East Phillips Aquaponics and Farm
Current Opportunity and Market
As noted Agriculture Economist Professor John Ikerd has summarized: “The local food movement is the leading edge of a change that ultimately will transform the American food system from industrial/global to sustainable/local. Organic foods had been the leading edge of the movement, growing at a rate of 20 percent-plus per year from the early 1990s until the economic recession of 2008. Growth in organics sales have since stabilized at around 10 percent per year. The organic food market reached $43.3 billion in sales in 2015—more than 5 percent of the total U.S. food market. Today, organic fruits and vegetables claim more than 10 percent of their markets. As organic foods moved into mainstream food markets, many consumers turned to local farmers to ensure the integrity of their foods. The modern local food movement was born.”
The East Phillips Aquaponics Farm builds on the strategy referred to as the Cleveland Model. In this model local business build on contracts with “anchor institutions in the city. This has proven particularly effective in neighborhoods, such as, East Phillips. The whole neighborhood and City add their support while the business helps the anchor institutions achieve their sustainability goals. They truly become win/win relationships.
Currently the East Phillips Aquaponics farm is the process of negotiating a supply contract for the Minneapolis Public Schools. (The EPAF team is also exploring collaboration around educational and job training goals.) This may alone utilize a substantial part to the production potential. Similar supply contracts will be negotiated with nearby hospitals and other institutions. For the fish products local distributors have stated they are ready to sell all that is produced. The marketing strategy will be comprehensive in range of products and the avenues for sales.