identifying a mitigation strategy for any identified risks,
- Providing financial analysis that includes assessing capital investment needs, operational expenditures, costs of production, cash flow analysis, and breakeven analysis, and,
- Forming an implementation strategy, including seeking funding opportunities, for how to set the business plan into motion.

Upland will provide you with a final report and an excel workbook which can be modified as your business changes and grows.

Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine Agriculture Sector Support Plan

Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine Agriculture Sector Support Plan

(2020)

The RDKS Agriculture Sector Support Plan evaluates the current regional agriculture sector and provides specific recommended actions that the RDKS Economic Development Commission can implement to support the food system. The Plan was developed by combining existing data and studies with stakeholder engagement in order to understand existing gaps in the sector. The engagement results and several research methods, including a situational analysis, a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats assessment and a gap analysis, were used to inform the Plan’s recommendations. The Plan recommends actions to ensure that agricultural land is used productively and farming, foraging, and other forms of food production are valued and sustained. The Plan will assist the Economic Development Commission in understanding how it can best allocate resources to support the agricultural sector and lead to business success.

An important component of the planning process was the creation of the RDKS Agricultural Asset Map. The map is a list of up-to-date information on primary producers, direct marketing channels, community gardens, and non-governmental organizations. The map will be useful in connecting consumers with producers and highlighting local food retailers, community organizations, and their projects within the region.

Link to the Plan

Link to the Asset Map

Lytton First Nation Agricultural Opportunities Assessment

Lytton First Nation Agricultural Opportunities Assessment


(2018)

The Lytton First Nation Agricultural Opportunities Assessment and Food Hub Feasibility Study provides recommendations regarding viable crop scenarios and includes a robust and scalable governance and financial model for the food hub framework. The primary goal of the Plan is to assist local farmers in saving time and money by selling their products collectively. Resources, including staff and equipment, would be shared to minimize overhead and operational costs.

This report provides a detailed explanation of the assumptions and recommendations that are demonstrated in the financial projections, which has been developed in a conservative manner. The financial plan includes an estimate of job opportunities, cash flow projection, promotion and branding.

Columbia Basin Trust Agriculture Innovation Project

Columbia Basin Agriculture Innovation Project

(2018)

The Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust) retained Upland to undertake a feasibility study for this project. The project explored the potential for the creation of an agriculture innovation centre/food hub (agriculture innovation network) model to support economies of scale related to food processing, storage, transportation, and marketing/branding for producers in the Basin. The project included background research and stakeholder engagement to identify and assess model options including the physical components, operational aspects, and the programming/service delivery components, and to develop a business plan based on the needs identified in the feasibility study. The project identified potential partnership opportunities, implementation and operational costs, and financing options for a model in the Basin. The feasibility study and business plan will serve as a tool to guide decision making toward investing in food innovation in the Basin.

This project was completed with assistance from Farm Food Drink.

 

 

Alternatives to BC’s Meat Inspection Program

Alternatives to BC's Meat Inspection Program


(2020)

Upland worked alongside AG Consulting to conduct a comprehensive review of the traditional BC Meat Inspection Program and to identify alternatives to the inspection model for the BC Ministry of Agriculture. The project involved a literature review and a jurisdictional scan of 14 jurisdictions to survey alternatives to traditional meat slaughter inspection. Interviews were conducted with key industry representatives. The final report analyzes results from the literature review, jurisdictional scan and stakeholder interviews to detail potential innovative alterative models to meat inspection that are cost effective while continuing to maintain high standards of food safety and animal welfare.

For more information regarding meat inspection in BC visit the Ministry of Agriculture website.

 

Kitsumkalum First Nation Agri-Food Opportunities and Business Plan

Kitsumkalum First Nation Agricultural Opportunities and Business Plan


(2019-2020)

The Kitsumkalum Nation retained Upland to complete an Agri-food Opportunities and Feasibility Assessment to identify opportunities to increase food production in the Kitsumkalum community and determine economic opportunities for agriculture. Several reports were completed throughout the project process, including a background scan of the local and regional food system and an assessment of the biophysical and agricultural capacity of the land. The findings of this project rank the suitable agricultural uses for several sites, taking into consideration site characteristics and accessibility, capital investments for site improvements, market conditions and the goals of the Kitsumkalum community. Three agri-food opportunities are identified and recommended for the Kitsumkalum to pursue and implementation strategies are outlined: one that enhances food security, one that utilizes land for primary crop production, and one that creates value-added products from traditional plants.

Local Food for Comox Valley K-12 Schools

Local Food for Comox Valley K-12 Schools


(2019-2020)

This feasibility and business plan report provides a discussion and analysis of the supply and demand of local food for local K-12 school salad bars in the Comox Valley, along with breakeven analysis for three possible aggregation business models: Producer-run, School-run, and NGO-run. The analyses of the business models included an assessment of wholesale demand and supply for local food in the school system, business structures and government options, regulatory considerations and detailed business plans for each of the three business models. The work undertaken to complete this feasibility report involved establishing a project Steering Committee along with a Terms of Reference, a project methodology, and an engagement strategy. The research methodology included a review of existing literature and programs and an engagement strategy that involved interviews with over a dozen local food system stakeholders in order to provide input.

Upland completed this project for the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the LUSH Valley Food Action Society.

Increasing Cowichan Food in Local Institutions

Increasing Local Food Inputs & Food Processing in Cowichan


(2019-2020)

This study contributes to the growing body of research to support the Cowichan food sector and assesses the opportunities for more local foods to be purchased by Cowichan food processors and institutional markets (in particular health centres, hospitals, and schools). The project objectives were to quantify the demand for local food inputs from food processors and the demand for local food products from institutional facilities. The results were used to assess governance and business development opportunities that could support shared equipment and infrastructure models. To achieve the objectives, research methods included conducting an online survey, one-on-one interviews with food processors and institutions and presenting preliminary findings to the Cowichan food sector as the 2020 Island Agriculture Show. Recommendations outline the market opportunities for increasing locally produced foods in local institutional facilities with a strong focus on building partnerships across all levels in the local food supply chain.

Upland worked alongside Farm Food Drink to produce this report for the Small Scale Food Processors Association (SSFPA) and Cowichan Green Communities.

Capital Region Food Security & Innovation Hub

Capital Region Food Security & Innovation Hub


(2019)

The objective of the project was to develop a Feasibility Study and Business Plan for a Food Hub that would serve the food sector in the Capital Region (Southern Vancouver Island). The Feasibility Study assesses the gaps in the region and needs of local food producers and processors across sub-sectors of aggregation and distribution, storage, food safety, agri-food research, training, and business development support. The recommended Food Hub organizational and operational model strives to integrate systems and operations through an innovative collaboration between food rescue initiatives, food processing entrepreneurs, farmers, researchers and social innovators.

Upland worked alongside Farm Food Drink to produce this report for the Capital Region Food & Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CR-FAIR) and the Mustard Seed Street Church Food Bank and Food Security Distribution Centre.

 

CRD Foodlands Trust Feasibility Study

CRD Foodlands Trust Feasibility Study


(2019)

The goal of this feasibility study is to provide the Capital Regional District (CRD) Planning and Protective Services Committee and CRD Board with a comparative analysis of agricultural land use access models to support a decision on whether the CRD should expand its role in assisting access to land for food production, and if so, how that could best be accomplished. The study was initiated because the Capital Regional District (CRD) has identified the need to assess options for increasing food production by enhancing access to farmland as a community asset for the public good. The Report explores the rationale, business case scenarios and financial summaries for options that would allow local government to increase access to food and farm lands.

Link to CRD Agriculture and Food project webpage

Link to CRD Foodlands Trust Executive Summary (PDF)

Link to CRD Foodlands Trust Feasibility Study full report and appendices (PDF)