Urban Farm Connect

This Entry has been submitted.

Urban Farm Connect

CanadaVancouver, Canada
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

An online space that facilitates consumer and small farmer transactions. For more healthy, local food in Vancouver, easily.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Gorgeous local and organic produce is expensive. The time local producers spend in organizing transportation logistics or an online presence is better spent doing what they do beautifully - growing food and raising happy animals. In urban population of 600,000, many areas of Vancouver are still underserved by Farmer's Markets. These markets, though growing rapidly have to reapply for licenses to the public space they use every year, preventing long-term planning on the supplier side. On the buyer side, market days are limited and pricing high. Outlined in the 2009 Vancouver Economic Development Commission p.4 recommends using "web resources to connect buyers and sellers real-time". Organizations have been created to generate awareness but there is no F2C space to satisfy demand.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

An online space that facilitates consumer and small farmer transactions. For more healthy, local food in Vancouver. Website with... FARM PROFILE Producer: - media rich, we will partner with professional filmmakers and photographers to showcase farmers & products, growing it into a high-quality, online directory of small, local producers. Buyer: - more engagement with local producers EDUCATION: P & B: - modern web 2.0 graphics will clearly animate growing regions, produce varietals, animal anatomy & cuts that buyers can mouse over and navigate with ease that is consistent across producers FINANCIAL: P: - leveraging low-cost SAAS solutions, we will combine the cost-efficiencies for farmers in all their consumer-facing activities B: - get a better price than their retail supermarket and better user experience than grocery delivery Us: - to be financially sustainable, eventually we will charge a small commission for any transaction going through the site.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Helping any small local producer better represent their business and their values online in a central location at no cost to them. A resident of Vancouver wants fresh, local produce but doesn't know about the resources available. There are CSAs and grocery delivery services but judging from the website, they're not quite sure about the quality and making the jump. They occasionally shop at farmers markets but can't make it much of the time and find it a little pricey. They love food and want to support local farmers but just can't invest the time to increase their engagement. With any search online, they're brought to "Urban Farmer Connect" where they can easily learn about local producers on a beautiful website. Some agricultural produce-sharing and animal-sharing is offered by a farmer who the buyer has identified with in particular. An specific cut of meat in an animal-share is purchased. Other buyers choose other cuts of the animal at prices using an algorithm. The calendar indicates maturity in 2 months at which time delivery is brokered using a carbon-friendly delivery service. The buyer is enriched with knowledge and healthy, sustainable food from a local producer. The producer is able to better predict sales volumes and anticipate long term stock planning similar to if they were to provide to a large retailer but without the pressure on margins.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Competitors right now include spud.ca - grocery deliveries but no strong focus on local produce Various CSAs - these are less so competitors, they would benefit from using the website as an organizational and marketing platform Farmers Markets - these are competitors but Urban Farm Connect can also be seen as a complement
Team

Founding Story

I love reading about the goings-on and watching videos on farms that highlight the process, animals, and natural wonders of the farm. As well, I love cooking and have had CSA deliveries sent to me before and absolutely loved the process, however, I noticed that there were many disparate producers who were each struggling with logistics and marketing individually.
About You
About You
First Name

Mimi

Last Name

You

About Your Organization
Organization Name
Organization Country

, BC, Vancouver

Country where this solution is creating social impact

, BC

Region in BC where your solution creates social impact

Vancouver.

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Innovation
How long have you been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two

Cost, Quality.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

Introduce more consumers to local produce in a way that doesn't require anymore effort on their part and make learning about BC food effortlessly on the web. Provide business and marketing expertise on an easy to use platform for small local farmers to get support from the community and go direct-to-market.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Getting a couple of people really excited about it!

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

Unsure but financial sustainability is priority #1, growth to areas that aren't covered by farmers markets and a ubiquitous knowledge of a LOCAL, SECURE, and SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEM.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Success rests on the market size of individuals that are predominantly retail-users who have a latent desire to engage more with farmers and are open to purchasing items online.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

1,000 transactions before 6 months

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

1 month - 5 well-rounded producers on board to give feedback and alpha test

Task 2

2 months - website development, transaction enabled, key partnerships established for delivery/storage logistics

Task 3

4 months - beta launch, first communication activities to increase traffic, grow staff to increase capacity

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

10,000 transactions and 50% awareness in greater vancouver region

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

6 months - feedback and iterations on workflow process, continuously increase # of producers on board as appropriate

Task 2

8 - 12 months - financial reporting and breakeven, increased automation, increase communications/outreach activities

Task 3

8 + months - grow database/profiles of producers, their produce varietals & livestock breeds, focus on educational value

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

Reaching out to Shift COOP would be interesting and informative as well as other sustainable delivery services.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?

Only Vancouver as we test the business model.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

This bridges the technology gap for local producers who do not have the knowledge or propensity to dedicate time and resources to building their business online.

This organization will operate leanly until financially sustainable and has very low fixed costs.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
randomness