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The Initial Feasibility of a Small Hydroponic Farm Startup in Austin, Texas

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This thesis will examine market research relating to consumer food trends and the business environment of Austin, Texas in order to evaluate the initial feasibility of establishing a small hydroponic

This thesis will examine market research relating to consumer food trends and the business environment of Austin, Texas in order to evaluate the initial feasibility of establishing a small hydroponic produce farm. A main concern of this report is to provide a general overview of hydroponics and its potential advantages over traditional farming methods as a technique for producing food products for consumers in a local setting. To explore the potential of establishing such a venture, this report will also include a partial business plan focusing on the marketing strategy of initiating a hydroponic produce farm in Austin.

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  • 2015-05

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Economic analysis of implementing electronic traceability system for fresh produce importers

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The global demand and trade for fruits and vegetables is increasing at national and international levels. The fresh fruits and vegetables supply chain are highly vulnerable to contamination and can

The global demand and trade for fruits and vegetables is increasing at national and international levels. The fresh fruits and vegetables supply chain are highly vulnerable to contamination and can be easily spoiled due to their perishable nature. Due to increases in fresh fruit and vegetable trade shipment volume between countries, the fresh food supply chain area is the highly susceptible and frequently prone to food contamination. The inability of firms in the fresh food business to have a good supply chain visibility and tracking system is one of the prominent reasons for food safety failure. Therefore, in order to avoid food safety risk and to supply safe food to consumers, the firms need to have an efficient traceability system in their supply chain. Most of the research in the food supply chain area suggests the implementation of a highly efficient tracking system called RFID (Radio frequency identification) technology to firms in the food industry. The medium scale firms in the fresh food supply chain business are skeptical about implementing the RFID technology equipped traceability system due to its high cost of investment and low margins on fresh food sales. This research developed two methods to measure the probability of food safety risk in food supply chain. These methods use the information gain from RFID traceability systems as a tool to measure the amount of risk in the fresh food supply chain. The stochastic optimization model is applied in this study to determine the risk premium by investing in RFID technology over the electronic barcode traceability system. The results show that there is a reduction in buyer (Type II error) and seller risk (Type I error) for RFID technology employed traceability system compared to electronic barcode system. It is found from stochastic optimization results that there is a positive risk premium by investing in RFID traceability system over the current systems and suggests the implementation of RFID traceability system for complex medium scale fresh produce imports to reduce the food safety risks. This research encourages the food industries and government agencies to evaluate alternatives to update supply chain system with RFID technology.

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  • 2011