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Thread: Starting a new food production venture.

  1. #1

    Starting a new food production venture.

    Thinking about starting something new from scratch on the farm.
    I am feeling I need a new challenge. Lets keep the discussion food production related and hypothesize I can borrow 50k or more. Should I

    Grow mushrooms in poly tunnels.
    Get broilers or free range eggs.
    Grow salad crops.
    Produce cheese or ice cream.
    Inland fish farm.
    Micro brewery.

    What other ways are there of getting rich from food production can you think of.

  2. #2
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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Micro brewery ,, but you will need a master brewer,, have much fun self testing your product.. Or go for the mush rooms,,
    Big Vern..... Stay low Move faster

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    I would expect the investment in eggs or broilers will be way over 50k and the margins are thin unless you go massive. Plus it's hideous and dreadful. Maybe some money to be made from running super high welfare broilers on pasture in mobile huts? I've seen people doing this on contract although most are organic to be fair. The set up / equipment required is minimal and re-saleable on the whole. I've got a little egg business and to be honest I make 100 times as much from selling fertile rare breed eggs on the net. We only really do eggs as we like grass fed eggs and have a few locals who like them too. I like the micro brewery idea if you are savvy at marketing / branding etc. Or gin, or brandy or something like that. I'm always considering cider down here but fear I would drink it all and be dead within 2 years.

    Salad crops are cheap and easy to grow but obviously harvest is time sensitive etc. We only grow them for ourselves but I would think there is some margin there if you can find a decent route to market.

    Mushrooms, dunno. My dad used to grow them in the shed next to the house and seemed to do OK. I've heard of people growing those fancy ones (shit hockey or something like that) by infecting bits of rotting wood in the forest etc. etc. and making good cash. Sell them to nobends in London who think 1000 is pocket change.

    Cheese, maybe but I reckon you need some serious expertise and the product would have to be super good to stand out.

    Fish, no idea.

    Got any woodland? What about truffles? Or glamping if you have and pretty bits of land.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stump Grinder View Post
    Thinking about starting something new from scratch on the farm.
    I am feeling I need a new challenge. Lets keep the discussion food production related and hypothesize I can borrow 50k or more. Should I

    Grow mushrooms in poly tunnels.
    Get broilers or free range eggs.
    Grow salad crops.
    Produce cheese or ice cream.
    Inland fish farm.
    Micro brewery.

    What other ways are there of getting rich from food production can you think of.
    Snack van on the side of a busy road. Massive mark up on bread rolls and whatever you put inside them and a fraction of the capital invested. There is on in a prime spot on the A470 between Brecon and Merthyr and he reckons he only actually needs to work 3 days a week to make a good living.
    Don't itch for something if you're not prepared to scratch for it.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Whatever you decide to produce make sure you have a market direct to the final consumer, that way you take all of the margin.
    what about large scale beekeeping, that way you can take the winter off apart from flogging honey.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    What about hydroponics? I read somewhere that a single tomato plant in Canada produced 30-40 lbs of tomatoes using this technique, doesn't have to be tomatoes either, but as said above get your markets sorted first. It would be nice to have homegrown tomatoes like they used to be and not imported things which don't have any flavour.

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    Senior Member Hazza97's Avatar
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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    You could grow Saffron it's worth more than gold but you need like 1000 Crocus stamens to make a pound or something crazy like that

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazza97 View Post
    You could grow Saffron it's worth more than gold but you need like 1000 Crocus stamens to make a pound or something crazy like that

    Actually, 200,000 flowers/kg

    http://www.abc.net.au/landline/stories/s556192.htm

    JV

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    There must surely more Micro brewery's then there is demand for now ! Seems like there is one every 5 miles and all the pubs are closing ! So your market is decreasing unless you install a bottling plant to sell it to Tescos

    Tropical fish could be worth worth a look at but you have to have warm water +maybe a biomass boiler to heat it ?

    I think there could be reasonable demand tropical fish now in London and Birmingham from restaurants and it is probably a growing market in the future considering how multicultural the country is now, you might just about kick that off with 50k if they where in tanks. in an existing shed

    50k in all honesty is not a lot of money and if your are borrowing it all its pretty high risk. All of these products are done on probably a much bigger scale with you assume at least much less fixed cost per item , you have to look for the added value to make it work. commodity's such mushrooms , tomatoes, salmon or eggs are I suspect a waste of time, with a low margin, and highish risk.

    what about rhubarb ?
    Last edited by Big red; 25-02-14 at 09:09 AM.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Wasabi if you can do it. I am only telling you because I don't want to do it myself.
    I wouldn't bother with any other suggestions so far, no money in them.
    Rhubarb maybe, but no great demand and big producers are very much on the ball with it already. Cropping season is only 3 months and crown production prior to cropping is very labour and land intensive.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    I really wouldn't like to advise anyone to borrow 50k to invest in the food sector.And that's very sad,especially at low interest rates.That said,if the OP is well capitalised and is well motivated etc there's bound to be an opportunity out there,so I wouldn't discourage him either.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    How about edible snails

    But as with most of these niche "crops" it will be more about the marketing ability than the production

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    Senior Member Sam_TM's Avatar
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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Turkeys &/or geese, for the Xmas market?
    Kelly Bronze franchise?
    British Farming Forum on Facebook - www.facebook.com/groups/BritishFarmingForum

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by rangerover View Post
    What about hydroponics? I read somewhere that a single tomato plant in Canada produced 30-40 lbs of tomatoes using this technique, doesn't have to be tomatoes either, but as said above get your markets sorted first. It would be nice to have homegrown tomatoes like they used to be and not imported things which don't have any flavour.
    Ironic; I bet the majority of domestic tomatoes are grown in polytunnels in a hydrophonic system, grown very rapidly in an enhanced atmosphere. No wonder they taste as they do.

    50K??

    Easy. Chip shop.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    What ever you do,don't get involved with supermarkets.Even the high end ones who claim to look after their producers have treated me like sh*t.Start your own farm shop,box scheme,farmers market etc,but for the love of god don't get involved with supermarkets.
    And did I mention,don't get involved with supermarkets.

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    Senior Member ladycrofter's Avatar
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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    What type of farming do you do just now? Arable/dairy/sucklers?

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by timhaven View Post
    What ever you do,don't get involved with supermarkets.Even the high end ones who claim to look after their producers have treated me like sh*t.Start your own farm shop,box scheme,farmers market etc,but for the love of god don't get involved with supermarkets.
    And did I mention,don't get involved with supermarkets.
    And whilst you are planning remember to keep away from supermarkets

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Courier View Post
    And whilst you are planning remember to keep away from supermarkets
    Top notch advice

  19. #19

    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    I don't think you can sell a substantial amount of food without the supermarkets.

  20. #20

    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    I am dairy farming at the moment.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stump Grinder View Post
    I don't think you can sell a substantial amount of food without the supermarkets.
    You're right,but you will have to spend more than 50k to get in with them.(state of the art packhouses with stainless steel equipment etc.).Moveing thousands of tons of product to them does not mean you will make any money.I spent the best part of 100k on an organic free range egg set up,modern sheds new equipment,solar panels to reduce carbon footprint jumped through every hoop placed in front of me,catered to their every whim,but at the height of the recession was dumped because sales droped.What loyalty We can't be turned on and off like a tap.
    As I think I've mentioned,don't get involved with supermarkets.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stump Grinder View Post
    I don't think you can sell a substantial amount of food without the supermarkets.
    You can actually.
    You need to have the right product and of good quality and you can sell as much as you want provided you know what outlets to target.
    I think if I tripled my production and made a small amount of effort in finding new customers I could still sell out each year.
    I produce as much as I can that will fit in with other jobs, I have never made any effort to find a new customer, they come to me and I sell many tens of thousands of units of product at a profit.
    I also have the same viewpoint of the supermarkets as has been forwarded so far.

    If I could offer one tip it would be don't deal with supermarkets.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Someone on another forum mentioned Tea Tree Oil.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stump Grinder View Post
    I don't think you can sell a substantial amount of food without the supermarkets.
    Quote Originally Posted by Courier View Post
    But as with most of these niche "crops" it will be more about the marketing ability than the production
    Hugh Fearnley Whatever or Jimmy Docherty don't sell a "substantial amount of food" but they have created a profitable niches for themselves

  25. #25

    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Sorry for the delayed response.

    Favorite idea so far is christmas Turkeys. I might get a handful as an experiment.

    Got to take my hat of to this guy

    http://www.japan-aquaponics.com/cow-...quaponics.html

    He produces Milk, beef, salad crops, electricity and fish. I believe this type of system is the future.

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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stump Grinder View Post
    What other ways are there of getting rich from food production can you think of.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stump Grinder View Post
    Favorite idea so far is christmas Turkeys. I might get a handful as an experiment.
    Sounds a bit tooo seasonal to make any regular money

  27. #27
    Senior Member ladycrofter's Avatar
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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Turkeys are easy-peasy, great idea to get a half dozen to try, they are very entertaining and taste great. I had them for years but had a very small market by choice because I didn't want to get involved with employees. Bronze and white. Tried Norfolk Black but found them a bit tough.

    They are great for free-ranging and eat a good proportion of grass, then when feed costs start to increase because the grass is gone, so are they and no hassle for the winter.

    The big problem is the processing - if your pluckers and dressers don't show, you are in trouble. However, a lot of people manage, it's just a case of scale. The abbatoirs won't touch them because of some H&S thing to do with the clouds of feather lint floating around.


    P.S. Contrary to what you see in the press - hundreds of turkeys in a shed or on bare ground, they are roosting birds and do need perches, unless of course you want to really diversify and let people shoot their own turkey out of the trees .

  28. #28
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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Have a search for Salatin's turkey mobiles. That's the way to do it.

  29. #29
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    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    Have you considered Goats. The two most succesfull small farms I know of one produces goats milk and cheese - presumably they cull a few goats and the other farm is a revelation as to how to milk your custom and locality.

    This second farm mentioned is around 175 acres in size and has a variety of stock which is culled and sold via their farm shop and cafe as well as doing a veg box scheme. Part of the farm operates as an open farm so the twee ladies take their children around and feed the pigs or chickens at 1.75 per polystyrene cup of feed and as well the farm has a centre for assisting youngsters to come with their carers and do a bit of digging and planting of veg etc. For this presumably the farm receives grants from Natural England and from the Local Authorities who use these facilities for the children in their care ( most are handicapped so perhaps this is a very good social service really)

    Today we had a flyer through our door saying they have also opened a repair garage as well!

    Some time ago the owner telephoned me to see if I had any hardcore and I could not resist asking about grants for setting up a similar operation, the telephone went click! By god you really would not beleive what can be acheived and his total equipment fleet is a couple of MF 135's and a couple of trailers!!!

    So in reality it is as much to do with locality - if your near to towns with large asian or ethnic populations goats will be very well received or if you in a village with a population of bored stock brokers wives, then do a Church Farm -Ardley (it's on the web)

  30. #30

    Re: Starting a new food production venture.

    I am in the middle of nowhere. Not many tourists, no big roads, no large towns so cant do the farm shop thing. Not remote enough for a pop festival though that wouldn't go down well locally.

    Also I think food production should be encouraged for balance of payment reasons in the UK.

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