This page was created by the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network: www.nichemeatprocessing.org.
Planning a meat processing business? These tools can help.
- NMPAN Business Planning Guide for Small Meat Processors
- Small Meat Plant and Marketing Company Business Plan Models
- CISA Cash Flow Template for a Small Meat Plant
- Oklahoma State University Financial Planning Template for a Small Meat Plant
- Meat Processing Feasibility Studies
NMPAN Business Planning Guide for Small Meat Processors
Every business needs a plan, whether you're just getting started or changing course after many years. This short guide walks you through a basic business plan, from a processor looking to upgrade and expand his facility. It contains detailed financial projections and suggestions for planning other plant configurations.
PLEASE NOTE: This guide does NOT provide an easy answer to the question of how many head of livestock you need to process at what price to have a "successful" business. There is no one solution. Figure out what it costs you to run the plant, figure out how many head of livestock you can source, and divide costs plus margin by that number of livestock to get your price.
All three variables can be manipulated -- increase number of head, decrease costs (start-up and operating), increase prices -- but the end result must be a balanced equation. And remember that price feeds back on head, because if you raise prices, demand for your services can go down and vice-versa.
Version Date: May 16, 2011
This template (in Excel) contains the year 1 cash flow projections for the sample business plan featured in the guidebook. Not all cost/revenue categories will be applicable to your plans, but this will show you one way to set it up. Read the instructions page first (tab 1 of the workbook).
This link will take you to a pair of model business plans for a small, USDA-inspected meat processing plant and linked meat marketing company, including a multi-part business and marketing analysis.
The plans describe a plant that provides fee-based slaughter and processing services to livestock producers and manufactures processed meats for sale to wholesale or retail customers. It can harvest and process ~25 to 32 beef cattle per week and a similar amount of hogs and lambs/goats and would employ 7 to 11 full-time workers.
The plans were prepared by Food and Livestock Planning, Inc in 2011 as part of a project funded by USDA Rural Development to examine processing and marketing options for the South Coast region of Oregon.
CISA Cash Flow Template for a Small Meat Plant
This cash flow template tool, created by Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), can help you develop your own cash flow model and explore business options.
CISA designed the template in 2008 to test the financial feasibility of establishing a small-scale, low-tech, mixed species slaughterhouse and processing facility in Western Massachusetts. CISA partnered with a small group of farmers to estimate cash flow inputs for building or renovating a small-scale slaughter and processing facility. Based on this, they developed a cash flow projection and Profit and Loss Statement, in template format for others to use.
You can find the template, with detailed instructions, along with the full feasibility study, "Demand and Options for Local Meat Processing," on the CISA website.
Oklahoma State University Planning Template for a Small Meat Plant
OSU developed this feasibility template, released in 2012, to guide potential plant operators through financial planning for construction and/or operation of a small, multi-species meat processing facility. Lead author is Dr. Rodney Holcomb, with assistance from Dr. Phil Kenkel and Mr. Kyle Flynn.
The first link is the template; the second takes you to an instructional video about using the template.
Instructional Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJcnL0KY864&feature=related
Different groups around the country have conducted feasibility studies to learn what kind of processing solution makes the most sense for their area and circumstances. Our summaries of selected studies tell you how the studies were done and what they learned. We give contact info for the authors and links to the full reports.