Farm profit center budget ideas

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The following has not been agreed upon by the cooperative. It is a brainstorm about how the Farm budget might generate income to support the payment of farm labour. It would be fantastic to see thoughts, questions and ideas in the discussion tab! Thank you.-Shan 23:05, 10 January 2009 (PST)

Goal: that EcoReality farm profit center has planned income from the annual produce and the fruit/perennials already planted onsite.

Idea: Produce, animal products and fruit that is grown at EcoReality under Co-Op ownership is sold to EcoRealitarians and to the Public (two separate price lists).

Shannon is doing rudimentary calculations of the raw produce that came off fruit trees and from greenhouse last year (and will get the harvest log to check numbers and flesh out). She will also do a rough calculation of the approximate expected yield of the planned 2009 Co-Op Gardens (once garden plan is drafted) to estimate the budgeted income. Aiming for near $2000 in sales to balance the general budget for this profit center, and to help with farm status property tax requirement as well.

Update May 31: This is too time consuming for this year, and as the garden is not likely to produce much for farmstand or market this year, I suggest that we simply have a set rate (how about $10/resident/month?) that each adult pays per month to eat out of the garden (residents only) and then any person (offsite member or public or neighbour) who purchases any of our produce pays wholesale price (list to be posted shortly on wiki). This amount will be $960-$1000 per year as income to farm cost center (based on current number of residents).

All produce harvested will be recorded in logbooks (date, type, weight) (white house and yellow house each to have book and scale), unless the amount is less than 50g. Persons eating from the garden less than 50g are to estimate at week's end (Sundays, by rez meetings) how many times they ate less than 50g and write down the estimated amount of that item (eg. peas, beans, greens) in the logbook.

Value Added: Any produce beyond that used in meals by residents (eg. 100 lbs pears for pear butter) is to be purchased by the member who is going to benefit from the proceeds of the value added product. If the value added product is to be co-op (community cupboard), that is to be determined by the farm steward/farm team and there will not be income from that produce. Shan 16:35, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Update May 31: the next section as proposed in January is unlikely to be simple enough for this stage of garden development - that is what I think now! What do others think? Shan 16:35, 31 May 2009 (UTC) How?:

The way I envision this happening is that all consumers (whether members or offsite) will purchase raw produce from the Coop. The pricing will be agreed upon and available on the wiki and hard copy at the farm. It will be different pricing within the Co-Op compared to the public (ie. farm stand sales or market sales of raw product).

White house did this for produce from Carol's garden last summer and it worked well and was definitely a savings over the cost of produce from the farmers market or natureworks (and no transportation necessary).</font> Shan 16:35, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Co-Op prices: EcoRealitarians who do not work any of their Co-Op labour hours on garden/harvest-related activities (and we'll need to agree on what those actually are!) will pay the Co-Op internal price. Any members/residents who do work hours on garden or harvest related activities will receive some discount on their monthly produce purchase (eg. $1/hour worked or similar nominal amount).

Proposed System: Each household will keep a written log with weight and date and name of product. All product is to be weighed before use by a household, and before storage by a household. This is partly to allow all resident to be aware of what is stored (for eg. in a freezer) that may be utilized/processed by anyone at some future date. eg. If one pear tree yields 77 lbs of pears in a day, it should be recorded on the farm harvest log, and it should also be recorded on the individual household log where it ends up (for eg. perhaps white house "buys" 50 lbs, intending to do processed pear products, and the yellow house "buys" 20 lbs and Noj "buys" 10 lbs for personal use).

On the 15th of the month, when timesheets are turned in, household logs are also turned in with totals already added up per household. The finance steward (timesheet steward?) will determine how many hours that household worked on garden for that monthly period (15th to 15th of the month) and will apply a discount to the amount the household owes for produce purchase to the Co-Op. Then, the finance steward will invoice (on behalf of coop) each household for the adjusted total that is owing, which can be paid with the next monthly dues in one lump sum. (In the case of households having more than one family, the total can be split as agreed upon household members)

Value Added? This means any value added or processed product (eg. pear butter, apple juice, blackberry jam, pesto) sold to public will NOT be income for the CoOp Farm Profit Center, but will remain individual/household income. Therefore, the utilities costs and other costs (eg. canning equipment) associated with value added products will also not appear on CoOp budget as expenses.

Shannon thinks that for this stage, the houses will attempt to split up the work/utilities of making value added products for the community, and when the household is making it for their own use, they are to purchase the raw weight of produce from the Co-Op for that purpose. Please see green update May 31 under the Idea section above. Shan 16:35, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

What do others think of this idea and particulars? to be discussed at May 31 Resident's meeting

Example: It means that for eg. in a given month, a household of 4 resident members might work 25 combined hours on production-related activities, purchase $40.00 worth of Co-Op produce and receive a rebate of $1 per hour worked, thus the net income to the Co-Op from the sale of that product would be 40-25 = $15.00.

Update May 31: I suggest that we avoid calculating rebates or tracking hourly worklogs and simply log the produce weights and pay a fixed amount per resident adult to eat from the garden/farm this year. The only difference to this plan will be if produce in large quantities (eg. tomatoes for salsa, basil for pesto, pears or apples or berries for jams and preserves) gets processed for household use -- in that case, the household is to purchase the produce at wholesale price from the co-op and record it in logbook and receive a receipt from the finance steward for payment. Shan 16:35, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

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