In 2015, AEDC was awarded $25,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program (USDA-LFPP) to be used for a Meat Processing Feasibility Study in partnership with Greenway Partners and Redwood Acres.
The grant was used to explore the current meat processing needs of Humboldt to identify a viable operation for processing locally grown livestock.
Working with Redwood Acres, Greenway Partners led a process that identified producers, distributors and consumers and identified operational requirements for the facility. They reached out to potential business partners and operators and conducted community and stakeholder outreach to learn the opportunities and constraints facing a local meat operation. The market overview showed that processing was only one component of the value chain that limits the farmer's potential to raise and sell meat to consumer markets. The 40-page document provides a project overview, market overview, overview of Redwood Acres, specialty meat processing information, and conclusions and recommendations.
In order to make a new meat processing business more viable at Redwood Acres, the study recommended a wide range of strategies to address the opportunities that were presented during the research:
- Reduce barriers by advocating for regulatory & policy changes at the local and state level for improved waste disposal and meat inspection opportunities.
- Enable partnerships and investment by creating a facilities development plan and establishing long term contracts with private entities to attract investments.
- Increase education about local meat production and processing through events, educational programs and promotional activities.
- Enhance capacity to coordinate value chain needs, such as cold storage, transportation and business incubator services.
AEDC and Greenway Partners work together to plan, develop and fund community development projects in our region. Other projects they have collaborated on projects including the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department new facility, Humboldt Trails Council trail development and the Sequoia Park Zoo exhibit.
You can read Greenway Partner's blog about the project here.