Start-up and operating costs for artisan cheese companies.

TitleStart-up and operating costs for artisan cheese companies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBouma, A, Durham, CA, Meunier-Goddik, L
JournalJ Dairy Sci
Date Published2014
KeywordsAnimals, Cattle, Cheese, Costs and Cost Analysis, Milk, Models, Economic

Lack of valid economic data for artisan cheese making is a serious impediment to developing a realistic business plan and obtaining financing. The objective of this study was to determine approximate start-up and operating costs for an artisan cheese company. In addition, values are provided for the required size of processing and aging facilities associated with specific production volumes. Following in-depth interviews with existing artisan cheese makers, an economic model was developed to predict costs based on input variables such as production volume, production frequency, cheese types, milk types and cost, labor expenses, and financing. Estimated values for start-up cost for processing and aging facility ranged from $267,248 to $623,874 for annual production volumes of 3,402 kg (7,500 lb) and 27,216 kg (60,000 lb), respectively. First-year production costs ranged from $65,245 to $620,094 for the above-mentioned production volumes. It is likely that high start-up and operating costs remain a significant entry barrier for artisan cheese entrepreneurs.

Alternate JournalJ. Dairy Sci.
PubMed ID24746129