Values-Based Food Supply Chain Case Studies

These publications are part of a series of case studies and Research Briefs examining values-based food supply chains—strategic business alliances formed between primarily midsize farms/ranches and their supply chain partners. Values-based food supply chains distribute significant volumes of high-quality, differentiated food products and share the rewards equitably. Farmers and ranchers function as strategic partners rather than easily replaced input suppliers. All participants in these business alliances recognize that creating maximum value for the product depends on significant interdependence, collaboration and mutual support.

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Characterizing Ag of the Middle and Values-Based Food Supply Chains

Agriculture of the Middle (AOTM) encompasses a spectrum of farms and ranches that are declining because they are too small to be served well by commodity markets and too large to be served well by direct markets. Most AOTM farms are characterized by: (1) their size; (2) their business organization; and (3) the production and marketing strategies they adopt to remain viable.

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Value chain teaching materials

Agriculture of the Middle has produced three sets of curricular resources on value-based food supply chains for university-level business and economics courses.

These curriculum materials are based on a set of four case studies developed by the Agriculture of the Middle initiative. These case studies offer models of how mid-sized farms and ranches can prosper through producing and selling high-quality, differentiated food products into a variety of markets. They feature four innovative enterprises: Country Natural Beef, Organic Valley, Red Tomato and Shepherd's Grain.

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