Gastropod, the Institute for Washington’s Future (IWF), the Washington Latino Farmers Network (WLFN), and Sourcerer “Industry Insider Dinner” where “direct trade” rules. 

The IWF and WLFN will be front and center promoting our work in developing community assets for Latino farmers in the context of our farm to table distribution chain outlined in our NALCAB/Sam’s Club Strengthening Food Based incubators sub-grant to the 100 invited guests.  Working with our direct marketing collaborators and allies in the organizing and execution of the “industry insider dinner”, Sourcer, Gastropod and Chef Travis Kukul, IWF has united the production and market end of this chain in a single event.  This is an important kick off that will set the tone for our work in 2015.  We will announce the awards that we have received from NALCAB/Sam’s Club and the USDA – AMS to support this work at the event and include acknowledgement, accompanied by logos, in the program. 

Our outputs and corresponding outcomes that we anticipate as a result of the event include:

  1. IWF and the WLFN will build relationships with potential partners and/or investors toward the development of a food processing/fresh packing facility for common use among WLFN members.
  2. Market research and study that will facilitate business planning for the production center and also for start-up enterprises in the WLFN incubation program. This includes the exploration of market innovations like drying or juicing fruit at the value added center we will explore five such possibilities during the course of the project.
  3. Customer development – expand the direct market, customer base for the WLFN and    members, including the start – up enterprises in the incubation program.
  4. The WLFN will bring three owners of start-up farm enterprises, including a Latina farmer from the incubation program.

Outcome:  The long term outcome of this event is greater control over basic processing that will give all members of the WLFN, including both established producers and start-up farm enterprises, the ability to participate more effectively in direct markets and to diversify and expand their revenue base through value added production including a fresh local pack, dehydration, and juicing. The short term outcome of  the event is that it will expand the capacity of the WLFN to serve its membership through the value added production center, mentorship program and direct marketing initiative by attracting interest and investment from the wholesale consumers at the event. We expect to secure short term contracts or letters of agreement that will allow the “Sembrando El Sueño” program to incubate up to 15 -20 Latino start-up enterprises and provide those businesses market information as a risk management tool in their business planning and a “direct buying option” that will increase their chances of successfully executing their business plan in 2015.   

Wendy Fernanddez is a participant farmer in our incubation program and will attend the event with her mentor, Manny Canales, from the WLFN, to work to  build a customer base for the program for next year.