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Group 3

Group Members: Abhishek Raj, Rajat Kumar, Rishav Lohia, Shubham Raj, Yash Verma

POLYFACE: THE FARM OF MANY FACES


Case Writeup

Introduction:
Polyface was started by William and Lucille in the year 1961. They started by
purchasing a 550-acre property and a herd of 15 Hereford cows. Joel, son of William,
started taking interest in the farming at the age of 10. In 1982, he with his wife Teresa
decided to join Polyphase full-time.

Key differences between Polyface & Industrial model


Differences between the operating systems of Polyface and the industrial model of
food production:

Nature vs man made


At the heart of his operation was animal’s natural inclinations and their
physiological distinctiveness coupled with careful grazing schemes, natural
composting and mineralisation while industrial model relied on artificial
techniques.

Scope
Salatin leveraged the synergies between various product operations whereas
industrial model focussed on specialised product operations.

Manual vs automated
Salatin farm was labour intensive with minimal use of industrial equipment.

Grazing techniques
Polyphase grazing was management intensive using three distinctive natural
behaviours namely, moving to ensure a daily supply of fresh forage, mobbing
to mimic the social tendencies of animals and mowing to stimulate plant
growth. Also, the length of grass was standardised for each type of animal as it
became unpalatable beyond a certain length.

Nutrient Replenishment
Salatin exploited animal excrement as a rich source of fertilizer in the soil with
movement of animals across fields, which ensured excreta being properly
absorbed in the soil. Pigs were used to aerate the pile and convert potential
pollutant into nutrient rich fertilisers.

Infrastructure Cost
Polyface spent 5$ of infrastructure per 1$ of annual sales while industrial model
spent 4$. The infrastructure of Polyface was designed for multi-purpose use –
in winter hoop house was used as a home for rabbits and chickens and same
were used as vegetable shelter in summer.
Customer Base
Polyface focussed on community oriented farming serving customers in the
radius of 4hr radius from the farm while industrial model followed mass
production.

Feeding habits of animals


Major fodder for animals in Polyface was fresh grass supplemented with
mixture of non-genetically modified grains while in industrial model corn and
animal renderings were major ingredients in fodder.

Weight of animals
Polyface – Calves grew to 900-pound cows while industrial model cows weighed
1500 pounds.

Quality of Output
Pasture eggs had 50% more folic acid and 70% more vitamin B12 than factory
farm eggs. Also, they contained 30% less cholesterol, 25% less saturated fat
,60% more vitamin A, 300% more vitamin E and 70% more beta carotene than
commercial eggs.

Safety
A number of food- related human illnesses such as mad cow disease, vCJD ,
bacterial diseases were linked to the industrial food supply chain while it is not
same with Polyface.

Environmental Impact
Large amount of animal waste was generated each year by industrial model of
food production which raised concerns about the sustainability of the farming
industries waste management system. They threatened the survival of marine
species. Also lack of pastures reduced the land’s productivity. Polyface farm had
no such impact on the environment.
Challenges concerning Economies of Scale and Scope
Economies of Scale
To meet the customer growing demands, Polyface will need more amount of
land, labour and relaxation on legal constraints on animals.
Also, Polyface needs to improvise and extend its distribution channels like MBC
etc.
Polyface needs to look for alternate ways of feeding animals because if they
increase in scale, there should be sufficient availability of grass.
Economies of Scope
Synergies between resources and processes can be harnessed by Polyface to
achieve economies of scope.
Demand for new products must be gauged before introducing new products.
Maintaining the same quality standards in the new products may be a challenge
for Polyface.

Productivity measures for Polyface

Product Qunatity/year Meat/Animal Average Sales Gross COGS


Price Margin/unit
Beef 120 Cows 400 3.5 168000 450 54000
Chicken 14000 Broilers 4.25 3.25 193375 8 112000
800 stewing 2.5 2.75 5500 0
hens
Pork 700 Pigs 180 3.75 472500 100 70000
Turkey 1200 Turkeys 15 3.25 58500 20 24000
Rabbit 1200 Rabbits 2.75 6 19800 10 12000
Eggs 70000 Dozen 3.75 65625 1 17500
3 157500 1 52500
Vegetables n/a 3000
Total 1143800 342000

Revenue= 1143800
COGS= 801800
Productivity 1.42654
Output per 142975
labor:
Note: We have assumed that 25% of total egg sales is retail while remaining is
wholesale.
Following are the productivity measures which can be used for Polyface Farm:
Total Productivity: Total Output/ Total Input = Sales/COGS = 1.42654
Labour Productivity: Total Output/ Labour Input = Output per unit of labor =
142975
Land Productivity: Output per unit of land