Visit the market!

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I hammer on about the importance of farmers visiting the market whenever there is an opportunity.

tshwane-fresh-produce-market

And I’m not alone: many market agents encourage their producers to visit them.

After all, if a farmer is going to entrust his produce to somebody in a distant market, he should make the effort to meet that person and see the set-up there. Many farmers travel to the bigger centres for business or even recreation, such as a rugby match, so why not include a market visit at the same time?

Here, in a nutshell, is why it’s so important to visit a market as frequently as possible:

  • You meet your market agent: This person sells your produce and plays a significant part in your financial well-being! You also get to meet members of the market management, which makes good business sense.
  • You see at first hand how the market operates: This will better your understanding when your agent explains something about the market to you.
  • You meet buyers: This will give you the opportunity to promote your brand to them, while listening to their requirements. If you’re serious about your marketing you’ll want to make sure you’re satisfying your customer.
  • You see what your competitors are up to: After having a closer look at your competitors’ packaging, grading and presentation, you can improve your own standards.

You’re also able to keep up with the latest developments in new varieties, new trends, new packaging and much more.

Top farmers do it
It’s not necessary to visit the market weekly, unless you deliver your produce yourself. (In which case you’ll have a good idea of what I’m saying here.) But you should try to visit the most important market/s you supply at least once a month.

A farmer who does not make the effort to visit the market is destined to lose out in the long run. I often meet the bigger producers in markets because it’s part of their strategy. There must be a good reason for this.

Michael Cordes is an agricultural journalist, consultant, trainer and former farmer.

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