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Abstract

This paper presents a case study of an organic vegetable farm, designed for a senior undergraduate farm business management or agribusiness course, and is accompanied by a teaching note which includes suggested analysis. Phil Foster is the owner and manager of Phil Foster Ranches, a 252-acre organic vegetable, fruit, and nut farm in the Central Coast Valley of California. Until the last few years, most of the sales were to a number of produce brokers who sold the produce for Phil in the wholesale market on a commission basis. Believing he could get better prices by selling direct to retailers, two years ago Phil started a local delivery route to small grocery stores wishing to sell organic produce. The delivery route has enjoyed success, but now requires significant additional investment of both time and money if it is to be maintained and expanded. Phil Foster must now decide if expanding the local delivery route will be worth the investment cost and effort. Through situation analysis, this case study examines Phil's decision-making options.

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