Marketing your crop

Updated: 10/07/2010

Growers at last week’s Hydroponic Farmers Federation conference at Cranbourne were encouraged to regain marketing control and add value to their products to avoid the crisis facing the industry in Europe.

The call came from Meiny Prins, chief executive of Priva, a family-run business based in the Netherlands.

Europe has striking parallels with Australia as growers have concentrated their efforts on increasing production volume and reducing costs.

Meiny Prins is the CEO of Priva, an international operating, family run business in Holland. In 2009 Meiny Prins was elected Netherlands Businesswoman of the Year.

“In Europe, this same strategy has led to an increase in the power of supermarket buyers, because growers were competing with each other on price“, Ms Prins said.

In Europe, many smaller growers have been forced to close and only very large operators remain, surviving because of their larger economies of scale.

Ms Prins said the solution for growers was to take responsibility for the sale of their own products and become marketers once again, promoting the added value of their environmentally sustainable production to obtain a price premium.

Ms Prins also urged growers to collaborate with other businesses in the vegetable supply chain. Making a profit was not “an end in itself”, but could be used to co-fund investment to make products more valued by customers.

Source: Sandra Godwin , Weekly Times – 09 July 2010

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