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New revenue streams and business model innovations for farmers

timsilmantimsilman Los Angeles, CAPosts: 49 mod
edited February 21 in Innovations
People in urban areas, particularly in the US, may be familiar with the rise of "ugly produce" services that deliver imperfect produce, which offer both cost savings and convenience as well as encouraging the perception that they are helping to solve a food waste problem inherent to current food systems.

Producers, for their part, see these as a mixed bag. Some imperfect produce companies work with primarily local, organic producers in the regions where they operate, while others have been accused of driving some producers out of business given their willingness to purchase from major agribusiness conglomerates such as Dole Foods.

A recent article in the Atlantic highlighted some of the trends and issues surrounding these new companies and their business models. The article touches on a variety of aspects of this debate, including the degree to which this is a real problem (vs. just perceptional for sustainability-minded consumers) and some issues around food justice (which frankly I didn't totally understand).

Most relevant I think, although not the primary focus of the article, is how many farms are increasingly searching for additional revenue streams to compile sufficient cash flows to remain in business and potentially grow. Production diversification is one mechanism to achieve this, although it has other drivers (slow food / localism, the organic movement, soil health, etc.). But in this case, new revenue is not derived from the product mix but instead by finding a new market for existing production.

I'm curious if the community can help us identify some other examples of new revenue streams, business models, or value-add approaches that fit in this vein (i.e. beyond simply diversification)? Given the stressors faced by smaller producers in both the developed and developing world, successfully doing so could mean the difference between thriving, surviving, or going under.

What are some other examples of these innovations?

Comments

  • NickOttensNickOttens Barcelona, SpainPosts: 288 admin
    @kcting and @Rigusam, you might have thoughts on this, specifically the need for farmers for develop additional revenue streams or new business models. Could you share your experience with us?
  • arshimehboobarshimehboob IndiaPosts: 60 ✭✭
    Leveraging micro-entrepreneurial impulses at the point of agricultural production – “Agri-entrepreneurs” – and the point of consumption – “Veggie or Fruit entrepreneurs” – to connect farmers directly to consumers, shall reduce inefficiencies in the value chain, thereby increasing farmers incomes and the availability and affordability of vegetables/fruit for poor households.
    Also, the solution to this is convergent innovation through an integrative solution-oriented paradigm operating through a platform model to foster behavioural change and ecosystem transformation to impact supply and demand for agri-produce in an economically sustainable manner.
    Developing cross-sectoral micro-entrepreneurial programs to build local capacity and sustainability with the local entrepreneurial spirit of community members may help largely too.
  • Amy_ProulxAmy_Proulx Posts: 13
    Creative value addition. I keep talking about User Experience with my clients. As much as the value addition needs to be for the farm producer, the value addition needs to be for the consumer. Which consumers are you targeting, and what are their values that define what products they will purchase, but also repeat purchase. I have seen a lot of farms create value that is practical for them, but has minimal relevance to consumers.
  • arshimehboobarshimehboob IndiaPosts: 60 ✭✭
    @Amy_Proulx
    India is the next eldorado for the agrifood sector, as the country is to become the world number one market ahead of other competent countries.

    More and more companies in India are speeding up their innovation activity, catering to consumers in India who are now increasingly aware of what is happening in other markets. It is interesting to note that many of these companies are not only staying on top of global trends but are also incorporating local elements in their launches so that they are rooted in familiarity.
    For example http://evexianutri.com/fortiflakes-strawberry-flavoured/
  • NickOttensNickOttens Barcelona, SpainPosts: 288 admin
    @michal, @meskanda, @plgepts, what are your thoughts on this topic?
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