Economic Performance & Profitability
The sustainability of our business is key to elevating our brand and ensuring that we continue our ability to do good work and further our mission, vision, and values. Our economic success enables us to accomplish our environmental and social vision.
KPI: Percentage year over year change in sales
The Pipeline Foods Grower Base
Our skilled commercial team has decades of combined experience in buying and selling organic and non-GMO product. Because we value the relational over transactional, we have developed long-lasting, trusted partnerships with high-quality growers, processors, and food companies. In 2018, Pipeline Foods contracted with 389 growers. We were also able to grow our reach by sending market updates and bid sheets to around 1,700 growers in Canada and the U.S.
Pipeline Foods Grower Base - Upper Midwest
Between 2017 (our first year in business) and 2018, our volume originated increased by 210% as we moved into new markets and started partnering with more growers across the U.S. and Canada. The vast majority of our originated product is organic, with smaller amounts being purchased from the conventional and non-GMO markets.
Elevating Our Brand
In an effort to be transparent and collaborative, we engage our shareholders via social media and storytelling as well as through conventional media outlets to communicate our value commitments, tell our evolving story, and solicit different perspectives.
We track stakeholder engagement through these various media channels, including share of voice among competitors and Pipeline Foods’ media coverage sentiment. This keeps us ever-alert to how our brand is being viewed in the marketplace.
Since Pipeline Foods’ inception, we have seen our social media following continually increase, and sentiment remain steadily positive. Research has shown that the higher share of voice and positive sentiment a company has, the more likely it is to have a greater market share, as well.
Click on each image to view the related article
Investment in Assets
Investments in assets in the grains and oilseeds business are made to reduce the unit costs of handling, processing and transporting products. In the case of Pipeline Foods, we are specifically looking for opportunities to provide these market efficiencies for organic farmers and end-users.
Geography is always important. The organic space is more complicated than the conventional space due to the very dispersed farmer network, which is generally in the middle of the continent, and the very dispersed end user network, which is generally concentrated on the coasts. To do our job well, we have to find optimal transportation routes to end users and try to match them against the farmer network. Then we identify assets which could fit the need and are for sale, or could be bought if the deal works for the current owner. With the exception of one of our locations, it is a critical part of our strategy to re-purpose existing conventional facilities into a more productive future through serving the organic community.
Although we initially focused on facilities that could handle, store and clean organic grains, it is also a critical part of our strategy to add value through additional processing. The degree to which we will value-add is very commodity specific. For example, we are interested in processing organic oilseeds and legumes, but not organic wheat since we are the primary supplier of organic wheat to the flour millers across the continent.
We are also interested in exploring how far we can duplicate this concept in South America, starting with Argentina. The benefit of a north-south strategy is to double the number of annual crop cycles and protect our customers from potential weather catastrophes. It is not clear how successfully we can execute this strategy, however, so we are moving slowly and preferring initially to lease rather than buy assets in Argentina.
As our network of assets grows, our economic opportunity is strengthened. Our ability to manage geographic risks and provide guaranteed service to our farmer and end-user partners, regardless of localized weather challenges, will make us a highly valuable supply chain partner in the markets for organic grains and oilseeds.