El Chilhuacle is the code name for a project whose main objective is to create a business model for a sustainable food franchise. The model will be designed to allow for different implementations.
At its core, the model will be built with the notion of delivering the service of nutrition, rather than selling products.
The model will represent the methodology to follow while creating a Suburban Micro Farm (SUMF). The first SUMF is been developed in Langley, Victoria. La Quinta El Chilhuacle is 33 acres, seventeen are forest and sixteen are cleared with an orchard containing approximately 150 fruit trees. The Quinta is 14 kilometers from a town called Kyneton, which itself is about 84 km North of Melbourne There is train link between Kyneton and Melbourne.
The pourpose of this project is two fold:
To explore the concept of SUMF as a possible solution for suburban
To use SUMFs as a building block of Community Based Franchising (CBF).
Specifically, there are several questions I would like to answer.
1. What are the effects on markets for food, vegetables and minimally processed food (i.e. bread, tofu and its derivatives, milk derivatives) when the Cost of Distribution is reduced to zero? By Cost of Distribution I not only mean freight cost, but also, any economic benefit not realized by the producer. My hypothesis is that when the Cost of Distribution is virtually zero, the advantages of economies of scale disappear, thereby making a small business competitive.
2. Is it feasible to create Horizontal Economies of Scale, that is, a large number of small producers serving a community rather than one large producer (i.e. Vertical Economies of Scale)?
3. What is the optimal distribution of SUMFs in a community, both geographically and demographically?
4. Is it possible to develop and create horizontal economies of scale by creating Community Based Franchising of SUMF? CBF will operate by creating easily identifiable marketing concepts like any other franchise. There will be, however, four main differences with traditional franchising models:
First, all information as well as Software systems will be Open Source.
Second, there will be no franchising fees.
Third, the core principle of the CBF will be not to maximize return
on investment, but rather, maximize quality of life in the community
while maintaining a level of profit that will allow the business to
Fourth, the objective is to produce the highest quality products and
services while designing business process with the aim to minimize
resources used in their production and consumption.
5. Is it possible to incorporate an SUMF with a network of small producers? Small producers could provide SUMF with staples like Soya beans, coffee, cacao, corn, flour, sugar, etc which can not be grown in very small space. The project will aim to make the small producers integral partners in the supply chain by sharing the profits of the final products (those consumed by the consumer) in a fair and equitable way.
The project will try to answer all of these questions by following accepted sustainability and organic farming practices.
This project is an integral part of the Ginger Operating System of Sustenance.