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- January 1, 2000 - December 31, 2009
- Several sources: Cornell, Smith Lever, NY Farm Viability Institute, fees
has contribution area
has academic priority
has USDA Area
impact statement impact
- In 2009, the center provided direct assistance or training to 5,000 people in food safety, food processing, and business development and marketing, complemented by appropriate referrals to existing local service providers. After 10 years of operation, the center has developed a highly productive program that has positively impacted 1,300 entrepreneurs for the commercialization of 5,100 food products. On a follow-up survey based on three years of operation,it was estimated that 806 full time jobs were created by new businesses and 7,836 existing jobs are supported by established businesses. Ninety four percent of clients were satisfied with the direct assistance received and 65% reported services provided aided in the success of their businesses. Comprehensive assistance to food entrepreneurs through university centers is a successful model that increases the safety of specialty foods, increases entrepreneurs knowledge and competency, and creates local economic development.
impact statement issue
- Specialty foods continue to be a growth area in the food industry, providing opportunities to people interested in developing their own businesses and to farmers looking for alternatives to utilize and market their crops. Increased regulatory oversight of new food products to ensure safety of consumers created the need to provide direct assistance to start-up companies to comply with federal and state regulations and to transfer knowledge in food manufacturing. Business and marketing training is also necessary to increase the chances of success by small companies in a highly competitive niche marketplace.
impact statement response
- A university-based regional center was created in 2000 with federal funding, based on the foundation of the New York State Food Venture Center, to support start-up food companies. In its tenth year of operation, the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship (NECFE) continued to successfully provide comprehensive assistance to food entrepreneurs in the Northeast by offering direct counseling and educational programs. The Center is now supported by New York state, the New York Farm Viability Institute and by fees per services. In 2009, the center responded to 1388 inquiries for assistance on marketing food products. We worked with 233 entrepreneurs who needed safety evaluations of 631 specialty products and processes for commercial production. The center's laboratory analyzed 506 samples of food prototypes to address their safety and technological feasibility. We conducted and sponsored 11 workshops and conferences totaling 427 attendees and covering topics relevant to specialty foods production. We contributed as speakers/instructors in 23 additional technical programs/events reaching 1,200 individuals. We also reached additional people through open events such as Empire Farm Days and Fun on the Farm. Educational materials with wide distribution included the updated 148-page manual "Small-Scale Food Entrepreneurship: a Technical Guide for Food Ventures" and the newsletter for the small-scale food entrepreneur, "Venture." Complete electronic archives are maintained on the website, which is being accessed by over 20,000 visitors per year.
impact statement summary
- A university-based center has been successful in supporting food entrepreneurship in the Northeast, thus increasing the knowledge and competency of start-up food companies, ensuring the safety of new food products, improving regulatory compliance, and creating local economic development.
Other private funding
- Fees for services
- Applied Research
- Padilla-Zakour, Olga I. Cornell Faculty Member