Pricing a harvie farm share for profit

“Harvie is not a cost, it is a pricing opportunity.”
-Robyn, Park Ridge Organics

I know a lot of farmers get hung up on the transaction fees for Harvie.

However, Harvie is not a fixed cost like a new tractor or labor. Harvie is a transaction fee that gets passed on to customers in margin.

In other words, Harvie is free for farmers. Members pay for Harvie.

Cost is mostly irrelevant when thinking about whether you want to adopt Harvie.

When you determine that Harvie is the best tool for your farm and for your members based on the functionality and service offerings, then it is a matter of pricing Harvie into your shares. It’s a win for your farm, for the farm’s bottom line, and for your customers!

So, how to price Harvie into your farm share?

There are four main levers to pricing your Harvie farm share:

The per share price that members pay

For a vegetable farm share (although the same principles will apply to any other type of farm share like a meat share), you might have three price points: Small ($18/delivery), Medium ($27/delivery), Large ($40/delivery).

Members have the option of purchasing weekly or every-other-week frequencies.

This determines the gross amount of money that is coming into the farm share program.

The target value of each share

The target value is how Harvie determines how many products should be put in each members share each week, based on the per-product pricing that the farm sets (see lever #4).

By default, this value is the same as the member pays so a $27 share gets a target value of $27.

I suggest that farms adjust the target value a bit lower to cover per delivery costs such as distribution (unless those are covered in lever #3), packaging, and packing labor.

In the spreadsheet example, a $27/delivery share gets a target value of $25.25.

Delivery fees

The cost of transportation and distribution can be covered by a delivery fee. This especially makes sense for home delivery.

In the spreadsheet, I have set the home delivery cost to $10/delivery.

If distribution cost does not get covered by a delivery fee, for example in the case of group pickup locations, distribution cost should be figured in the target value of the share after calculating a “per delivery distribution cost”.

Per product pricing

Per product pricing is where the majority of the action is in this model. This is the retail price of each product that goes into a Harvie delivery. This is the price Harvie will use to determine the contents of each members share, based on each member’s preferences and the harvest estimate, to pre-fill each member’s share.

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Setting prices in Harvie’s delivery estimate builder.

The spreadsheet model works back from a cost of production (let’s call that cost of goods sold or C.O.G.S.) to a retail price. The cost of production should include everything required to get the product ready to be packed into shares, including post harvest handling. This should include a fair salary for the farmer too!

On top of the C.O.G.S., we add the percentage costs of Harvie, credit card fees, marketing/administration, and a healthy 20% profit margin.

So on average in our system, farmers have listed potatoes at $2.23, based on this model, the target C.O.G.S is $1.12. Can you produce a pound of potatoes at $1.12? Your C.O.G.S. may be different on your farm so you can adjust this up and down to get your actual retail price that you should list in Harvie in each delivery.

Harvie is open for 2020

I am excited to announce that we are now accepting new farms for Harvie for Fall 2019 and 2020.

To see if Harvie is a fit for you, go to our Harvie For Farmers page and request a free proposal:
https://www.harvie.farm/forfarmers/

After that, we will schedule an Initial Needs Assessment to discuss your current situation and your goals.

We will work to determine if Harvie is a fit for your operation. I genuinely believe in helping local farms succeed, so we only work with farms that we feel like we can help. Whether or not we decide to work together directly, my desire is for your farm to have the tools you need to succeed and grow the local food marketplace.

I encourage you to read this letter I wrote about this year of Harvie and looking towards the future:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/14MaUyRBXf6UGGPtgJn9Rybv_wmYQfjLg/view?usp=sharing

In the coming weeks, I will be sending a video course titled, “How to launch a Harvie farm share program” detailing everything from pricing to distribution, so watch your inbox for those emails.

Happy farming,

-Simon Huntley
Founder and CEO, Harvie

Hiring Harvie Software Product Manager

Harvie (http://harvie.farm) is a Pittsburgh-based company that connects local consumers with local farmers across the U.S., Canada, and Australia who deliver shares of farm fresh products customized to their personal preferences.

Our company was started in 2006 to meet the technology and marketing needs of local farmers across the US, Canada, and internationally and has served 1000’s of farms in the last 13 years. The Harvie platform was introduced in late 2016 to address the changing landscape of food buying and to help farmers grow sales and profit by making local food more accessible through a customer friendly CSA / farm share model. The concept has grown rapidly. In 2019, Harvie will help 100 farmers deliver over 500,000 farm shares with much more growth planned in 2020 and beyond.

Harvie is a small team of 15 smart, dedicated individuals. We are an innovative, fast-moving, and fast-growing company.

We are looking for a software product manager with strong UI/UX skills to take feedback from throughout the company, talk to farmers, and talk to customers to build out our technical roadmap. As with any small team, you will wear many hats and we will expect you to build a product team as we grow.

Responsibilities:

  • Talk to other Harvie team members, farmers, and end-consumers to understand their challenges
  • Integrate feedback from across Harvie to develop technical road map
  • Write detailed specifications that can be handed off to developers
  • Evaluate success of features after they are released
  • Coordinate QA testing of new releases
  • UI/UX experience is a plus
  • In essence, guide product features through their entire creative cycle: ideation, specification, development, release, analysis, and iteration

Important details:

  • Full-time position with some flexibility (40 hours/week)
  • Competitive salary adjusted upward with experience
  • Health benefits, retirement plan, and paid vacation
  • Harvie farm share paid for by the company and delivered to the office by Rivendale Farms!
  • Office on North Shore of Pittsburgh, 10 minute walk from downtown, free parking
  • Relaxed dress code and office environment
  • Equal Opportunity Employer

Requirements

  • Experience generating outstanding results as a Product Manager 
  • A desire to grow the local food market
  • Ability to utilize user insights, data, and statistical analyses to inform decisions
  • An instinct for creating simple and intuitive user experiences
  • Proven ability to learn quickly
  • Demonstrated ability to be resourceful and innovative
  • Experience leading projects and teams
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Business, Design, Psychology, or a related field

Apply

Send resume and cover letter in PDF format to simon@harvie.farm with subject line “Product at Harvie”.

It’s all about the people

Dear Farmers and Supporters,

I have been thinking over the past few weeks about the people who work here and make Harvie possible. Harvie is about helping farmers create economically sustainable local farms and farmers are the soul of Harvie… but it takes a whole team of people to bring Harvie to you.

Part of what we do is build technology systems and software at Harvie, but it is much more than that. Marketing, support, sales, programming, developing new features, fixing bugs, on and on.. it simply does not work without the people. We are now a team of 15 smart and passionate people!

I am deeply grateful for their work and dedication. I hope you get the chance to talk to these people in the coming months and years.

These reflections stem from some employee changes here at Harvie over the past few months, both the sadness of losing a long time employee and the excitement of working with three new people.

Michael “Q” Roth recently left Harvie/Small Farm Central after almost seven years of service in customer support. If you have worked with us, then you have probably been on the receiving end of Q’s support. He became quite popular with our farmers and a few farms took the time to say good bye and thank you in video form:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thKEoWvzKRE

We also have four new people who have joined the Harvie team in the last few months: Lauren (support), Kiera (support), Lucy (support) and Mackenzie (Farm Outreach).

This week, I got everyone together in Pittsburgh for a “Harvie summit” stay-retreat. We have been having some long-range planning meetings so we can continue to grow and serve our farmers effectively. Here is a photo of the team volunteering at Grow Pittsburgh’s Braddock Farms this week:

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We are doing big things together and we are all so excited to grow our success alongside our farmers.

-Simon Huntley
Founder and CEO, Harvie

Home Delivery is the Future of Local Food

This year, I’ve been on a mission to test grocery delivery services to understand the changes that are happening in our market

I am surprised by how much I enjoy Whole Foods’ home delivery service as a busy father of two young children. I simply log-in to the “Prime Now” app during the day, place my order, and have the order show up on my doorstep later that evening in a two-hour window.

The delivery is “free” with a suggested tip for the driver. I always leave a $5 tip.

This is a huge time-saver for me that I can use to spend time with my kids, clean the house, exercise or relax. 

I am not alone. A recent study suggests that 60% of urban shoppers are buying groceries online for home delivery. 

Put it another way: in 10 years, do you expect more people will be buying food online for home delivery or less?

If you answer “more” to that question, you need to start to think about home delivery as part of your farm marketing plan.

We are doing a small pilot of home delivery in Pittsburgh with Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance this season so I’m deep into thinking about how Harvie’s home delivery capabilities can help farms compete in this changing landscape.

We have many tools built into the platform including home delivery areas, up-charges for home delivery, a way collect home delivery instructions from customers, exports for the RoadWarrior app (for delivery route optimization) and more.

Some things to think about:

  • You need to charge for it. I created a spreadsheet to think through cost-per-mile, salary, and density of deliveries to come up with a base cost for home delivery. It depends on many factors, but I can’t see you doing it much less than $7.50/delivery. This cost must be passed on to the consumer in some way.
  • Choose a defined delivery zone, probably in a higher density urban area to start is the best bet.
  • Will you do the delivery or outsource it to another company? Local courier companies or services like Lyft and Uber can make sense.
  • No more pick-up locations for farm share takes away that logistical issue for you and for your customers.
  • It’s much more attractive and convenient for customers and it supercharges your marketing because you don’t have to worry about how close each person is to a drop site as long as they are in the delivery area.
  • Consider going 100% home delivery or this may be a good way to start a farm share program if you have not done one before.
  • Increase your product line from other local producers so you can fill more of the grocery budget for each customer to make the cost of delivery more worthwhile for the member.

My goal with Harvie is to grow the market for local food beyond the true believers who have supported local farms in the past. Home delivery is a part of that puzzle because it removes many of the barriers to joining a farm share program.

I would be happy to discuss the home delivery strategy for your farm in the future. Just reach out when you are ready to discuss!

-Simon Huntley, CEO & Founder, Harvie
simon@harvie.farm

Join Our Team: Support Specialist

Harvie (http://harvie.farm) connects local consumers with local farmers who deliver shares of farm fresh products customized to their personal preferences.

Our company was started in 2006 to meet the technology and marketing needs of local farmers across the US, Canada, and internationally and has served 1000’s of farms in the last 13 years. The Harvie platform was introduced in late 2016 to address the changing landscape of food buying and to help farmers grow sales and profit by making local food more accessible through a customer friendly CSA / farm share model. The concept has grown rapidly. In 2019, Harvie will help 90 farmers deliver over 363,000 shares (roughly 1000/day) with much more growth planned in 2020 and beyond.

To keep up with growth, the Harvie Team is hiring a Harvie Support Specialist.

The Harvie Support Specialists work as the front line of customer support for both assisting our partner farms as well as their customers.  Support requests come in through several channels, primarily email, but also phone and online chat. Support for our partner farms includes everything from setting up new accounts to training farm employees on software features to everyday problem solving.  Supporting our farmers’ end users often involves more mundane tasks such as helping them get signed up, scheduling vacations, billing questions and other account management issues.

As with any small company, this position will be multidisciplinary and will occasionally include work involving other aspects of the company including marketing, product development and testing.  

This is an exciting opportunity for independent, self-starting individuals who are ready to grow with Harvie.

Important details:

Full-time position with some flexibility (32-40 hours/week)

Competitive salary adjusted upward with experience

Health benefits, retirement plan, and paid vacation

Professional development opportunities supported

Harvie farm share paid for by the company from a partner farm near you!

Office on North Shore of Pittsburgh, 10 minute walk from downtown, free parking

Relaxed dress code and office environment

Regular weekday schedule with some regular weekend coverage required

Equal Opportunity Employer

Requirements:

Highly organized to manage multiple goals simultaneously

Puzzle-solving — deductive ability to get to root causes of problems

Comfort with friendly phone support — support is unscripted and requests are often unique

Ability to explain technical concepts in a non-technical manner

Comfortable running demos and speaking on the phone

Ability to write courteous, friendly, and clear support emails

Ability to learn or have experience with web-based utilities such as Google Suite (Gmail, Google Docs, Hangouts, Google Sheets), Zendesk, Atlassian Suite, Slack, and Zoom

Apply

Send resume and cover letter in PDF format to mike@harvie.farm with subject line “Work at Harvie”.

About Harvie Farm Team

Interesting in taking your farm share sales to the next level?

The Harvie Farm Team is a sales team for your farm. The goal is to help you take your farms marketing efforts to the next level by bringing on team members and executing campaigns on your behalf that can assist with promotional activities. There are a couple different ways to participate. Choose one or both!

How it Works

Farm Team Members

Harvie will work with you to find and train “team members” that will act as brand ambassadors on your behalf. This includes

  • Helping craft outreach descriptions for team members
  • Training and marketing materials for team members
  • Monthly call to touch base with team members
  • Monthly reporting for payout
  • Workplace Wellness Farm Share Program

Goal

  • Assist with setting up new pick up locations
  • Community outreach such as helping set up tabling events, postering, handing out literature
  • Blogging
  • Sharing information on social media
  • Set up workplace farm share sites
  • General cheerleader for your farm

Member Acquisition Program

 Harvie will work on your behalf to plan and execute Facebook ad campaigns. This includes

  • Custom ad copy (images and text)
  • Creation and management of the Facebook ad campaign
  • Includes an interactive chat bot, follow up text messaging and email drip campaign.
  • Reporting and analysis

Goal

  • Lead generation
  • Share sales  
  • Specifically targeted geographical areas

Details

Harvie will assess a 10% fee for member acquisition program for the first year and 5% in the second year. This essentially covers our cost to plan and execute the campaign as well as pay for the ads.

Harvie will send you a monthly sales report for all farm team members. The farm will then pay out the 10% commission to the team members on a monthly basis for the first year and 5% for the second year.

Interested in learning about how the farm team can help your farm reach its goals?

Set up a call with our community manager, Stefanie here https://calendly.com/stefaniejo/marketing and please indicate this is a call for farm team!

Local food goes mainstream

Local food goes mainstream!
Local food goes mainstream!

Local food is no longer just for “foodies” at the fringe of the food system. Local food is now part of the traditional food system. This is a good thing! This is where the next wave of growth will happen in local food over the next 10 years.

This point was brought home to me in the last few weeks at the Farm to Table conference in Pittsburgh which joined forces with the Home and Garden show this year. The Home and Garden show brings in 100s of thousands of people from across the region to see 1800 exhibits in 10 acres of tradeshow space. It is a spectacle to see! And the Farm to Table conference is now simply part of it: we are rubbing shoulders with mattress salesmen, roofers, and European massage chairs.

Local food is for everyone now.

Local food is at Wal-mart and it is in our schools.

We are no longer an alternative to the existing food system. We are now the food system.

This is aspirational, of course. We are just entering the mainstream and there is so much work left to do, but I believe we need to act like we belong.

To continue to grow, we need to innovate. We need to think about convenience, price, and the offer we are putting in front of consumers. We need technology. We need farmers who are ready to take the calculated risk to scale up their operation. We need to spend more money and energy on marketing.

What worked for the “true believers” (0.5-1% of the population that has supported local farms) will not work as we aim towards 5-10%. This next slice of the market has different expectations and needs.

Harvie is my contribution to this effort, but it is going to take a multitude of innovations to make local food an every day part of our food system.

What are you doing at your farm, in your business, or in your organization to take local food mainstream?

Your friend in innovative farming and marketing,
Simon.

-Simon Huntley
CEO/Founder – Harvie
http://harvie.farm

CSA Day is this Friday!

It is CSA Day this Friday — the perfect time to buy your farm share for the 2019 season!

To celebrate, we are running a contest! The winner will receive $250 towards their CSA / farm share. To enter:

  • Follow harviefarms on Instagram
  • Like this post and tag a friend who might be interested in a CSA / farm share program
  • For extra entries tag your farmer or repost this image or this image on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #CSAday

About CSA and CSA Day

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), or farm share, is a simple concept. A consumer buys a membership with a farm and gets a “share” of products from that farm throughout the growing season.

Since the first CSA farms started in the United States at two farms in Massachusetts in 1986, this model has been wildly successful with many thousands of CSA farms in the United States, Canada, and spreading to the rest of the world.

CSA / farm share is a vital piece of the local food economy because it allows small and medium scale farmers to compete against the traditional food system by guaranteeing a market for their crops.

CSA / farm share is good for consumers too because it is the best way to form a relationship with a local farm and get the freshest, healthiest, and tastiest food into the kitchen.

Whether you care about the viability of local farms, land use, environmental issues like the long distance that food travels in the traditional food system, or you just want to eat well.. you should be in a CSA program.

Here at Harvie we are doing our part too by making CSA programs more customer friendly in the age of Amazon Prime, Blue Apron, and the plethora of other food buying options you have — customizable shares (never want beets, never get them!), low up-front cost payment plans, scheduling around vacations, and recipes for the products you get each week. We want to make it easy, fun and tasty for you to support your local farm!

CSA Day

Five years ago, I ordained the last Friday in February as “National CSA Sign-up Day” (since shortened to CSA Day) because, based on our data, it is the most popular day of the year to sign up for a CSA / farm share. More info at http://csaday.info/.

So this week, if you have not already, join your local farm’s CSA / farm share program and make a promise to your farmer and yourself that you will buy healthy, fresh local food throughout the growing season.

Find Your Farmer

If you do not yet have a farmer, search harvie.farm or csaday.info/directory or reply back to this email with your address and I’ll find a farmer in your area.

Thanks for supporting your local farmer!

FarmFan is shutting down Jan 4th, 2019

Dear FarmFan Customer,

As of January 4th, 2019, we are going to discontinue the FarmFan service.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me and my team. Since we launched in 2014, FarmFan has sent over 2,500,000 text messages to farmer’s market customers.

In five growing seasons, I’m proud of what we accomplished with FarmFan, but it never achieved the critical mass of farms and markets to make it a viable long-term business. It is time for us to say good bye the FarmFan.

We will take some of learning from FarmFan and apply it to our Harvie platform and allow farms to send text message reminders to their members when farm shares are delivered to a site.

In the intervening years, there have been a variety of text message reminding programs that have come on the market for more general use so if you want to keep doing text messages for your market customers, you should be able to find a service to do that.

Creating new products is messy work and some things work and some things don’t. That is the nature of the work I do. After 12 years in this business, that is one hard lesson that I have learned. I’m proud to say that we will keep innovating and working along side you.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Best and thank you!

-Simon Huntley
Founder and CEO, Harvie & FarmFan