The agriculture industry is going through a transformation with smaller farms merging in order to leverage competencies. When a new business is formed through merger and acquisition, it is important to write a new business plan whether or not there is a need for an outside investor. The business planning process required to develop a high quality business plan is critical to long-term success.
Hi-Tech in Every Way
The U.S. agriculture fruit farm industry produces millions of tons of grapes, apples, peaches, strawberries, pears, prunes, oranges, lemons, and other non-citrus and citrus fruits. The word ‘agriculture’ may evoke images of farmers with hoes working the fields, but the reality is the modern farm is high-tech in every way, from the planting and harvesting equipment to the software used to track crop production and maintain accounting records.
The business plan for an agriculture fruit farm will discuss success factors like the use of technology to develop a business that has cutting-edge products, production and delivery processes. Following are just some of the topics included in the final document.
• Businesses merged or acquired and the synergy created in the new company
• Management’s experience in modern agricultural techniques
• Food technologies that address nutritional content and taste
• Products that include type of fruits and other crops added to round out the year long production cycle, like vegetables and nuts
• By-products produced like compost that is bagged and sold
• Project income per product
• Business differentiation factors, like organic fruits, combination of traditional and high-tech farming methods, fruits with unique quality associated with local soil and climate, etc.
• Research & Development (R&D) activities that will keep the business on the cutting edge
• Needed facilities, including greenhouse, water supply infrastructure, production plant, storage facility, and office building
• Equipment requirements for planting, harvesting, and preparation of fruit for cold storage or immediate sale
• Sources of customers for products, including farmers markets, food wholesalers, grocery store chains, etc.
These are just some of the important aspects of an agriculture fruit farm. The business plan will include all the elements of a successful business, like Executive Summary, management summary, operating plan, marketing plan, and financial projections.
For this type of business, a sub-section on technology can be added to the products section. For example, what plant technologies are applied to grow hardier, drought resistant plants and trees? How are fruits and soil tested? How is technology helping the farmer develop a sustainable business despite climate change, rapid consolidation of the industry into mega-corporations, and globalization?
The farm of today is nothing like the farm of yesteryear. The agricultural industry is competitive, transforming, and highly segmented. Developing a high quality business plan is of the utmost importance to achieve a sustainable agricultural enterprise.
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