fellenz at fltg.net
Tue Nov 27 11:44:27 EST 2007
Richard Stewart wrote:
> Ok, I understand the issues with that and what you are describing.
> I guess what I was shooting for was a modified CSA, where no one had
> to buy shares and could order as needed once a week and decrease the
> carbon footprint.
> I don't want to sell other people's products, just mine.
> Let me try to describe it a bit more.
> Right now my goal is to do a small scale test this year in my Aunt's
> building in downtown Cincinnati. She's a medical illustrator and her
> building is fairly high end as far as tenants go. In 2008 I'll have
> two market days and this would be added to this schedule.
> She is the "head" of the group that will be purchasing produce.
> She knows has 12 condos lined up. 12 members. A couple singles, a
> couple 3 to 5 person families, and the rest are all couples. All have
> completely different lifestyles. All want to buy local some are
> green conscious and others are not.
> So, my aunt, she is the "head" of the group. There would be 13
> possible participants be weekly order. This group receives 2 totes
> per participant. The totes cost 10.00 ea and are 7/8 bu. Each is
> numbered, in pairs 1 thru 13. A 20.00 deposit is received for the
> totes from the participants.
> In spring the first seasonal harvest is ready and on the following
> Sunday, a list goes out via email to the "head" of the group of
> participants. The email says these X number of items are available
> for X number of dollars for X number of quantity. The head
> distributes the email either by electronic or paper. The participants
> reply with their orders to the head who then places a single order.
> That order is filled the following day fresh and taken to a drop off
> site at the back of the building a check or cash is exchanged. The
> next delivery will also have 13 containers in addition to the money.
> Now, this concept may have been repeated by someone or not. I do not
> know. I am familiar with the co-ops you described, ordering from a
> central location that acted as an umbrella for several distribution
> This would be a sole supplier/grower, just as in a single source CSA.
> The goal is to tackle several things.
> 1) More customer control over what they purchase (both in quantities
> and type of food), which makes for a happier consumer.
> 2) No money changing hands prior to receipt of goods (with the
> possible exception of a deposit).
> 3) No vacation losses for the customer.
> 4) Smaller carbon footprint depending on how the "head" person has
> organized the CSA, especially if its a high density condo or apartment
> 5) More efficient than a FM because your time is spent picking and
> hauling and not selling. In theory at least.
> Just some ideas I was kicking around. I enjoy FMs in part because it
> gives them an opportunity to TRULY know the farmer as well as your
> customers. I am simply looking for something in addition too my
> schedule for next year.
> I hope that better illustrates what I want to do. I have about 12
> ideas floating around in my hand including the development of 30+ acre
> hole in the ground and I am trying to bounce some of the smaller ideas
> off people while I wait for the property to be returned to something
> useable by the gravel company that out the mineral deposits.
> Thank you for your time so far. I really appreciate it.
> Richard Stewart
> Carriage House Farm
> North Bend, Ohio
> An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1848
> (513) 967-1106
> rstewart at zoomtown.com <mailto:rstewart at zoomtown.com>
> From a consumer perspective, what you are outlining sounds great.
> From a selling perspective, unless you can get a sufficient premium to
> cover the additional administrative and handling costs associated with
> each order, I don't see how you will be able to earn a reasonable
> return. Additionally, if you only have 13 boxes on the truck for each
> delivery, delivery costs will be very high. I used to rationalize
> this type of delivery by saying that, "I'd probably be going that way
> anyway", but even if you are going that way, you should make sure that
> your selling price covers your delivery expense.
This idea is one that screams for an effective software solution to
speed ordering as well as order fulfillment. Here is a company in
Canada which seems to be offering a service close to what you are
describing: http://www.greenearthorganics.com/default.asp . If you can
get sufficient scale to drive down your distribution expense/order,
selling customized boxes could work real well.
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