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SACOG Regional Agriculture Infrastructure Project

Sacramento Region Agricultural Infrastructure Project Project Overview:

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is conducting a study on the feasibility and economics of improving the region’s agriculture infrastructure, including food hub activities (aggregation, packaging, storage, and distribution) and food processing facilities.  The project is a component of SACOG’s Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS), an economic and sustainability research project for the region’s rural areas, linked with the overall local and regional economy.

Project Need: Currently, much of the region’s agricultural bounty is exported and most of the food purchased within the region by households, businesses and institutions such as schools, hospitals, and public agencies, comes from outside of the region.

The Sacramento region is well-positioned to grow and strengthen its diverse food and agriculture industry cluster through more localized aggregation and processing. However, a major impediment to achieving this potential is the lack of regional agricultural infrastructure.  In particular, the lack of mid-scale produce handling and processing capacity is a constraint in meeting the increasing demand for locally grown foods, improving access to fresh produce, especially in underserved communities, and supporting local growers and economic activity.

Project Goals and Deliverables:

The project will result in products that can be used by entrepreneurs, investors, communities, and others to leverage opportunities
and attract new investment to begin rebuilding the region’s agricultural and food infrastructure.  Project goals and deliverables are to
develop:

1) Feasible business models for a fresh produce aggregation and distribution hub and additional food processing to serve the Sacramento region;

2) Financial feasibility analytic tools for potential new food enterprises that can be used to analyze proposed food business models;

3)  A conceptual business plan with recommendations for starting and scaling up a financially feasible hub enterprise and related facilities, also addressing financing, regulatory and other barriers.

Expected Benefits:  The RUCS study has several related goals this project is intended to help achieve:

  • Increasing local production, aggregation, packing, processing, distribution and consumption of local fresh produce;
  • Capturing more of the economic value created from the food and agriculture value chain;
  • Expanding market opportunities for growers in the region, including small-and medium-sized growers, and increasing the market share for locally grown and processed products, thereby retaining more of the region’s food dollars;
  • Promoting the region’s agricultural diversity, quality of fresh produce, and the many local and regional initiatives that are working to advance the region’s economic prosperity, health and sustainability.
Project Partners/Team/Timeline: SACOG is collaborating with several partners including Soil Born Farms, the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, the Food Bank of Yolo County, and the Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. Project support is provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Strategic Growth Council, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development.
SACOG has engaged a project consulting team that includes Applied Development Economics, Foodpro International, The Hatamiya Group, and DH Consulting. The project will be completed by March 2014.

About SACOG:
SACOG is a voluntary association of governments in the six-county Sacramento region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties).

For Information please contact Libby O’Sullivan, Project Manager, 916-340-6244, or losullivan@sacog.org, or Trish Kelly, Project Consultant, 916-448-2456, or tkelly@adeusa.com.