Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CSA Benchmark Project: How Well is My Operation Really Doing?

National Good Food Network Webinar
The CSA Benchmark Project: How Well Is My Operation REALLY Doing?
Thursday, May 17 from 3:30 - 4:45pm ET - FREE
Click here to register.

Farm Credit East, part of the nationwide Farm Credit System of lending cooperatives, has made loans to many farms that use a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.  Generally CSAs work by collecting up-front capital from consumers before the planting season, which buys them a weekly portion of the farm's bounty during the growing months. The basic CSA business model is now a widespread direct-to-consumer marketing strategy.

But how is a farmer to know if their operation's financial performance is adequate, or find out how they can improve their profitability? As part of their strategy to serve the needs of their farmer-members, Farm Credit East has aggregated and analyzed the data from a sample of their CSA borrowers, and has established some preliminary financial benchmarks and performance standards.

With benchmarking, it's as if farmers can peer into the financial results of many CSA farms in order to understand how their business financial performance compares to others. That data will help CSA farmers identify where they can improve business practices to increase profitability.

This webinar will illustrate what you need to measure (the key evaluation factors),  what expectations can be set from comparison to best practices (benchmarking), and what management strategies can help move financial performance to a higher level (implementation of leading edge practices).

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