The transition to certified organic production may involve more than
just changing your production systems. It may mean a change in your
customers, distribution channels and perceptions of value. Going
organic may open up doors to sell to both people across the road and
across the world. It may also close doors as your existing conventional
wholesalers or brokers might not be able nor interested in handling
certified organic items.
In Atlantic Canada, marketing organic products can be different than
conventional products; smaller volumes, potential premiums, different
channels and greater record keeping. At the same time, the general
rules apply; attention to the Four ‘P’s’ (Product, Pricing, Promotion
and Placement), choosing the right strategy for your business and
anticipating customer demands.
Thinking about marketing is not something that is done after your season
is underway, the crop is in the ground and the lamb in freezer. (“I
have a product, now, how do I sell it?”). It should be part of your
thinking from the very beginning. Thinking about your target audience,
the most effective and efficient marketing tools, and ensuring that your
marketing fits with your farm’s identity, your skills and abilities,
your long term plans and your competitive advantage is critical. It
will give you the best opportunity to be a price setter (not a taker),
achieve your goals and stay in control of your business.