Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative Now Hiring for Marketing & Sales Manager

Position Description: Sales & Marketing Manager

The Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative (PSFHC) is a farmer owned cooperative operating in the Puget Sound region. The PSFHC combines marketing, aggregation, and distribution for member farms and ranches. The goal is to develop relationships between local farms and businesses/institutions with a vision of creating healthier communities while expanding economic opportunities for local Northwest Washington farms. PSFHC’s purpose is to increase the production, distribution, and consumption of regionally produced food.

The Sales & Marketing Manager has two roles: 1) to oversee all marketing, advertising and promotional activities for the PSFHC and 2) assist in creating market opportunities for PSFHC farmer members. The Manager will establish marketing strategies to meet PSFHC organizational objectives. The Manager is responsible for creating a marketing/communications plan for PSFHC and will work with the Board of Directors and General Manager to implement the strategies of the plan. The Manager will continually evaluate customer research, market conditions, and competitor data to implement plan changes as needed.
The Manager will implement a sales plan to increase sales to existing customers and market to new customers to expand the existing customer base. This person will be responsible for promoting the Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative and increase awareness of PSFH farmer products. This position will be responsible for all aspects of food hub sales and direct supervision of Account Managers.
This Manager will also work with farmer members individually or in groups to assist in identifying and making efficient decisions that will lead to successful marketing results. The Manager will develop and maintain relationships with wholesale distributors, restaurants, and retailers. This is an outcome based position; the Manager is expected to provide opportunities for farmer members that will generate successful results.
PSFHC serves customers in King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties. This full-time position requires extensive work throughout the market service area with flexible working location and hours. The offices of PSFHC are in Mount Vernon, Washington. The PSFH Sales & Marketing Manager reports to the General Manager and functions as the chair of the Marketing Committee.

Scope of work:
Marketing and Sales
•Prepare and execute on the Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative Marketing & Communications Plan to createawareness of the PSFHC
•Develop a sales plan and work with Account Managers to increase sales to institutions, grocery stores,restaurants and wholesale customers
•Foster and facilitate relationships between farmer members and buyers
•Provide marketing and branding support to PSFHC farmer members
•Develop strong relationships with retail, foodservice and wholesale businesses
• Manage advertising, media coverage, fundraising events and marketing materials
• Represent and promote PSFH at industry conferences and trade shows
• Responsible for contact lists, content management and preparing electronic and direct mail communication
including Fresh Sheets, Newsletters and Blogs
• Prepare content for the publication of marketing materials and oversee distribution
• Post, track and monitor social media accounts
• Maintain a high level of integrity as a representative of PSFHC
• Collaborate with the PSFHC team for planning, implementing and evaluating marketing/sales strategies
• Other duties as assigned


Desired Qualifications:
• Degree in business/marketing or equivalent
• Four or more years’ experience in “brand” marketing in the food industry
• Strong analytical, written and verbal reasoning skills
• Proven negotiation and relationship-building skills
• Sales experience with grocery chains, institutions and large-scale wholesale customers
• Minimum five years’ experience with distributor sales and familiarity with individual distributors in Washington
• Excellent computer skills and ability to pick up on new systems and software
• Self-directed with good organization skills and attention to detail
• Knowledge of Washington food and farming industry and food distribution channels
• Ability to work well independently and as a team member

Salary range is depending on experience and qualifications. Benefits and travel reimbursement will be provided in
addition to the base salary.

Submit a resume, letter of application, and a list of references to:
Terri Hanson, General Manager
Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative
PO Box 2924
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 360-336-3727
Email: Terri@AgBizCenter.org

March 31, 2017

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Snohomish County Growers Alliance Open Meeting March 29th

Snohomish County Growers Alliance Meeting
March 29, 2017

An evening meeting for farmers and would-be-farmers, at the Longhouse located at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe.

Industry leaders will share their opinions on potential profitable crops that either part time farmers can start with or for increased production for existing farms. The Snohomish County  Growers Alliance is working with the Soil Conservation District and Snohomish County on a new approach to increase Snohomish   County Agricultural production by examining the potential of certain crops and livestock and working on solutions to the barriers which exist to make that possible. The SCGA wants to take a more active role and encourage the producers of the Farm Community to take a more active role in supporting efforts to make that happen. This meeting will touch on many aspects, which are intended to give a comprehensive picture of what is possible.  Future  production meetings are planned to  go in great detail of specific crops or livestock working with the industry and hands-on learning experiences

6:45 – Doors open, registration
7:00 – Welcome – SCGA President John Postema
7.05 Introduction

Panel discussions: Every panelist has 5 minutes to opine what could be a profitable agricultural activity and why. In addition how much money and effort has to be spend to achieve production, marketing possibilities and barriers for execution. Every panel presentation will be followed by 15 minutes of audience questions and answers

7:15 – Panel One.    Livestock Production Opportunities
Bobbi Lindemulder.  Operation Manager Soil Conservation district /20 years exp.
Linda Neunzig,   Sheep expert for a long time.
Darron Marzolf        Marketing of small livestock
Christeena Marzolf   Care of small livstock

7:45 –  Panel Two. Nursery and Perennial crops opportunities.
Andrej Suske. Owner of a successful operation in Woodinville
Bob Lovejoy.  A long time grower in the flood plains from Arlington
Joy Routh from Wetlands and Wood lands, who made a success of niche growing

8:15 – Panel three. Various topics
Greenhouse tomato production, John Postema  Flower World Inc.
Hard cider production  WSU
Marketing of Produce through brokers.  Diana Dempster from Charlie’s Produce

8:45 – 9.00  Break. Inspection of the NABC  mobile poultry processing facility

9:00 – 9:05  Blue berry production coordination. John Negrin with Aquilini.

9:00 – 9:30  How to proceed.  Audience participation

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NABC Welcomes Alex Perez

NABC is pleased to introduce the newest member of the team, Project Manager Alex Perez. Alex will apply his Spanish language skills to helping NABC further mature our programs and services towards a bi-lingual format.
As a Washington State Certified Spanish Interpreter, Alex provides interpreting and translation services for non-English speaking clients of all ages. He has also served as a bilingual volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and has successfully completed Security Officer Academy training for the Security Officer Certification program.
The oldest of four siblings, Alex was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised by migrant parents who worked in agriculture in Skagit County. Because of the seasonality of his parents’ work, the Perez family traveled back and forth between Mexico and the United States. After graduating from Mount Vernon High School, he attended Skagit Valley College and then transferred to Western Washington University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a Minor in Spanish.
Alex is enthusiastic and excited to recruit and work directly with clients from the Latino farming community. His direct experience in fundraising, community projects, outreach and networking with the Latino community in Skagit County will be a great asset to NABC as we expand our capacity to serve local farmers.

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NABC’s Education and Client Services Expand to Latino Community

Supported in part with funds from USDA’s Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant and in partnership with Viva Farms in USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, NABC kicked off agriculture business support services last fall specifically geared for the Latino farming community. Now with the hiring of new bi-lingual Project Manager Alex Perez, NABC is ramping up cultural and linguistic business development training materials, workshop presentations, outreach efforts, and technical assistance tools for the benefit of Spanish speakers in the communities we serve.
This year alone, NABC has already hosted five workshops in its Transitioning to Value-Added Products series with a bi-lingual support component. Topics included Value-Added Producer Grant guidance in partnership with USDA Rural Development, Access to Capital with one-on-one lender introductions, Business Feasibility evaluation, Getting Your Products to Market and market readiness, and Writing Your Business Plan including price setting and a deep-dive into calculating profit and loss. More classes are in the planning stages for 2017 including Product Development, Starting Your Business (a basic primer), and Poultry Processing; please see the NABC website for more information as it is posted.
NABC staff is employing and developing diverse strategies to reach Latino farmers both to introduce NABC’s new bi-lingual programming and client services, and foster new connections with Latino farmers and food entrepreneurs. Classes were promoted in both English and Spanish, including information disseminated to collaborating NPO’s and agencies by email, flyers placed in community gathering places, KSVR radio spots during shows broadcast in Spanish, personal phone calls, and in-person at community events Both Alex and Mobile Poultry Processing Unit Supervisor Miguel Martinez were present at these classes to offer welcome, answer questions, and provide translation services, and then provided post-class follow-up support.
As part of the Latino-centered effort, NABC will host a family-friendly Economic Opportunities for Latino Farmers event on March 18th. Representatives from Minnesota-based cooperatives Cooperativa Aqua Gorda and Shared Ground Co-op will talk about these two Latino-owned co-operatives and their journey to successful establishment. The event is on a Saturday to help families participate, and features food, games, a kids’ bouncy house, piñata and more. All presentations and activities will be in Spanish.
NABC is pleased to continue this new phase of organizational development, and looks forward to providing services to a wider audience. For more information about our bi-lingual agribusiness development program, please contact Alex Perez at Alex@agbizcenter.org or (360) 770-4072.
Se habla español. Para mas infomación, contactar a Alex Perez: Alex@agbizcenter.org (360) 770-4072.

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Capital, The Fuel That Runs a Business

NABC held its Access to Capital Workshop on Tuesday, January 24 in Anacortes, WA. Attended by 23 small farm and food businesses, the workshop featured financing and representatives from programs that provide loans from less than $5,000 to more than $300,000. Lending programs included Business Impact Northwest, Craft 3, Farm Services Agency, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Port of Bellingham Revolving Loan Fund, Skagit Council of Governments Revolving Loan Fund, and USDA Rural Development.
The workshop also featured business planning and technical assistance providers including Growing Veterans, Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County/SBA Small Business Development Center, NABC, Sustainable Connections Food & Farming Program, Viva Farms, and Western Washington University/SBA Small Business Development Center.
Angie Shephard, co-owner of Valley View Farm, San Juan County, was a satisfied participant. “This workshop was an efficient way for a busy producer to visit with more than a dozen lenders and technical assistance providers in one day! I was able to get useful information that is specific to my particular situation and needs. The diversity of programs and options was great and I was able to bring back information and connections from these providers to share with my community. I also really valued the time to network, learn, and share with other producers. I left with practical information and next steps that I could act upon.”
Be looking for more opportunities to learn about accessing capital and USDA grant programs in the Fall of 2017.

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NABC Hosts Cider and Perry Orcharding Workshop

Soil in Western Washington, Oregon and British Columbia will be feeding the roots of cider trees in the future. A heightened interest in small acreage parcels is on the rise as new orchardists look to lease or purchase land for starting their cider and perry orchards.
So why now?
Cider and perry, as a combined category, is the fastest growing alcoholic beverage in the North America. Made from unique bittersweet and bittersharp apples (cider) and pears (perry), these specialty fruits have vastly different juice characteristics from their culinary counterparts: being valued for their tannins, acidity and complex character.
These age-old varieties of fruit, traditionally grown in UK and France have been in short supply in North America. With similar marine climates, Western Washington, Oregon and British Columbia of-fer new opportunities for orchardists growing these specialty fruits. NABC’s Cider & Perry Orcharding Workshop helped orchardists understand these fruits and learn marine climate orcharding strategies and techniques.
“If dessert fruit is readily available to the cider maker, then don’t grow it. Grow a selection of cider and perry fruit that is unique and not readily available,” says Gary Moulton a local orchardist and an instructor for the workshop.
Varietal sampling gave attendees tastes of Grimes Golden, Brown Snout, Kermerrian and Medaile D’Or cider fruit, as well as Hendre Huffcap perry fruit.
An attendee noted, “I learned pruning and training of fruit trees is both an art and a science…observing structure of the trees each year and changing the pruning regime accordingly… keeping my feet on the ground and staying actively engaged in the orchard.”
Participating in the class were three sponsors, all new businesses in the past few years because of the demand for cider and perry trees, scion and rootstock.
In the past 5 years, the popularity of cider and perry has opened a window of opportunity for new orchardists and new agricultural businesses like cider fruit nurseries. NABC will continue to help farmers and producers stay abreast of trends and learn about best practices through our classes and workshops.

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NABC’s Mobile Poultry Processing Unit Preparing for the 2017 Season

The new processing season is just around the corner! The MPPU processes poultry right at your farm saving you transport costs and time, and easing the stress on your birds. Poultry producers are invited to make their 2017 appointments now – dates will fill up quickly. See the NABC web-site at www.agbizcenter.org to learn the basics about what is required for the unit to operate at your location or to view the availability calendar.

This year, we are offering, for the first time, an opportunity for multiple commercial or non-commercial producers to process birds at a single location. Producers may coordinate among themselves and designate a host farm where the processing will take place. Each producer must have their own Processor License through Washington State Department of Agriculture, arrange for their own insurance, cold storage and distribution, and work out reimbursement for water and electricity with the host farm or location. The MPPU can be stationed at a site for sev-eral days, or process small batches of several producers in one day (50 bird minimum per pro-ducer/ 175 bird minimum aggregated total day). We currently have a host farm in the Mount Vernon area and are seeking producers to form a processing group. If you would like to offer your site for processing, or need help finding others to join in a processing day, NABC is will fa-cilitate connecting interested parties. Contact Sera Hartman at the NABC office to add your name to a contact list or for more information.

Call the NABC office at (360) 336-3727 to learn more about the program or to make your reservation, or call MPPU Supervisor Miguel Martinez at (360) 899-8265 for guidance on getting ready for your processing date.

La únidad móvil procesadora de aves de corral de NABC está lista para la temporada de proceso 2017. La nueva temporada de proceso está ala buelta de la esquina! la únidad móvil procesa aves de corral directamente en tu granja,ahorrandote tiempo y dinero en el transporte de tus aves y el estres de las mismas. Estan invitados todos los procesadores de aves de corral para hacer sus reservaciónes ahora.
Estamos ofreciendo por primera vez este año, el procesamiénto de aves comerciales y no comerciales, en un mismo lugar para los productores. Los productores pueden coórdinarse entre ellos y designar una granja de acogida donde se llevará acabo el procesamiénto. Cada productor deve de tener su propia licensia de procesar atraves de el Departamento de la Agricultura de el Estado de Washington, arreglar su propio seguro, el almacenamiento en frio,y la distribución, y trabajar en el reembolso por el agua, y la electricidad con el agricultor anfitrión o el lugar. La únidad móvil, puede ser estacionada en un mismo lugar por varios dias, o procesar lotes pequeños de varios productores en un mismo dia, ( 50 aves como minimo por cada productor, o un total de 175 aves como minimo agregados al dia ). Tenemos actualmente una granja de acogida disponible en el area de Mount Vernon, y está buscando productores para formar un grupo de procesamiento. Si quisiéras ofrecer tu sitio para procesar, o necesitas alluda para encontrar otros productores y juntarse para procesar el mismo dia, NABC, vá a facilitar la conección entre las partes interesadas. Contacte a Sera Hartman a la oficina de NABC para poner su nombre en una lista de contactos o para mas información. LLame ala oficina de NABC al telefono (360) 336-3727 para aprender mas hacerca de el programa, o para hacer sus reservaciónes, o llame al Supervisor de la únidad móvil Miguel Martinez al telefono (360) 899-8265 para guiarlo en el dia de su proceso y hacer sus reservaciónes.

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Snoqualmie Valley Farmers Cooperative Prepares For A Bountiful 2017

The Snoqualmie Valley Farmers Cooperative (SVFC), http://www.snovalleycoop.com/, is planning now for another bountiful season in 2017. The SFVC is an organization of about 20 local farms working together to bring fresh produce to King and south Snohomish County customers, which range from restaurants, schools, hospitals, cafeterias or special events. Member farms initiated and built the co-op so that they could spend less time on logistics and more time growing the best food in the land. Their customers get more diversity while supporting the whole, Snoqualmie Valley food shed, as opposed to just a single farm. All member farms utilize responsible, environmental food production practices and have signed a pledge (read more about that here: www.snovalleycoop.com/farms) to do just that.

NABC has provided the SVFC with technical and financial support since its inception in 2015. This co-op is still in its infancy and like any beginning enterprise, startup capital is extremely important. In addition to assisting with business and financial planning, increasing their customer base, and providing grant writing support in 2017, NABC’s King County and south Snohomish Project manager is in discussion with the SVFC manager and board to embark upon a crowd source funding campaign in the near future. As we have more information, we will post it here on the blog. And please do all you can to support this incredible cooperative enterprise!

Questions? Please contact NABC’s King and south Snohomish project manager, Luke Woodward. Luke@agbizcenter.com.

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An Update on the Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative

The Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative (PSFH) has continued to expand in preparation for this year’s upcoming season. In early January, JoanE Mcintryre joined the Hub team as our Marketing and Sales Manager. In the past weeks, JoanE has been working in tandem with the Hub’s General Manager, Terri Hanson, and our Marketing Committee, chaired by Kai Ottesen (Hedlin Farms), to develop a broad marketing and sales plan that will work with both large institutional buyers and smaller entities like restaurants, caterers, and small food coops.

JoanE and the Marketing Committee are out delivering the Hub’s unique and compelling sales pitch: One Order, One Delivery, One Invoice! We should put that on a t-shirt.
Scott Morris has taken on the role of our Operations Manager, working with Harley
Soltes (Bow Hill Blueberries) and the rest of the Operations Committee, to develop an strategy that will smoothly and efficiently connect the great products our farms create with the buyers, near and far, large and small who are eager for this service. Operations meetings have been filled with discussions about warehouse efficiency, delivery routes, and the merits of purchased trucks versus contracted trucking. Scott and the committee have put considerable time into organizing and equipping our Best Rd. Warehouse to create an efficient system for receiving, storing, and delivery of the products our members grow. Scott is in the market for another refrigerated truck and is looking to hire additional warehouse staff. If you have any leads, please give him a call, or you can always call us at the PSFH (360) 336-3727.

At the core of this effort is the integrity and products of our member farms, everything else is supporting cast to this main event: the real deal, our local farms and farmers.

“Let’s make 2017 the year the Hub shifted into high gear as the region’s preeminent farmer owned coop, the place to source delicious, high quality food, produced by local family farms,” Mike Finger, President Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative

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Crazy Good: A Trade Meeting Lunch to Drool Over

Sustainable ConnectionsSustainable Connections Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting
Tuesday, February 21st
8:00 – 5:00
Bellingham Technical College

The Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting is just 3 weeks away! Register today to save your spot at the biggest food business connections event in NW Washington. REGISTER

Popular Producer/Buyer Consultations – new format this year! Networking is a KEY part of this event, and we’re mixing it up this year with the one-on-one consultation time.
Producers of all kinds (farmers, fishermen, food artisans etc) will be stationed around tables based on the type of products you sell (i.e. mixed vegetables, eggs, chicken, beverages, seafood, etc). Buyers will roam around throughout that hour to sit down and chat with you. We’ll ding a bell every 10 minutes to indicate it’s time to go talk with another business.
What to bring:
• Producers: Bring samples of your products, brochures or photos, crop/product lists, business cards, etc.
• Buyers: Bring business cards and get ready to meet lots of awesome producers!

If you came to the event last year, you know the lunch alone is worth attending!
Once again the BTC Culinary Arts Program is partnering with the NW WA Chefs Collective to create an amazing 7 course lunch. Here’s a little sneak peak of some of the menu items:
• Riccardo’s Winter Slaw: Red and Green Cabbage, kale, carrots, raisins, toasted almonds, blue cheese, white truffle oil
• Bluebird Emmer Farro Risotto with BelleWood apples and greens
• Jack Mountain pork cheeks braised in Cloud Mountain apple cider with pickled apple and mustard choucroute
• Grandmas Carrot Cake: compressed pineapple, candied carrot, brown butter mousse, walnut streusel
• Silky potato leek soup with Cauldron broths and accoutrements
• Winter vegetables with warm Parmesan vinaigrette and herbed Breadfarm crumbs
• Nerka Sea Alder Plank Smoked Salmon

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