Request for Proposals:
Community Futures of Fraser-Fort George, in partnership with Community Futures Nadina, Community Futures 16-37, the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and the Community Futures Rural Economic Diversification Initiative have recently launched a collaborative agriculture project called Beyond the Market: Growing the North. This project aims to build, strengthen, and diversify the local food and agriculture industry from Valemount to Terrace, linking producers, purchasers and consumers in the region in an effort to identify the barriers to the industry and encourage collaboration and entrepreneurial development to overcome them.
One of the major goals of Beyond the Market: Growing the North is to hire a consultant to assess the feasibility of regional food distribution systems and conduct a value-chain opportunity analysis for the region.
The consultant will work with the project management team, community stakeholders and an advisory group to explore the deliverables of this request as noted below in a thorough manner.
In moving forward with the project, many farm business and food service operations noted the difficulties involved in selling/buying local food products in commercial markets. Many northern farm business operators lack the market share and capital required to invest in larger storage, processing, and transportation infrastructure. The vast majority of local food service establishments (both institutional and commercial) lack an efficient method of procurement for locally produced agricultural products.
The Beyond the Market Project is seeking a consultant to complete a pre-feasibility of a variety of regional food distribution systems that could service the local agricultural economy, as well as create an overview of value-added opportunities in the region’s food and farm industry. This study should highlight a wide variety of distribution systems and value chain opportunities in order to provide several options for review and a more in depth feasibility study by project partners in future. This work will include:
- Working with project staff to analyze existing market research and information compiled by project staff  and perform additional research where needed to create an inventory of current and future food supply and demand markets in the region.
- Exploring various practices of private and collaborative regional distribution and supply systems in North America and abroad and analyzing the current and potential capacities for such systems in the region.
- Conducting a value-chain opportunity analysis for the region and highlighting potential new or expanded agriculture and food service business opportunities in the region.
More specifically the project team is seeking a consultant to:
- Compile research pertaining to the agriculture and food service industries, current markets and best practices of transportation, aggregation, sales, marketing and other food distribution structures for review.
- Analyze food distribution and aggregation models for usage and effectiveness, market area for breakeven, and potential for local agricultural and food service use and create a summary report.
- Liaise with project team and advisory group at regular intervals through the course of the research.
- Prepare for project team:
- A report on the feasibility of regional food distribution systems in the Highway 16 region
- A report outlining value chain opportunities in the region
- A community presentation highlighting the findings of both reports
- Documentation of all research and data used to construct the reports
The above are not inclusive and the proponent is invited to expand upon the above to meet the intent of the signatories.
- The consultant must be available to work starting in October 2011 with a completion date of December 31, 2011.
- The consultant will be required to produce a final report and presentation of findings.
- All reports and associated data will be the property of the Beyond the Market Project.
- The consultant will be required to present to the Project Management Team and Advisory Committee at least once
- The successful proponent shall be responsible for accommodation, travel, and per diem costs.
- This Request for Proposals shall constitute the essence of the proposed contract with the successful proponent
- Be no more than five pages in length.
- Include a summary of the proponent’s background, qualifications and involvement in other successful value chain and market analysis projects
- Include a demonstration of the proponent’s knowledge of regional food systems and food and agriculture in the BC Highway 16 region (Valemount to Terrace)
- Include a fixed cost proposal and project timeline. The total budget for this project shall be no greater than $15,000 including all expenses.
- Be received no later than Wednesday, September 21st, 2011.
The Project Coordinators of Beyond the Market will provide the consultant with existing research, background information and community contacts. The Project Management team is looking for proposals that are innovative and show that the proponent has the experience and ability to work with a diverse group of people. The project management team reserves the right to meet with the consultant at various times during the term of this initiative to discuss any revisions, adaptations or deletions to the deliverables, which may be necessary or useful, in order that the Services delivered by the Contractor remain responsive to the needs of the working group and the people they serve.
All proposals should be addressed to:
Susan Stearns, General Manager
Community Futures Fraser-Fort George
1566 7th Ave, Prince George, BC V2L 3P4
Fax: (250) 562-9119
 Existing research includes a database of 200 farm businesses, 100 food service businesses, and 30 transport operations in the project region. Research also includes response data from a market opportunities survey of agricultural producers in the region.