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Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 20

Meeting Date: April 26, 2005

Subject/Title: Consideration of a resolution accepting the Brentwood Grown Marketing Program Proposal and appropriating the $100,000 expenditure from the Agricultural Trust – Land Conservation Fund

Prepared by: Gail Leech, Management Analyst

Submitted by: Howard Sword, Director of Community Development

RECOMMENDATION
Consideration of a resolution accepting the Brentwood Grown Marketing Program Proposal and appropriating the $100,000 expenditure from the Agricultural Trust – Land Conservation Fund.

PREVIOUS ACTION
In January 2004, the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT) created the Agricultural Enterprise Committee, a group that consists of Brentwood producers. Developing a regional identity or brand was one of the three specific purposes for the formation of this group.

The Brentwood Grown group was formed to create stable market links in the nearby Bay Area market. If successful, Brentwood Grown should be able to set prices and develop long-term relationships for wholesale and direct marketing.

On March 17, 2005, the BALT Board of Directors considered the “Brentwood Grown Marketing Proposal to BALT” dated April 2005 and presented to the BALT Board by Erick Stonebarger on behalf of G & S Farms, Dwelley Farms, Ron Nunn Farms, Maggiore Ranches and Simoni Farms (the “Safeway Proposal”).

The BALT Board of Directors respectfully recommends that the City Council approve the Safeway proposal, provided however that (i) the City has received an opinion from legal counsel that the agricultural mitigation fees collected and held by the City may legally be used to fund the Safeway Proposal; and (ii) any funding of the Safeway Proposal from the agricultural mitigation fees shall be paid solely from the funds on deposit with the City in the “Agricultural Trust – Land Conservation Fund.”

Legal advice has been sought through Tom Curry, Interim City Attorney, who has confirmed that the agricultural mitigation fees collected and held by the City may legally be used to fund the Safeway Proposal.

BACKGROUND
The primary goal of the Brentwood Grown project is to develop a regionally recognized brand for Brentwood Grown produce through a partnership with Safeway Food Stores. A $100,000 commitment from the City of Brentwood will allow for advertising the Brentwood Grown logo and miscellaneous verbiage in specific regional locations, resulting in a 28.5% marketshare and regional recognition of the Brentwood Grown product.

Brentwood grown has taken their proposal to the Agricultural Enterprise Committee and then to BALT for approval. A letter of recommendation from BALT is attached.

FISCAL IMPACT
$100,000 from the Agricultural Trust – Land Conservation Fund.

Attachments
Resolution
Brentwood Grown Marketing Proposal
Letters of Recommendation:
BALT
Harvest Time in Brentwood, Inc.
Contra Costa County Winegrape Growers Association

RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD ACCEPTING THE BRENTWOOD GROWN MARKETING PROGRAM PROPOSAL AND APPROPRIATING THE $100,000 EXPENDITURE FROM THE AGRICULTURAL TRUST – LAND CONSERVATION FUND

WHEREAS, in January 2004, the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust created the Agricultural Enterprise Committee, a group that consists of Brentwood producers. Developing a regional identity or brand was one of the three specific purposes for the formation of this group; and

WHEREAS, the Brentwood Grown group was formed to create stable market links in the nearby Bay Area market. If successful, Brentwood Grown should be able to set prices and develop long-term relationships for wholesale and direct marketing; and

WHEREAS, the primary goal of the Brentwood Grown project is to develop a regionally recognized brand for Brentwood Grown produce through a partnership with Safeway Food Stores. A $100,000 commitment from the City of Brentwood will allow for advertising the Brentwood Grown logo and miscellaneous verbiage in specific regional locations, resulting in a 28.5% marketshare and regional recognition of the Brentwood Grown product; and

WHEREAS, Brentwood grown has taken their proposal to the Agricultural Enterprise Committee and then to BALT for approval. A letter of recommendation from BALT is attached; and

WHEREAS, On March 17, 2005, the BALT Board of Directors considered the “Brentwood Grown Marketing Proposal to BALT” dated April 2005 and presented to the BALT Board by Erick Stonebarger on behalf of G & S Farms, Dwelley Farms, Ron Nunn Farms, Maggiore Ranches and Simoni Farms (the “Safeway Proposal”); and

WHEREAS, The BALT Board of Directors respectfully recommends that the City Council approve the Safeway proposal, provided however that (i) the City has received an opinion from legal counsel that the agricultural mitigation fees collected and held by the City may legally be used to fund the Safeway Proposal; and (ii) any funding of the Safeway Proposal from the agricultural mitigation fees shall be paid solely from the funds on deposit with the City in the “Agricultural Trust – Land Conservation Fund”; and

WHEREAS, Legal advice has been sought through Tom Curry, Interim City Attorney, who has confirmed that the agricultural mitigation fees collected and held by the City may legally be used to fund the Safeway Proposal.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood hereby accepts the Brentwood Grown Marketing Program proposal and approves appropriating the $100,000 expenditure from the Agricultural Trust – Land Conservation Funds.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting held on the 26th day of April 2005 by the following vote:

Presented By:
G & S Farms
Dwelley Farms
Ron Nunn Farms
Maggiore Ranches
Simoni Farms

TABLE OF CONTENTS

History 3

Goal of the Project 4

Where is Brentwood Agriculture Going 5

Logo 6

Areas and Methods of Marketing 7

Summary 8

Letter of Understanding from Safeway 9

Letter of Support from CCCWGA 10

Letter of Support from Harvest Time 11

BRENTWOOD’S AGRICULTURAL HISTORY

Since 1837 when John Marsh purchased the Los Meganos Rancho, agriculture has been an intrical part in the development of Brentwood as a community. From small farmers to large agricultural companies such as H.P. Garin Co. and Balfour, Guthrie and Co., farming had been the primary industry in the area.

Below is a quick glimpse of Brentwood Agriculture over the last 168 years.

Timeline

1837 Doc John Marsh purchased the Los Meganos Rancho.
1881 George Nunn settles in Brentwood on the corner of Balfour & Sellers.
1890 Brentwood is the largest shipping point for grains between San Francisco and New Orleans.
1910 Balfour, Guthrie and Co. purchases the Marsh Ranch (12,616 acres) for $650,000
1921 Charles Dwelley settles in Brentwood on Eden Plaines Rd.
1922 The first orchards were planted in Brentwood.
1925 Frank Stonebarger settles in Oakley on Brownstone Rd.
1925 William T. Kirkman Jr. came to Brentwood from Fresno and purchased 1600 acres.
1926 The first Apricot Festival was held.
1926 H.P. Garin came to Brentwood. By 1935 Garin controlled more than 30,000 acres in the state.
1930 Balfour, Guthrie and Co. has the state’s largest dry-yard and packing shed. They had more than 600 employees.
1934 Apricot Harvest Strike hit Brentwood.
1940 Simoni Family settles in area.
1943 Balfour, Guthrie and Co. sold their holdings.
1945 Emilio Ghiggeri plants first Sweet Corn in Brentwood.
1948 Frank Maggiore settles in Brentwood.
1980 Safeway recognizes Brentwood as the premier Sweet Corn region in California.
1982 White Sweet Corn was first sold to Safeway by Glenn Stonebarger.
1992 Brentwoods first Cornfest held in the Brentwood City Park.
1994 Wave of residential development hits Brentwood.
1999 Brentwood Diamonds introduced to the marketplace by G & S Farms, Dwelley Farms, Nunn Farms, Maggiore Ranches and Simoni Farms.

GOAL OF THE PROJECT

In January 2004, the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust created the Agricultural Enterprise Committee, a group that consists of Brentwood producers. Developing a regional identity or brand was one of the three specific purposes for the formation of this group. Based on this concept, through the planning and development of a marketing strategy, Brentwood Grown can create stable market links in the nearby Bay Area market. If successful, Brentwood Grown should be able to set prices and develop long term relationships for wholesale and direct marketing. Further, we can preserve Brentwood’s identity and set apart Brentwood products in the marketplace.

The primary goal of the Brentwood Grown project is to develop a regionally recognized brand for Brentwood Grown produce through a partnership with Safeway food stores. The ultimate goal is one in which Brentwood Grown immediately invokes a vision of quality produce in the minds of the consumer. Branding Brentwood Grown produce will improve consumer awareness of the superior quality of the local produce grown in Brentwood. This, in turn, allows Brentwood farmers to receive more money for their products, preserving the economic viability of local farming in Brentwood. If Brentwood Grown can successfully market their brand and segregate their products in the marketplace as quality products, demand for Brentwood produce will sustain Brentwood agriculture.

Ideally, while a successful brand will support farming in Brentwood, a regional identity will also prompt the surrounding community to value and actively support this local agriculture, both economically and politically. Consumers generally choose brands that appeal to them emotionally. Therefore, branding local Brentwood produce should foster pride of ownership throughout the Brentwood community and even regionally. Further, Brentwood is only 50 miles from San Francisco. This close proximity provides Brentwood family farmers a large, nearby urban market. By making Brentwood produce even more accessible to surrounding communities through the efforts of Safeway, we can enhance the image of Brentwood agriculture to appeal to Bay Area markets and Brentwood producers can market their products as more desirable.

The Brentwood farmers have had a 25 year relationship with Safeway, during which Safeway has heavily supported Brentwood’s sweet corn program (Brentwood Platinum). Based on this relationship, Safeway has agreed to help brand Brentwood Grown by adding an all inclusive Brentwood logo and wording in their current advertising. The monies that have been requested through BALT will help brand Brentwood as a premier agricultural region. Thus, an opportunity has presented itself to promote Brentwood as well as Brentwood produce.

Branding can be a very expensive marketing program that can’t be done with fragmented small farmers. Safeway Stores, Inc., with support from BALT, has offered to subsidize this branding effort. For a nominal cost they are willing to incorporate the Brentwood Grown logo and wording in their marketing program. This program will broadcast Brentwood Grown to millions of people in Northern California annually. It is an opportunity to set Brentwood Grown products on their own level. Not only will it help sweet corn growers, but it will help the small farms as well. Brand recognition will enhance awareness at the grocery store level to the restaurants to the farmers markets. Northern California consumers will realize that Brentwood Grown products are the cream of the crop, eventually characterizing Brentwood Grown produce on the same level as Napa Wines.


WHERE BRENTWOOD AGRICULTURE IS HEADED

Brentwood agriculture has decreased from the days of Garin, Balfour and Guthrie to the smaller farmers that coexisted with them, due in part to economic conditions in the agriculture industry and the rapid expanse of development in the East Bay. Brentwood is fortunately situated on the extraordinarily rich soil of the Delta, blessed with a climate that helps provide our premium produce. While Brentwood has traditionally been a farming community, urbanization in and around the City has permanently removed valuable agriculture from production. Fortunately, Contra Costa County, like many other counties, saw the need for viable agriculture and developed the Ag Core, which consists of 6,500 acres in East Contra Costa Irrigation District (ECCID).

This allowed the City of Brentwood to follow suit in support of agriculture and impose mitigation fees on developments for preservation of agriculture. The City has taken action through a City ordinance that funds the preservation of agricultural land through conservation easements. For this land conservation to work, however, farming must be economically viable for family farmers in our region.

This commitment to agriculture is a great first step. With the economic conditions in the Ag Industry, producers need to differentiate themselves to compete with global trade. Family farmers are losing this battle day by day. The sweet corn growers since the 50’s have been working towards premium varieties and growing practices to set their qualities above their competitors. It has taken over 50 years to develop their reputation and now to remain competitive they have to go to the next level. This group of small farmers represents over 50% (3,300 acres) of the Ag Core (6,500 acres) in ECCID. In order for this group and all farmers to be viable we need to brand ourselves as quality producers. Not only will this branding effort help all Brentwood growers it will help the City in general. Further, if this branding effort is successful, it will help make farming economically viable, which is the only guarantee that farmers will stay in this community.

LOGO
Version 1.1

Final determination on logo not yet made.

AREAS AND METHODS OF MARKETING

For a $100k commitment from BALT, a contractual relationship between BALT and Safeway Stores, Inc. will allow for advertising the Brentwood Grown logo and miscellaneous verbiage in the following locations for calendar year 2005:

Metropolitan Area to be Covered Population Store Count
Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County 16,373,645 323
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose 7,039,362 246
Dallas-Fort Worth 5,221,801 71
Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 4,669,571 131
Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton 3,554,760 194
Phoenix-Mesa 3,251,876 106
San Diego 2,813,833 Included in LA
Portland-Salem 2,265,223 114
Sacramento-Yolo 1,796,857 Included in SF
Austin 1,249,763 Included in DFW
TOTAL 48,236,691 1185

Advertising Methods:

Newspaper inserts, radio ads, T.V. ads & in-store banners

Example of Exposure:

There are a total 246 stores in the Northern California region. Within a 15 week advertising period, this equates to 79,354,710 customers seeing the Brentwood Grown logo/brand, as outlined below. Northern California represents only 21% of potential exposure (based on store count).

246 stores = 12,627,555 population
12,627,555 population = 28.5% marketshare
28.5% marketshare = 3,598,853 consumers
3,598,853 consumers = 1.47 store visits per week
1.47 store visits per week = 5,290,314 customers per week
5,290,314 customers per week x 15n weeks (June-Sept.) = 79,354,710 customers

SUMMARY

The Agriculture industry has seen many family farms come and go. They are declining by dramatic numbers. An astonishing 330 farm operators leave their land every week. More than half of today’s farmers are between the ages of 45 and 64. 25% of those farmers plan to retire by the end of this year. Compounding this problem is the fact that only 6% of our farmers are younger than 35. (Source: www.farmaid.org) There is currently a real opportunity to take advantage of a marketing program that most farming communities never dream of. It would be a shame to let Brentwood Ag become another statistic, with only the memories of family farms. The City of Brentwood and BALT have an opportunity to capitalize on generations of hard work to ensure Brentwood remains the quintessential farm community that it is known for.

The mission of BALT is to protect a productive agricultural land and to promote the economic viability of agriculture in Brentwood. The primary goal of this proposal is to increase awareness among consumers by differentiating and segregating Brentwood Grown products from other commodities in the marketplace through these branding efforts. The immediate resulting benefits of agri-tourism (farmers markets and u-picks), community awareness and pride are evident. Brentwood will become known for its premium agriculture and lifestyle – a community that regards the local farmer as a partner in creating a healthy, liable society. This will certainly encourage other agricultural events in the region, such as weddings, wineries and community bar-be-ques.

Finally, this proposal embraces, and its successful outcome will embody, the BALT values:

Respect
Responsibility to the Future
Integrity
Perseverance
Organizational Excellence 

 

City Administration
City of Brentwood City Council
150 City Park Way
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5440
Fax (925) 516-5441
E-mail allcouncil@brentwoodca.gov