February 2023 - 18
GREAT LAKES EXPO
Storytelling can end
BY GARY PULLANO
VGN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT
ohn Stanley believes the agriculture community
must reveal itself to the marketplace in order to
enhance its standing and make farms profitable.
Stanley, a horticultural consultant based in Nanup,
Australia, told attendees at his keynote address during the
recent Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO
in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that it's time to " Get Naked. "
" We've tended to hide ourselves from the consumer,
overall, as an industry. We have to become the heroes, "
Stanley and his wife own Chestnut Brae - a 1,000tree
sweet chestnut farm. They focus on learning more
about their key consumers and how to market to them,
while delivering the ultimate farm experience.
" Nine years ago, we started the largest chestnut farm
in West Australia, " he said. " We pursued the chestnutfed
pork market. Other chestnut products contribute
to the added-value industry. We won an award for best
innovators in agriculture in western Australia.
" We're the only producer of chestnut flour and chestnut
ale, which won an award for the best ale in the world in
2016 and again in 2022 at $29 a bottle. People always say
to us, 'that's expensive,' as they buy six (bottles).
" We believe in being price makers rather than price
takers. As an industry, globally, we're not that good
at being price makers. We have to be good as price
takers. It's time for us to change that make-up. "
Post-pandemic, farm marketers have had to adapt to
new techniques in their businesses.
" Challenging times means challenging questions, "
he said. " How are we going to challenge how we are
going to grow our industry and our businesses as we
move forward? "
Farm marketers are not product sellers, they are
story sellers, he said.
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18 | FEBRUARY 2023
80 Day, Bicolor Sh2 Sweet Corn
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Farm markets are a great place to show your product
and let visitors see your story on the product label.
Photo: Kristen Kazarian
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2023
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