Part 2 of levelling the paddock … for ALL plates to fit comfortably: Sales Outlets
Big Picture: In late 2015 I put my hand up for election to the National Committee of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance [AFSA] with my agenda to be in the know about what was happening within the food sovereignty movement in Victoria [Australia] and to make a contribution as an advocate for change.
As most of you within my network know, there are numerous regulatory issues to be resolved to make the playing field fair for small farms and ancillary businesses – not just fair for the large corporate industrial producers.
During my stint on the AFSA committee I voiced the two main needs for Wyalong Farm’s enterprise: Gannawarra Gourmet Goat [gggoat.com.au]
- Number 1 is the provision of a smaller-producer-friendly, accessible abattoir which I wrote about in Part 1.
- Number 2 is finding a suitable sales system/s for farmers who – like myself, but for whatever their reason – are unable sell their own produce in-person. Thus they are forced to continue selling through the saleyard system.
The big BUT is I’ve been told I need to find and develop a relationship with my customers …
But I do not have in-person communication ability for sales and relationship marketing and I KNOW now that I never will – this life!
I farm [since 1987] because it’s my passion and it’s in my genes – as a fifth generation Australian farmer descending from all my 16 great-great grandparents [which I write about on my Family History blog]. I want to provide the best for my livestock. I do NOT want to sell them through the sale yards.
So the playing field is still not equal it seems – Paddock to Plate is great if you are able to develop a relationship direct with your customer. Online sales [for me] I believe will be fine once the relationship with the customer is there. Plus I will produce brochures about my farming techniques and the importance of getting back to farming naturally and eating real food and I’ll share others’ experiences etc.
A Food Hub would be ideal as I am not the only farmer with this quandary. But we do not have sufficient consumers in this part of our region [the star on this map marks Wyalong Farm: home of ECOsustain]. Our region’s capital is Bendigo which would be ideal.
I’ve been working on a Business Model for farmers wanting to value-add to their produce and sell in collaboration with complementary products.
I anticipate the Model to also offer an opportunity for non-farmers with a product idea but no produce of their own.
The geographic area covered would be loosely encircled by:
Bendigo – Boort – Quambatook – Swan Hill – Moulmein – Deniliquin – Barham – Cohuna – Echuca – Bendigo.
Now to find others, especially a spokesperson, with their own farm, food or ancillary business. A network and experience within the ethical farmer to consumer community would also be a prerequisite.
I know the right person is within reach and I hope they find this sad story to give it a happy ending.