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Organic Farm Marketing Proposal
By: Robert Lee, Jeff Lien, Zach Lisson, Jake Lombardo & Vivian Ly,

Background: the Cal Poly Organic Farm[3]

Horticulture and Crop Science Department College of Agriculture Food and Environmental Science Grants and private donations

-On campus next to farm -Morro Bay Farmers Market -Downtown San Luis Obispo’s Farmers Market

-Students On Campus -Students Off Campus -San Luis Obispo residents


Primary Concerns:

Not enough student traffic

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Limited resources
Trying to stick to primary line of work

Inefficient use of time


Increase student awareness, with an emphasis in learning

Increase efficiency, while maintaining simplicity
Completing this objective without adding work or much work

Our Survey
We created a simple 7 question survey using Survey Monkey - Sent out to several large general education classes

Total recipients: approximately1000 - Received 267 responses, generating a response rate of 26.7%

+ Survey
-Would you be willing to pay more for organic vegetables? -What do you think the greatest benefit of organic vegetables is? Greatest downside? -Have you been to the Cal Poly Organic Farm stand? If so, how did you hear about it? -Did you buy anything?

-Do you cook/have access to cooking facilities?
-What year are you?

“Noting or pertaining to a class o
f chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existi ng in or derived from plants or animals, but that now inclu des all other compounds of carbon.[10]”




Political: strict food preparation codes/guidelines, organic industry regulations
Economic: state of economy on buying behaviors, rising tuition, student success fee Social: green movement, social networking, growing interest/acceptance Technological: corporate blogging, social networking, websites (broad acceptance) Environment: environmental benefits of organic industry, green movement, less pollution




Support from Cal Poly

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program [9]
Cal Poly support allows for focus on increasing interest, knowledge, and exposure for students of all majors


Lower prices aided by student discount
“Learn by Doing” – student customers acquire knowledge about the product

• •

“Green” movement – Organic Farms are expanding in
Ability to provide a variety of organic produce Value of association with Cal Poly name


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Profits are at a loss in past recent years
Difficulty for staff to juggle tasks at Farmers Market (efficiency of purchase) Inconvenient location on Cal Poly campus Ineffective promotion Limitation of Location – the Organic Farm is limited in the number of on-campus venues for selling produce Inability to use pesticides – must rely on natural methods Limited product –unable to grow organic fruits

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Growing demand for organic goods and green products Potential growth markets:
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Students Alumni and local organic customers Local markets

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Greater foot traffic through increased promotion and visibility Upper classmen market – access to kitchens, demand for produce “Green” movement




Rising local competition – attributable to growing popularity and acceptance Increasing budget cuts Organic foods generally more expensive than regular produce:  Poor economy – lowered consumer purchasing power, especially among college students  Rising tuition – factor in lowered student purchasing power  Student Success Fee

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Marketing Mix: 4Ps
• Healthy products • Lack of organic fruit products • High Price as compared to nonorganic food products



• Inconvenient location • Lack of dedicated parking

• Limited advertising • Lack of visibility in advertising


Organics in Retail

1997: organic produce’s main outlet for retail was natural food stores By 2008, nearly half of all organic foods were purchased in conventional supermarkets, club stores, and big-box stores. [14]


Industry Growth
Share of organic sales by marketing channel

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Natural Products Retailers Direct Markets, Export & Other Conventional Retailers

1991 1998 2006

+ Industry Growth
Retail Sales of Organic Fruits and Vegetables (Millions of Dollars) [15]
9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Retail Sales of Organic Fruits and Vegetables (Millions of Dollars)

+ Growing Acceptance of Organics[12]

52.4% of respondents said that they would be willing to pay
more for organic vegetables

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2008:L retail for organic products reaches $21.1 billion [16] Retailers developing private-label organic products, and organic variations of successful brands (e.g. Organic Heinz Ketchup)
…This signals growing acceptance of organic produce


Benefits of Organic Foods [8]

Nutritional Value

Contains 30% more nutritional value than conventionally grown counterpart [6]

Majority of conventionally grown products have pesticide residue.
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No harmful chemicals[13] Less incidences of harmful bacteria

+ of Organics: Benefits

According to students





Greatest Disadvantages of Organics
According to students

78% of students
consider the higher price of organics as the greatest disadvantage

While 11% believed that longevity of organic product is the greatest downfall



Extra Credit PCV Event Cross Promotions


Extra Credit Opportunity


Establish an Extra Credit opportunity for students to come to the farm and help train the student volunteers


Create an assignment and propose it to Healthy Living teachers

Extra Credit Mock Assignment
-Write 2 paragraphs about your experience at the CPOF, describing what you liked about it, what you didn’t like. What you learned while you were there. -Spend 30 minutes helping train CPOF volunteers, by asking them question about organics.


-efficient usage of time on both sides -Motivate students to come to the CPOF -teaches the students something new about organics -increases student- to- student interaction -generates pride in work, on part of the CPOF volunteers


Our Findings:
If so, did you purchase anything?

Have you been to the Cal Poly Organic Farm?





Awareness Level: 18%

Of the 14% that went to the Cal Poly Organic Farm 46% made a purchase.

Promotional Material
Secondary Implementation


Therefore increasing promotional material could resolve this problem

Increase Promotional Material

Secondary Implementation



4339 like this
“an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture”
-Merriam-Webster [10]


In recent months memes have taken on a new definition in the minds of college students

Cal Poly’s Facebook Meme page–created in February of this year–has already been “liked” by over 4,300 people [7]

Proposed Location: around campus in order to generate interest While this may seem like an odd message, it is one of the most popular and recognized memes

Proposed Location: on Highland near the stand

-to be located on the street in front of the Cal Poly Organic Farm stand


Locational Overview:
“One simply does not. . “ Mem

“Can’t Tell If . . “ Mem

Success Baby Mem


QR Codes
QR: Quick Response Code Can be Linked to -Directions to the farm -Farm’s Facebook page -Online coupons

Sophomore Housing Event

Secondary Implementation


Coordinate with PVC student officers to plan an interactive event teaching students to cook using organic produce sold at the Cal Poly Organic Farm Potentially an exciting opportunity to utilize Sage Chef Sell produce at the event as well



+ Social Media:

Implementation: Secondary Strategy

Social Media is a rapidly growing form of communication
- More than 70% of student check social media sites more than once a day[5] - Facebook is ranked the No. 1 site among college students, with Google second and MySpace third [1]


Facebook in now used by every

1 in 13 people on Earth
34% of companies generated leads
using twitter

56% of people more likely to
recommend a brand after becoming a fan on Facebook

Integrated Marketing Communications +
Personal Selling

Social Media


Promotion Mix

Public Relations

-High Reach -High Frequency (High GRP) -Easy -Low Cost

Sales Promotion


Social Media[17]:
Create page that provide: General information such as time, place, etc. Coupons, sales events and activities Host events that create awareness

Create twitter page that record Daily activities Interesting fact of the day Receipts

Set up youtube channel Video tour of the farm Cooking shows like the food channel Encourage people to upload videos related to organic farm/them enjoying CPOF produces

Create photo albums of the organic farm Encourage people to upload photos of them enjoying CPOF produces

-Further establish the relationship with the Sage Chef, including contracted biweekly orders -Advertise the organic farm on small table flyers at sage

Cross Promotions
Secondary Implementation

Real Food Collaborative

-offer U-pick as an event option during WOW week

-Work together to find an efficient way to bring organic produce into Cal Poly Dining


[1] Anderson Analytics. "College Students: Facebook Top Site, Social Networking Really Hot."Social Networking Use. Marketing Chart, 5 Oct. 2007. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <>. [2]Bennet, Shea. "Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn--The Social Media Statistics Of Today."Statistics. Mediabistro, 29 Dec. 2011. Web. 7 Mar. 2012. <>. [3] "Cal Poly Organic Farm." Organic Farm. CPOF, 29 Nov. 2011. Web. 7 Mar. 2012. <>. [4] Carolyn Dimitri and Lydia Oberholtzer. United States Department of Agriculture.September 2009. Economic Research Service [5] College Board. "Social Networking Sites and College-Bound Students." Student POLL. College Board, 2009. Web. 10 Mar. 2012. <>. [6] Durham, C.A. 2007. “The Impact of Environmental and Health Motivations on the Organic Share of Purchases,” A gricultural and Resource Economics Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 304-320 [7] Facebook. "Cal Poly SLO Memes." Facebook. Facebook, 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <>. [8] Howie, M. 2004. “Research Roots Out Myths Behind Buying Organic Foods,”Feedstuffs, Mar. 29. [9] LocalHarvest, Inc. "Community Supported Agriculture." Real Food, Real Farmers, Real Community. LocalHarvest, I nc., 2011. Web. 7 Mar. 2012. [10] Merriam-Webster, Incorporated., 2012, Retrieved March 12, 2012 [11] MRI+ MediaMark. Fall 2010 Product Report. Household Products - Food Products: Organic Foods. Retrieved Feb 27, 2012, from MRI+ MediaMark. [12] Organics Consumer Association,, March 24, 2004, received March 13th, 2012 [13] Real Food Collaborative. "Who Are We?" Real Food Collaborative, Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2012. <>. [14] Sheila Zahm and Aaron Blair, "Pesticides and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma," Cancer Research, 52 Supp. ( 1992):S5485-88) [15] The Gazette (Montreal), November 4, 2009 Wednesday, NEWS; Pg. A11, 340 words, SARAH SCHMIDT, Canwest News Service [16] The Toronto Star, October 12, 2006 Thursday, NEWS; Pg. A19, 744 words, Stuart Laidlaw, Toronto Star [17] WebMediaBrands Inc., created 2012, Received March 13th, 2012