Recently we have been speaking with farmers who are very interested in finding out how to dictate to the market the prices that would justify a fair return for their produce. There are a handful of farmers who are doing just that and not all are Certified Organic.
Several of the farmers we have spoken to are sheep farmers and each has found a way of selling at better than market prices.
The first farmer, who we sometimes buy from, takes orders and does a round of deliveries himself when he has an economical amount of orders to supply. Although he uses biologically friendly fertilisers and stock supplements, he is not organic but claimed that his lamb was not only tastier but that it was tenderer. And it is!
The second farmer heard about this, identified the parallels and decided to go straight to the butcher making similar claims and asking him for more $$$$ per kilo. The butcher reluctantly agreed to give him a go as the farmer said that he’d develop a loyal client base with his superior meat. And that is exactly what has happened and now, the farmer is getting over $3 more per kilo and the butcher cannot keep up supply. Word travels fast.
The third farmer we spoke to had built up quite a lucrative business promoting chemical free meat packs. That is, the meat is pre-packaged into 2 packs: Premium or Gourmet, the latter containing only the best cuts but also costing twice as much. Recipes and now spices are also supplied.
In all cases however, the farmers were still not in control of supply. They are all dependent on demand which can be quite uneven as people go away, forget to order or don’t want exactly what is being offered and the farmer is left with either being short of supply or have lambs left over at the wrong time of the year. What can they do?
Here’s what one farmer did to create a constant demand at lucrative prices! This farmer became meticulous with customer records, not only what they bought but how they liked the lamb cut and packed, the thickness of chops, how many in each pack and how often they bought. Then notices were sent when they were due to buy again. These actually resulted in customers pre-ordering months ahead and were prepared to wait to buy. Isn’t that a problem we’d all like to have?
There are numerous examples of how control can be achieved and next Gold Nugget will tell of a vegetable and fruit grower who has presold his produce up to 5 years ahead.