Request for Qualifications: Business Plan for the Contra Costa Community CSA

15 Nov

Business Plan for the Contra Costa Community CSA

The Contra Costa Community CSA Since April 2009, the Richmond Community
Foundation has operated and managed the Richmond Farm 2 Table CSA, delivering
an average of 80 CSA boxes to Richmond residents.  Twice a month, CSA
subscribers receive a box of produce from Brentwood and other local farms, with
one-half of the CSA members receive the boxes at a subsidized rate.

Over the next year, the Contra Costa Community CSA will expand to 500
subscribers, expanding an innovative distribution system that delivers fresh,
healthy local food directly from local farms to urban residents.  Through
efficiencies of scale and the right mix of subsidized CSA boxes with
“sponsor” CSA boxes, the project will develop a economically
self-sustaining business model and will continue provide very low-income
families with fresh, local food at affordable cost. The expanded CSA will
explore new methods of aggregating produce and distributing local produce and
work with local farmers to extend their growing season.

Contra Costa Health Department will provide monthly nutrition education and
cooking classes, and twice a year, Richmond school children and their parents
will visit the CSA farms. The participation of East Bay Municipal Utility
District provides an exciting opportunity to identify publicly owned land and
agricultural infrastructure that could be used to produce food, aggregate
product and assemble CSA boxes.  UCB Institute of the Environment will provide
academic resources to the project.

The Business Plan
The Contra Costa Community CSA is seeking a qualified consultant (or team of
consultants) to develop a business plan for the “scaled-up” CSA.   The
project has produced detailed reporting during the pilot project (April
2009-March 2010).  A comprehensive report outlining the results was produced in
March 2010 and updated in October 2010.  The project partners have conducted
significant research about CSAs and local distribution models. The existing
data and research will be provided to the
consultant and the consultant will work closely with the Advisory Committee.

The consultant will have an opportunity to work collaboratively with the
project partners to develop an innovative business plan that strategically uses
efficiencies of scale and innovative distribution methods to “scale-up” the
CSA model to maximize the benefits of a local food system.

The business plan should include the following components:
• Identify competitors and market pricing (labor, materials, and distribution
• Determine appropriate price structure for scaled-up, self-sustaining CSA.
• Consider appropriate mix of subsidized and sponsor boxes.
• Consider most appropriate management, ownership and legal structure for
• Identify timeline for transition to new organizational structure.
• Outline a marketing strategy for the CSA.

The business plan will be used to guide the development of the project.

A qualified submission will include:
• The consultant’s experience with (i) business and financial planning,
(ii) local food systems and produce distribution, (iii) structuring food distribution
businesses and (iv) working with nonprofit collaborations.
• Examples of similar business plans prepared by the consultant.
• A description of how work will be structured, including any proposed
• An outline of the components of the business plan that will be delivered.
• Timeline for work.
• Cost.

The Contra Costa Community CSA endeavors to develop an innovative, economically
self-sufficient food distribution model.  The Advisory Committee encourages
proposals from individuals, consulting firms and any team of consultants who
are interested in working collaboratively with the Advisory Committee.

Pre-bid conference call:  The Contra Costa Community CSA Advisory Committee
will hold a pre-bid conference call on Monday, November 15 at 2:30 p.m. to
answer questions about the project and the business plan.  Interested parties
may join the conference call by calling in:
 Call-in number:   1-888-278-0254
 Participant’s code: 6116851

Submissions due:  The final date for submitting qualifications is Monday,
November 29,
2010.  Please email submission to:
Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust
P.0. Box 2046
Brentwood, CA 94513

Consultants whose proposals are determined to be the most responsive will be
invited to attend a panel interview on Monday, December 6.  The consultants
selected for an interview will be notified by December 1.  The contract will be
awarded by December 13, 2010.  The completion date for the Contra Costa
Community CSA business plan is March 31, 2011.

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