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Specialty Foods Enterprise Budget

Posted May 2005

preparing spinach for marketCustomer demand for high-quality, unique specialty food products is growing rapidly. Many farmers are interested in processing specialty foods from the fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy products and grains they are already producing. Successful specialty food enterprises, however, require careful financial planning.

CIAS has developed a spreadsheet to help farmers make financial and management decisions about new or existing specialty food enterprises. This spreadsheet can help farmers pinpoint their expenses, determine prices for their products, and decide if a specialty foods enterprise will turn a profit.

This budget was developed using Microsoft Excel 2000. If you are running a much earlier version of Excel and can not open this file, please contact Don Schuster at When you contact him, please tell him what version of Excel you are running. If you do not have Excel, we recommend that you contact your county Extension agent for help. Alternatively, you could try to access this file from a computer at your nearest high school, coummunity college, or public library.

“Suggestions for Use” are also linked here as a PDF file. It is strongly suggested that you read these suggestions very carefully before filling out the spreadsheet. These suggestions, and the budget, were created for farmers with a basic farm management background.

The budget form might seem long and complex, at first glance. However, it is not! The reason for all the potential entries is that the budget has been designed to serve many different types and kinds of people as well as enterprises. Most people will only use a fraction of the budget. Select the entries that best fit your situation.

You will need to save a copy of the enterprise budget on your own computer in order to add your own figures. If you have any questions about this, please contact Cris Carusi at

Specialty Foods Budget (Microsoft Excel 2000 file)

Suggestions for Use (PDF file)