The Food Finance Institute (FFI) will host a new Financial Management Boot Camp for Meat Processors, a four-day training, running May 13 and 14 and June 17 and 18.
The pandemic has highlighted gaps in small-scale food processing. Small meat processing plants were especially affected when COVID-19 outbreaks forced mass shutdowns of bigger suppliers, leading to an overwhelming surge in demand. Now small slaughterhouses are booked through 2021 and even into 2022, causing producers to find it increasingly difficult to process their livestock.
Demand for local meat had already been on the rise due to consumers making more environmentally conscious, healthy choices. The pandemic has only heightened their interest in shorter supply chains and knowing where their food comes from.
These two market forces generated a renewed interest in creating innovative processing businesses both on and off the farm, whether by adding processing to an existing entity or exploring collaboration.
To respond to this need, FFI Director Tera Johnson tailored her proven financial boot camp curriculum to people interested in creating meat processing businesses. Johnson, who started, built and sold a food processing business and plant at Wisconsin Specialty Protein before founding FFI, knows first-hand how capital intensive and nuanced processing businesses can be.
“COVID-19 showed us the risk of a consolidated meat industry, and this has spawned a lot of interest in starting meat processing businesses around the country,” Johnson said. “This boot camp is designed to radically accelerate the time it will take to develop a viable plan and raise the money to get started.”
The boot camp covers developing a realistic, financially viable business model for a processing facility. It can help owners identify the supply chains and sales/marketing strategies required to succeed, manage the design and building process, develop an optimized financial plan and execute a complex fundraising strategy.
The Food Finance Institute (FFI) leverages and supports a collaborative network of professionals focused on building and funding profitable businesses in the food, beverage and value-added agriculture sector. Through training, coaching, resources, tools and mentorship, FFI fulfills its mission of making sophisticated financial technical assistance available to growing enterprises. In addition, FFI is the home of the Edible-Alpha® brand. Edible-Alpha® is a training and resource hub that includes the Edible-Alpha® podcast and our insights newsletter. FFI is part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. www.foodfinanceinstitute.org