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Colorado Crop to Cuisine: Enhancing Value- Added Product Offerings and More Diverse Marketing Channels

Project Leader: Sue Oberle, Crop to Cuisine, Fort Collins, CO

Technical Advisor: Dawn Thilmany, CSU Professor of Agriculture and Resource Economics, Fort Collins, CO

Project Year: 2005

picture from: www.images.google.com

Project Summary

Colorado Crop to Cuisine is a five-year-old farm to chef program linking local growers and producers with restaurants. Because of the short growing season, all available products cannot be marketed through restaurant sales during periods of highest seasonal production. The goal of this research is to increase market share for members and the organization through continuing to develop and expand in two areas: 1.) providing a 'culinary basket' for subscribing members which will include a diversity of local products, educational materials, and information about local growers; and 2.) develop and market a value-added line of products that effectively extend the season and presence in the marketplace through the year by developing five additional recipes for value-added products for year-round availability. The plan is to market the product line through a website. It is estimated that fifty other eligible local farms and food producers may benefit directly from the project by growing out these new marketing channels.

The CCC's proposed project methods include:

  • Developing five value-added recipes utilizing products from producer- members.
  • Producers will generate production plans that account for the ample supply of all necessary ingredients for value-added processing.
  • Research and identify co-packers in northern Colorado.
  • Develop a logo and label for CCC value-added products.
  • Process CCC value-added products.
  • Develop markets for products. Identify and utilize already existing markets in Colorado and neighboring states.

Final Report Summary

Over the 2005 season, the Culinary Basket Program (CBP) grew by 200%. The value-added product line evolved into five successfully produced and market-tested recipes. The marketing efforts expanded to include selling the value-added products at a local farmers' market and offering all products, both the Culinary Basket Program and the value-added products on-line through a listing on Local Harvest's website. This is a website that maintains a public nationwide directory of small farms, farmers' markets, and other local food sources. CCC also identified a local co-packer who helped them develop and print a logo and label to be used for the product line. Over the year, CCC increased and diversified overall producer membership in the organization to include a great number of participants in the Colorado Farmers' Market Association group.

Another goal, which the CCC expended a lot of energy on, was to expand their distribution to include school commissaries through a farm-to-school program. There will be increasing potential for this possibility in the near future, due to the concern about youth nutrition and health.

Click here for a link to the full text of the 2005 Annual Report (Word document).

Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture