Once more, the past two years have shown how sales markets can change due to external influences. It is all the more important to keep control of partial areas of your potato marketing yourself. For instance, many farms have chosen to sell directly to consumers and have been professionalising this sales channel for years and even decades. Solutions range from a simple potato crate on the farmyard up to and including highly specialised undertakings to further process potatoes on the farm and get them onto the market either directly or via regional food retailers.
The Special 'On-Farm Potato Processing and Marketing‘ is dedicated to this theme concerning storage, cleaning, packaging, further processing and marketing on your own farm.
Practical examples will be presenting innovative ideas for marketing your own potatoes, up to and including the development of your own brand and the corresponding advertising.
On the exhibitor side, the Special is aimed at all companies that offer potato farmers (technical) solutions for these areas. From sorting and cleaning technology, packaging and processing to vending machines or online platforms.
Direct marketing not only has a long tradition, it also offers many farms considerable advantages. Consumers want alternatives to the anonymous origin of products and buy directly from the producer because they have confidence in the products and the topic of "health and nutrition" is taking on an increasingly important role in their lives. But a rethink is also noticeable among caterers and food retailers.
We are committed to securing the income of farms with regional marketing. Furthermore, we want to strengthen rural areas and make local supply possible in the long term.
Surname, first name: Severloh, Sina
Farm: Mixed farm with animal husbandry on a smaller scale with laying hens, broilers and fattening pigs, arable farming with potato, maize and grain cultivation as well as biogas production and farm shop
Location: southern Lower Saxony in the district of Celle, 10 km from the district capital
Product focus: Marketing of potatoes via the farmer's own farm shop and to resellers (owner-managed retail and other direct marketing), with 8 different varieties of table potatoes in all different cooking characteristics.
Marketing strategy: The majority of the potatoes grown on the farm go to industrial processing via contracts, with a small proportion being "marketed on the farm" and processed (including storage, sorting and packaging technology).
On the way to direct marketing
"The potato has been part of the farm's crop rotation for several decades. In response to requests from the village population, about 25 years ago the cultivation of table potatoes was also started for sale directly on the farm to the consumer in various package sizes. Gradually, demand increased and sales took on the form of a self-service stand. As a result, three varieties of potatoes were grown instead of one. In addition, the keeping of laying hens for direct marketing was added about 15 years ago. Starting with 50 hens and "a few rows of potatoes", over the years this became 3 ha of potatoes with over 8 varieties and 1,200 laying hens".
"In 2012, a section of the building was converted into a farm shop. The range of products produced and manufactured in-house has expanded and become more professional, and direct marketing has therefore become a mainstay in its own right for the farm. And all this only with and through the potato, which still has a large share of the turnover in direct marketing".
About the advantages of processing and marketing potatoes on the farm
"The added value of marketing directly to the client is greatest with direct marketing. In combination with other (including our own) products, an entire supporting leg is "maintained" here. The potato has always been the main attraction of the farm. Especially since the other operational requirements (such as technology, storage, irrigation (!!!), suitable soils and know-how) had long been part of the business. The investment threshold was therefore very low and the development of direct marketing did not come in leaps and bounds, but rather in line with demand. The potato is still a good reason for customers to come to our farm. In the farm shop, we often benefit from the fact that other products are also bought as a result. This has enabled the farm to grow in and with the potato, and to form a stable business focus in direct marketing and the associated self-produced products".
About further development possibilities for marketing on the farm
"So far, cultivation and marketing have remained stable. We therefore hope that the "simple" marketing of potatoes as table potatoes in various package sizes will continue to be an important part of the farm. The catering industry often asks for peeled products. Until now, the hygienic requirements were too demanding and complicated for us. Otherwise, we'll try to integrate the potato in the farm shop as a processed product (soups, salads, etc.)".
"An existing but new online shop supports direct marketing with the distribution of vegetable boxes and the possibility for customers to order goods and have them packed together for contactless/low-contact collection."