Ontario Agrofood Venture Center Business Plan (Northumberland County)

Cobourg, ON

Explorer Solutions was mandated by the Northumberland County Economic Development Office (NCEDO) to prepare the business plan of the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre (OAFVC). The OAFVC is an integrated food processing facility where farmers and foodpreneurs from the region come for small/niche-batch processing and packaging, take classes or seek professional advice on a wide range of topics such as distribution, packaging, product development and market expansion.

The aim of the study was to define a realistic business plan for the OAFVC to become a financially sustainable asset and service provider to the food and beverage industry in Ontario.

The analysis includes a complete review of the OAFVC operation to identify potential areas of improvements and new sources of revenues that would help the venture centre to sustain its operations. Beyond the market and competitive analysis, Explorer Solutions consulted local stakeholders, met with the industry leaders and organized focus group sessions to get a good grasp of the state of the food industry and identify new growth opportunities for the OAFVC. The performed analysis and researches led to the development of a 3-year plan to help the centre achieve better operational efficiency, expand its client base, diversify and increase its revenues while ensuring the full and efficient utilization of its facility. The resulted business plan provides actionable recommendations and a realistic implementation timeframe to the County of Northumberland to rapidly improve the financial situation of the OAFVC as well as laying the foundation for sustainable long-term growth.

The recommended action plan provided the required guidance to the County of Northumberland to engage in a complete review of the OAFVC business model.