UBC Undergraduate Research

The UBC Farm : forming market relationships Bomford, Mark; Dosanjh, Grace; Jones, Shannon; Leung, Janice; Nelson, Heather; Spry, Austin


The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the potential role that the UBC Farm at South Campus has in the UBC Food System. Our group identified two key problems: 1) The UBC Farm’s operating costs exceed its revenue, and 2) UBC food providers have expressed reserved interest in buying UBC Farm produce, but current prices and quantities supplied are not competitive with UBC Food Services current suppliers. We discussed the major constraints preventing the UBC Farm from forming purchasing agreements with UBC Food Services, such as restricted summer availability, quality, and quantity of products. We identified commonalties in our value system, with all group members identifying themselves as weakly anthropocentric. This value identification formed a basis for further exploration of our stated problems. The exploration of Group 14’s representative model of food system sustainability from last year led us to refine it so that it correlated with our own priorities and values. To assess the UBC Farm’s business model, we conducted an examination of each of the components of a business plan. We explored other University and College Farms and compared their strengths and successes to UBC Farm; with these findings we were able to create recommendations to improve the UBC Farm’s profitability in the future. We further emphasize the fact that UBC Farm is limited in food production potential, and has great opportunities for education, research, partnership development, and building social capital. Recommendations for future data collection for next year’s AGSC 450 class include production and economic assessments, market, and case study research. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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