Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Introduction

 
 
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 Food industry trends | Overview of guide | The inside story

This business planning guide has been developed to help you get started in the processed food industry or for the established processor to use as a checklist. It’s meant to serve as a general reference for food processors, to answer some frequently asked questions, and to recommend additional sources of help.

Presented here are ideas and information useful for those who are thinking of starting a food business,
as well as for those who want to grow their existing business.

Whether you are a new or experienced business owner, you have to be aware of the bottom line. This guide points out ways you can achieve your goals while minimizing your risk.

Food Industry Trends

What are the future prospects for processed food products? From all reports the opportunities are growing due to a number of factors.

We have a very busy, aging population which has a desire to improve individual health. Food products that address these issues and meet consumer needs will have a greater chance of success.

Consumers are interested in where and how food is grown and processed. They want to know their food is safe.

Overview of Guide

The topics in this guide are presented in the order in which you are likely to encounter them when starting a new business.

There is information in each chapter relevant to businesses in the early stages of development. There is a section on business planning and business plans, but you will be planning on an ongoing basis. As part of your planning you should set up some working files. Topics could include: market opportunities, product trends, packaging and labeling ideas, operations, finances, regulations and business information. Include newspaper articles, research, demographics, informal projections and notes in these files. Set one file aside for your business goals and objectives, both short and long-term. These files become your informal business plan.

Both public and private sector resources are listed and key web base sites have been noted. A listing in this manual is not an endorsement; nor are the listings comprehensive. Word of mouth and the Yellow Pages offer many additional contacts. The partial listing in this publication is furnished for your information with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no guarantee of reliability implied.

Starting and operating a profitable food business is complex. Be prepared to develop an extensive network of advisors and information sources.

The Inside Story

An agri-food processing business consists of four key components:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Production
  • Human resources
Each component has a life of its own and grows at different stages. However, the success of the business is a function of all four elements.

Investors look for secure markets and strong management. Production and financing support both of these and form the cornerstones that build the business.

Continue to use this model as you develop your product and business.

The Business of Food Processing Chart
 
 
 
 

Other Documents in the Series

 
  Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Preface
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Introduction - Current Document
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Starting Out
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Business Planning
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Business Considerations
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Food Processing Regulations
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Facilities
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Product Development
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Processing and Packaging Equipment
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Packaging and Labeling
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Distribution and Sales
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Promotion
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Financing
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Sources of Assistance
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Additional Resources
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ag Info Centre.
This information published to the web on June 1, 2005.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 31, 2012.