Lone Mountain Wagyu, LLC. is a small, family-run beef production company. Lone Mountain Wagyu sells high-quality, humanely raised Wagyu beef (“Wagyu” being a breed of cattle from which “Kobe beef” comes) to a short list of wholesale customers (restaurants) across the U.S., as well as to home consumers via an e-commerce website. Their mission is to produce and sell the most delicious, top-quality beef to discerning customers who care about the sustainability of their food choices.

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Project Exectuive Summary

Current Business Process and Project Objectives

This project dealt with a cattle ranch expanding their presence in the specialty Wagyu beef market. Current growth plans include expectations to increase production 150% and grow multiple product lines in both the retail and wholesale sectors. The objective of this operations plan was to identify the current costs of each portion of the beef supply chain to arrive at a cost per pound for each product, and to perform a carbon analysis of the retail fulfillment segment of the business.

Sustainability Impacts

By creating a GHG analysis of the retail sales portion of the supply chain, we provided the client with a tool to analyze and compare the environmental impacts of various packaging and sales strategies and make changes based on these findings.

Methods

By analyzing all costs of the supply chain and allocating each on a per-pound basis, we normalized costs across all sales sectors, allowing our client to make informed decisions on sales strategies.

Recommendations

Further refine the Cost-Per-Pound Tool delivered to the client to increase sample size of data, and convert into a margin-per-pound calculator for all product lines. Archive data regularly for historical comparisons.

Additional recommendations included potential EL projects in order to research opportunities for higher margins for the highest-end product, as well as creating a forecasting tool using pertinent production data for each cow and analyzing for trends.

Sustainability recommendations included extending and applying the LCA across all product lines, finding lower-carbon alternatives to existing packaging (including elimination of laminated promotional materials), reducing water use on ranch, and reducing GHG emissions by considering grass-finished beef and/or marketing “cow-shares.”

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