Categories: Vegetables

Market agents – will they never learn?

Recently a senior market agent was complaining to me about other market agents on the market bad-mouthing his sales staff…

Will some market agents never learn? Don’t they understand the ethical requirements of their job? Do they remember nothing from the training they’ve received? What is it about some people that they can’t resist the opportunity to smear others? Answering all these questions would take volumes. For now, I want to remind producers – who are, after all, the main readers of this magazine – that they too have a responsibility whenever these distasteful episodes play out.

Ramifications
Even if it’s in the course of idle chat, if you listen to one salesperson attack another unchallenged, you’re aiding and abetting them in breaking their code of conduct and the law! But the ramifications go beyond the truth or otherwise of the allegations made. I’ve not met a producer, or any other person for that matter, who openly supports this sort of behaviour, because the implication is clear. If salesman X can say those things about others, can he be trusted to tell you the truth about your products on the market floor?

But, as I’ve indicated, certain things are said in the guise of skinder. And if you have the slightest respect for yourself and your products, your reaction should be clear and decisive: “Stop your gossiping immediately, and if you talk like that again, I’ll find another market agent, because I no longer trust you.” (Be as diplomatic as you like, but that should be the import of your message.) If the person isn’t your agent and is trying to win your custom, tell them to get lost.

Golden rule
The reason why I suggest such strong responses is simple. You and your agent are supposed to be in a trust relationship, and gossiping about others is not one of its components. A trust relationship is built on positives, not negatives. If you have a problem with your market agent, your first responsibility is to address the matter directly with your agent – not to listen to hearsay from another source.

Finally, remember the Golden Rule of Ethics: “How would I like it if this was being said about me?”

Contact Mike Cordes at farmersweekly@caxton.co.za. Please state ‘Market floor’ in the subject line of your email.

Share
Published by
Caxton Magazines
Tags: fresh producemarket agentsproducers

Recent Posts

How to implement a succession plan

The importance of a succession plan for a farming business cannot be underestimated, and must be prioritised.

4 hours ago

Hemp production could soon be legal

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has formally requested the Department of Health and the Department of Justice…

5 hours ago

Small Simmentaler stud takes on the country’s best

The size of an operation counts less than dedication, persistence, insight and quality genetics. Operating on a modestly-sized parcel of…

1 day ago

‘Diesel now second highest input cost’ – Grain SA

The Automobile Association of South Africa is forecasting record increase in fuel prices for October, including a possible R1,38/litre increase…

1 day ago

When losses are not deductible

Stock in trade is the lifeblood of a business. When stock is lost, or destroyed, the loss normally gives rise…

2 days ago

Enjoy the taste of fresh garden peas!

These days, most people opt for frozen peas for convenience. They don’t know what they’re missing, says Bill Kerr. Fresh…

3 days ago

This website uses cookies.