Value Chain Specialist, South Seattle Community Food Hub - RFQ
About the Client
The South Seattle Community Food Hub (SSCFH) is a community-driven initiative designed to address systemic gaps in the local food system and food insecurity. A core element of the SSCFH is the development of a multi-use shared food facility that can provide much needed cold storage, aggregation, processing, and distribution infrastructure to regional food system stakeholders, with an emphasis on advancing racial equity and development of community-led solutions that prioritize the needs and assets of local growers and hunger relief organizations. The SSCFH facility, which is slated for development to begin in early 2023, is located at 915 S 96th St., Seattle, WA in a warehouse adjacent to Food Lifeline’s headquarters.
Community stakeholders advising the development of the SSCFH have identified three goals: 1) Increase the capacity, resiliency, and collaboration between hunger relief agencies across the region through shared infrastructure; 2) Expand access to aggregation, packing, storage and processing infrastructure for regional growers to increase the quantity of locally grown food used by the hunger relief sector and to facilitate market access to other institutions and; 3) Support and promote a more local, just and sustainable food economy by prioritizing food hub resources, services and infrastructure to BIPOC, Immigrant and Refugee -led and -serving growers and community-based organizations that have not traditionally had access to such infrastructure.
Food Lifeline, as fiscal sponsor of the project and one of the project’s Advisory Committee members, will hold this contract, but the Scope of Work will be managed by the project’s Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee is a sub-committee of the Advisory Committee and is made up of the following Advisory Committee members: Adasha Turner from Modest Family Solutions/Black Seed AgroEcology Farms, Yamila Sterling from Solid Ground, Jennifer Antos from Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets, and Linda Nageotte from Food Lifeline. (Note: Personnel Committee members may be subject to change over time.)
Goals for the Value Chain Work
- Develop a Value-Chain Business Plan for the SSCFH
- Coordinate the implementation of the Business Plan, specifically including the development and cultivation of relationships with current and potential stakeholders from across SSCFH value chain, including:
- Providing/connecting farmers with the support and resources needed for market readiness, aggregation and utilization of the SSCFH facility
- Collaborating with hunger relief and food access organizations to identify produce needs and connect with local farmers utilizing the facility to meet those needs
- Identifying and coordinating access to local and regional retail and wholesale market opportunities for producers
- Participating in the development and vetting of a regional collaborative business or network model that positions the SSCFH for financial viability.
Scope of Work
- Create a Value-Chain Business Plan for the SSCFH that includes mapping and assessing the suitability of potential SSCFH partners from across the entire value-chain, research on the prospective target hunger relief market, identification of additional wholesale and retail market opportunities, a solid calculation of expected facility through put, costs and revenues, based on different operating scenarios and reasonable business assumptions
- Create and implement an outreach plan to inform the farming community, with an emphasis on reaching BIPOC growers, about SSCFH opportunities and recruit farmers and farm organizations for secured markets
- Assist farmers and farm organizations with production planning to ensure a continuous supply that meets secured market demand
- Coordinate and assist hunger relief organizations in forecasting demand for produce and facilitate contracting between producers and hunger relief organizations.
- Create, administer, and track coordinated production plans for corridor farms and secure corresponding grower agreements that match farmers’ interest and experience level
- Organize in-person and virtual trainings for farmers with subject matter experts to increase their market readiness and success
- Connect farmers with local/regional experts and resources to help troubleshoot issues
- Maintain ongoing communications with farmers regarding planting and harvesting schedules, quality requirements and rejections, GHP/GAP and regulatory compliance, post-harvest handling procedures, packaging and labeling standards, and delivery
- At least two years of previous food procurement and/or sales/merchandizing experience.
- General knowledge of the sustainable food and agriculture sector.
- Strong knowledge of veggies, fruits, dairy, meats, value-added products, and other locally-produced foods.
- Experience working with farmers, food producers, and/or wholesale customers in Washington.
- Experience in small business management and/or business development, especially in the food sector.
- General knowledge of purchasing regulations for hunger relief organizations, schools, institutions, and restaurants.
- Knowledge of the Puget Sound Region food system and its challenges, barriers to access, infrastructure needs and food system solutions for those operating in the emergency food system and grower / producer spheres.
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal—in person, over the phone, email, text.
- Have demonstrated past success in helping groups accomplish key benchmarks in support of a project plan and timeline.
- Have experience working with diverse groups of people.
- Able to connect and build relationships with project stakeholders, set transparent and clear expectations for their engagement and overall project outcomes.
- Have an understanding of the intersections of race, poverty, and food insecurity.
- Identify challenges while uncovering strengths, other opportunities, and resources among the Advisory Committee that could be harnessed to further the goals of Advisory Committee and project outcomes.
The budget for this work is $8,850/month with an expected nine-month engagement (approximately October 2022-July 2023).
The deadline for submission is September 30, 2022.
Your application must include:
- A narrative that details your knowledge of racial equity principles and how you will bring this skillset to this project, its Advisory Committee, and project stakeholders. Include also how you will ensure that the community and project stakeholders’ voices, experiences and needs are centered and integrated into the value chain business plan.
- In the narrative, highlight your food access experience and your experience in connecting the needs of growers with the needs of buyers.
- An estimation of how many hours per week you will be able to put toward the project.
- A portfolio of your past and current projects, particularly relating to food justice work.
Submit your application to email@example.com.