Restore Chester County
Economic Action Steps — Agriculture
Agricultural businesses in the county are very diverse, from large scale mushroom operations to small family farms. Representing many life-sustaining businesses, the Agricultural sector has persisted while facing challenges adapting to major shifts in consumer demand and overcoming supply chain disruptions.
Current Agricultural Business Practices
The following practices are being implemented by various agricultural businesses around the county and nation to address COVID-19-related disruptions. These practices may be helpful for agricultural businesses not currently using them.
- Institute reservation-based scheduling system for customer pickup.
- Diversify operations to create new revenue streams.
- Collaborate with SCORE, PA Small Business Development Centers, or universities to generate a business plan.
- Establish ways to process surplus product for donation.
- Establish partnerships with local grocers and hospitality establishments to market specialty products.
- Continue participating in and supporting the USDA Farmers to Families food box program and the CFAP program.
- Institute CSA or buyer club programs with remote pick up or drop off.
- Institute opportunities for customers to interact with agricultural operation through farm tours and u-pick options.
Actions to Support the Agricultural Industry
The following actions by governments, economic development organizations, trade organizations, and others would provide support to the agricultural industry during the current COVID-19 crisis.
- Provide technical assistance with e-commerce, social media/marketing, and business adaptation.
- Provide regulatory assistance with expediting permits for building improvements and relaxing service restrictions.
- Provide guidance on preparing a COVID-19 Planning Preparedness or post COVID-19 recovery plan.
- Equip local municipal leaders with information to encourage local compliance with safety guidelines.
- Provide Spanish language materials to help farmers communicate guidelines to employees.
- Advocate for businesses that do not fall into clearly defined industry categories per state and federal guidelines.
- Work with PA Liquor Control Board to secure food service exemptions for craft alcohol producers.
- Convene agriculture and hospitality professionals to promote partnerships and increase understanding.
- Provide government employees with opportunities to purchase local agricultural products.
- Provide additional hiring and training assistance.
To see recommendations for other industries, click on the industry link below: