What has marketing innovation got to do with agriculture? Plenty. Especially, if you are dealing with a challenging situation such as the one faced by farmers growing navel oranges last year.
That is when Aussie Farmers Direct got its thinking cap on and shepherded a campaign that cut farmers’ losses and won it the marketing innovation award from AUSVEG, the national farm group that last week presented its National Awards for Excellence in Hobart.
Aussie Farmers Direct also won the Best Customer Experience award in the BRW AMPCSC Australian Retailer of the Year Awards.
Aussie Farmers Direct called last year’s crisis sooner than most. A supply glut cause by a bumper season and limited demand in overseas markets, not to mention the strong Australian dollar. With prices so low that didn’t even cover the cost of picking them, the Australian home delivery food group came up a plan to sell the oranges at steep discount — $3 for 3kgs including delivery.
That campaign helped Australian farmers eventually sell one million more oranges than they sold in 2010, perhaps winning a lot of goodwill from consumers as well.
“Australia grows the best fruit and vegetables in the world, and we’re proud to deliver quality Australian produce to our customers each day,” said Braeden Lord, the chief executive of Aussie Farmers Direct. He said award recognises Aussie Farmers Direct’s commitment to Australian farmers;
The AUSVEG Marketing innovation Award was based on the below criteria:
• Creation of an innovative marketing solution, process or program
• Creation of new market opportunities for vegetables/potato products
• Significant impact on the industry and potential for long-term positive effects through sales, awareness, reach etc.
• Tangible and measurable results
Over the past four years, Aussie Farmers Direct estimates it has delivered more than 20,000 tonnes of Australian fruit & vegetables to urban households. The seven-year-old group has a customer base of 130,000 across the country.
AUSVEG represents the interest of growers to government and assist growers by making sure the National Vegetable Levy and National Potato Levy are invested in research and development that best meets the needs of the industry.