Download the full Request for Proposals  here

 

Summary and Background

The Local Organic Food Co-ops Network is currently accepting proposals for the Co-operative Local Food Marketing Consultant position.

 

Project summary:

 

International Co-op Principle #6:

Co-operation among Co-operatives

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

 

The Co-operative Local Food Marketing Project is the first stage in the development of shared marketing services to be offered by the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network, building on common products and suppliers supplying local food to the coops.

 

This project will develop collective point of sale education materials (templates) that communicate the value and stories associated with the said products. Based on values of local or co-operatively owned, or other categories as recommended in member consultations, product/producer communication tools will be developed to be customized and used in stores and online to raise awareness around local food.

 

Organization description

 

The Local Organic Food Coops network consists of over 90 food and farming cooperatives from across Ontario. From Windsor to Dryden, our members share a common vision to increase the production of local food in their regions. As mission based organizations that serve to fulfill a community need, our co-op members are increasing the sale and distribution of local foods throughout Ontario. This is demonstrated by the success of Eat Local Sudbury, Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op, West End Food Co-op, Mustard Seed Co-op and On the Move Organics; each co-op has grown exponentially over the past several years.

 

The co-ops that are involved in this project are making meaningful contributions to the changing marketing of local food in Ontario. With collective sales of over 25 million in sales, it can be estimated that these co-ops are selling over one million in local food every year based on their mandates to carry local food as a preference to items imported from afar. These co-ops all have the capacity and desire to sell more local food but lack the time and resources to create education and communications tools to express the deeper value of these local products to their customers. The development of shared tools will reduce the overhead burden of these small businesses while improving the awareness around the local food products they carry.

 

  1. Proposal Guidelines

 

Proposals will be accepted until March 1, 2017, 5:00 pm. Responses should be detailed, and itemized to include an explanation of planned activities and costs.

 

  1. Project Purpose and Description

The Co-operative Local Food Marketing Project is the first stage in the development of shared marketing services to be offered by the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network, building on common products and suppliers supplying local food to the coops. There is growing group of co-ops within the network that sell local food from multiple farmers through their stores and restaurants.

 

During the 2016 LOFC member interviews, it was identified by 70% of the interviewees that access to marketing and educational materials were key areas that would impact their ability to increase sales of local food products. As the co-operatives are limited in their capacity to produce marketing strategies, marketing materials development and provision was identified as an area where the LOFC could be of benefit to the membership.  Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

 

Additionally, it has been identified that revised branding is required by the network as a whole. This has been heard internally, from members and from potential project partners.

 

This project will develop collective point of sale materials that communicate the value and stories associated with the products. Based on values of local or co-operatively owned, or other categories as recommended in member consultations product/producer communication tools will be developed to be used in store and online to raise awareness around local food.

 

The 2017 LOFC  goals include work with a professional marketing consultant and key co-op groups to develop marketing material templates that reflect the co-op values, and are applicable in a range of co-op contexts. The project will work closely with participating members to complete the deliverables. The core member group will be ten to twelve members covering all regions of the network operations. The project team will identify priority marketing needs, draft and circulate materials, and launch pilot implementation with the designated co-ops.

 

Results of project

As a result of the project, LOFC will be able to offer a shared marketing program that will be funded through sales revenues at participating co-ops and through vendor support. The project will significantly benefit both local food producers and the food and farm co-ops in Ontario to increase sales and supplement local marketing efforts. After the term of the grant funding, the program will be offered to all member co-ops and their suppliers as a fee for service to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program.

 

This project will be the first stage in the business development of shared marketing services offered by the LOFC. Modeled after the U.S. innovators of P6, the LOFC will develop and pilot-test this shared marketing program. The program will eventually be supported through sales revenues at member co-operatives and through vendor support in the future. By developing this program, the LOFC will be able to design a program with maximum benefit to both local producers and the co-operatives to sell more food in Ontario. The LOFC Marketing Program services will be available for percentage of sales to future co-operative participants as a method to generate revenue for the organization and to ensure the long term sustainability of the marketing program.

 

The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from various candidates, conduct a fair and extensive evaluation based on criteria listed herein, and select the best candidate.

 

  1. Project Activities

The project will:

2017 Timeline Task Who
Coordination

January-February

Identify core member participants (all regions) LOFC staff, member team
Develop, distribute and collect MOU's from participating members LOFC staff, member team
Development

March- June

Develop a marketing strategy with partners Consultant with LOFC staff, member team
Develop LFFC logo and brand Consultant with LOFC staff, Board
Get product and category recommendations from participating members Consultant, LOFC staff, member team
Consultation with members to design marketing strategy (aggregation of material in short report); Assembly and survey Consultant, LOFC staff, member team
Analysis of categories for fit to program (report to participants) Consultant, with input from LOFC staff
Develop marketing materials for phase 1 of program Consultant, with input from LOFC staff
May Draft materials (templates) complete Consultant with input from LOFC staff
Material review meeting (facilitation and design of session) Consultant, with LOFC staff, member team
Implementation

July-October

July Final templates complete for pilot phase Consultant
Pre-execution meeting (facilitation and design of session) Consultant, with LOFC staff, member team
Implement marketing materials Consultant, LOFC staff, member team
Track effect in sales and other data and report (short report combining information) Member team, Consultant
Final launch

Nov- December

Develop phase 2 marketing materials and implement (with fee for service model drafted for further review) Consultant with input from LOFC staff, member team

 

  1. Deliverables
  1. Completed consultations with members
  2. Short report on results of consultations with analysis of categories for program (e.g., local food, fair trade, organic, co-op grown, etc.)
  3. Creation of logo and brand for LFFC
  4. Draft marketing materials and templates
  5. Implementation of materials by participating members
  6. Meeting to review and report back on marketing materials
  7. Short report on pilot results, including measurements by sales data
  8. Revision and relaunch of finalized marketing materials
  9. Implementation of final program offering marketing materials to all members with fee for service model

 

Please note that further outcomes may be requested or some changes may be necessary as the project develops.

 

  1. Request for Proposal Timeline

Request for Proposal Timeline:

All proposals in response to this RFP are due no later than March 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm.

The selection decision for the chosen consultant will be made by mid-March.

 

  1. Project Budget

Budget for this contract is in a range depending on experience and other considerations: $7,500-10,000

 

  1. Bidder Qualifications

Submissions should provide the following items as part of their proposal for consideration:

  • CV of principals including languages spoken
  • Description of experience in the food industry (any and all experience from farm to fork, corporate marketing experience, co-operative business or co-operative service sector experience.
  • Description of marketing and branding expertise
  • Examples of at least two other contracts completed specific to the marketing and branding in the food sector (preferably alternative food such as organic, co-ops, local, etc.)
  • List of any other project related experience.
  • Description of general plan of approach to project
  • References (three)

 

  1. Proposal Evaluation Criteria

LOFC will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria. To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following criteria:

 

  • Overall proposal suitability: proposed concepts must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner
  • Organizational Experience: proposals will be evaluated on the consultant’s experience as it pertains to the scope of this project
  • Previous work: individuals will be evaluated on examples of their work pertaining to the previously stated experiential requirements of the project.
  • Proposed timeline
  • References are necessary with all claims of experience related to this project.

 

Each proposal must be submitted to info @ cultivatingfoodcoops.net by 5:00 pm on March 1, 2017.

 

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Request for Proposals: Local Food Marketing Consultant