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Agriculture » Retailer – Consumer Relationships: A Shift In Consumer Preferences?

Retailer – Consumer Relationships: A Shift In Consumer Preferences?

Agriculture Bioprotection
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Biological tools are quickly becoming an indispensable part of crop protection and plant health programs for agriculture around the globe.

We know that farmers, businesses and authorities are asking questions around the technologies, demand and expectations for these biological tools.

By having strong and trusting relationships with retailers, farmers can not only make more informed purchasing decisions but also help develop higher performing products.

Meister Media Worldwide have recently released the Biological Crop Protection & Plant Health Annual Report which dives deeper into controlled environment production, row crops, agricultural retail distribution and global markets for Biopesticides, biostimulants and biofertilizers.

A chapter we found interesting named “Building a Body of Proof on Biologicals” by Paul Schrimpf, Group Editor of CropLife, actively explores the influence retailers have on consumer preferences for new advancements and innovations in the sector.

Schrimpf outlines that “a retailer’s recommendation of any product on any farm field has to correlate to some measurable degree of value creation to the farmer”. Whilst a fairly simple and clear concept in most retail industries, farming provides a different challenge.

One in particular is the lack of product performance depth at the local level, so without a foundation of provable value farmers are quick to reject new innovations into becoming part of their crop regime.

But what is changing?

With increased pressure from end-consumers, farmers and food production partners are more commonly attempting to be more transparent with their practices. In their efforts to not only become more efficient but reducing carbon, optimizing nutrition use and corporate sustainability.

Whilst this is a topic we have talked about and discussed with our clients, corporate sustainability is becoming a greater priority for regulators and authorities too.

Ag retailers are not only aware of these pressures but are proactively searching for products that can maintain and increase production.

Some retailers are partnering with suppliers and farmer-customers to test the efficiency and performance of products, to help prove the performance in the market.

Luckey Farmers and Soil Health

Schrimpf then goes on to explore the developments that Widmer and Associates made when attempting to improve the 200 acre corn ceiling that it’s grower-customers were experiencing.

After in-depth lab research, they focussed on soil health and developed a product to improve soil biodiversity and tested the effectiveness on 26 progressive growers 20 acres’ during a three year test project.

The results were favourable and proved the point that Luckey Farmers and Widmer and Associates were making.

Retailer relationships

There are many obvious benefits that arise from a strong retailer-supplier/farmer relationship for both parties.

Research, development and testing are vital for retailers to prove that their products are effective but also to develop better performing products.

A major benefit for suppliers is that they now have a vital link to their product and the environment in which it will be used.

This ensures that agronomic practices can now take precedence over lab and field trial results, and provide valuable feedback to continually improve formulations and performance.

The future of farming is moving towards precision agriculture.

This means that retailers and suppliers need to work closely together in order for both parties to understand the needs of the farmer and how this will benefit them in the future.

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