People that succeed to sell their fresh produce, do two things exemplary well.
First, they identify a marketing strategy that helps them distribute their fresh produce pretty well.
Second, they dedicate time and resources into researching, validating, and executing that marketing strategy.
But you’re probably wondering:
“How do I find a fool proof way to market and sell my fresh produce and get the best prices?”
Well, today I will break it down for you.
The strategies explained are not exhaustive and I’ve used mostly passion fruits as an example but the strategies can be applied on any other farm produce.
Why passion fruits?
Because I’ve researched and helped some of my clients establish very profitable passion fruit farming ventures.
I’ve even created a step by step guide on how to grow them for massive profits.
You can find the guide here.
With that aside, let’s dive in:
How to sell your fresh produce with minimum effort
Practically speaking the market potential for passion fruits is fairly huge.
You just need to know where to look.
There exists various market outlets that you can instantly tap into.
These outlets include; wholesale grocery stores, processing companies, food services, farmer markets, convenient roadside markets, and exporters of fresh produce.
Consumers are opting for fresh juices extracted from fresh fruits as opposed to other form of synthetic drinks.
Which is great news for farmers. Imagine if you were assured of the market availability for your fresh produce. Would you be confident enough to take a chance?
Of course you would.
Now imagine if the market was guaranteed and the prices pre-determined. Definitely you would be really confident enough to invest.
But as with any business, there’re no guarantees in agribusiness.
However, if the latest trends are anything to go by, market opportunities for your passion fruits is pretty guaranteed.
It’s through this realization that many more stakeholders have come on board to partner with passion fruit farmers.
For example, the biggest soft drinks giant, Coca Cola not long ago announced that they are offering to buy juice concentrates from intermediaries.
Unfortunately, Coca Cola has some of the stringiest requirements for becoming their intermediary. Which automatically, hinders the-would be farmers willing to strike a deal with the giant.
All hope is not lost though, Sunny Processors takes the worry of extracting the concentrate from the farmer.
Now, all the farmer has to do is supply the raw materials – passion fruits.
On the other hand, Sunny processors extracts the concentrates which is then sold to Coca Cola. Over the recent past, Sunny Processors have faced one major problem; lack of enough raw materials.
Since the demand for raw materials (passion fruits) is high but the supply is low, Sunny processors have gone out of their way to support the passion fruit farmers in East African region.
To do this they are partnering with Equity Bank and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).
Together, these organizations are collaborating to help both established and aspiring passion fruit entrepreneurs like you.
This collaboration has enabled KALRO to breed other suitable commercial varieties namely KPF4, KP11 and KPF12 sold at a subsidised price.
Equity is determined to issuing loans and financial assistance to passion fruit entrepreneurs.
While sunny processor are acting as the market outlet for the produce.
This is just one example of a model that has made it easy for farmers to sell their passion fruits and reap huge benefits.
If you have developed or planning to develop a continuous, large scale production system, you might consider targeting both regional and international market.
Export of horticultural produce is a big business and passion fruits being the number one produce on the list, you shouldn’t overlook this market outlet either.
Related: How to Export Fresh Produce from Kenya
To target the export market, it’s essential that you up your game in terms of quality.
I’ve mentioned an important point on quality and safety towards the end of the post.
Just read on:
Selling for tech-savvy passion fruit entrepreneurs
The world is just but a global village nowadays.
Our market potential is unlimited.
With the internet you can sell to any part of the world without having never been there yourself.
For starters, online stores or ecommerce have become so popular that in some countries they’re posing serious competition to their conventional counterparts.
If you feel tech-savvy is your thing, set a website and let customers come to you!
In addition, there are plenty web-based Apps that can help you to find quality customers willing to pay an extra buck for extra value.
A good example is M-farm – an online site that allows you to register, check prices for your produce, and sell them.
Other great examples include, Olx, DFK Farm Fresh, Shopify, Star Hollow Farms, and a bunch of other sites.
You just need to do some little research to get a superior outlet for your fruits.
But for those with limited internet prowess, why not use your mobile.
I guess nowadays everyone in most communities even my grandma knows how to use a mobile phone.
Thus the introduction of 2kuze – an initiative funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Here’s how 2kuze works:
The system is operated by mobile where an agent;
1. Registers a number of potential passion fruit buyers and farmers
2. The buyers can post to their demand through the system
3. The agent sends the SMS to the farmer
4. The farmer responds they have the produce and accepts the bid.
5. Then the agent does the rest. Simple.
Below is a clear illustration of how 2kuze works.
Before you know it, your passion fruits just got sold without having to leave the comfort of your home.
Important point to note;
"Marketing should be the first thing you do even before you think of launching your farming business"
A word on price, safety, and quality
Remember that you’re growing food for human consumption.
And as such, food safety is key. The only way to ensure that you’re growing safe and high quality fruits, is by following the best agricultural practices.
Internationally producers and consumers are embracing the practices and ideals of GLOBAL GAP. It’s not just a requirement but an important component in enhancing food safety.
If you are in Kenya, start by implementing Kenya GAP as a benchmark and then slowly progress to GLOBAL GAP.
That way you’ll assure the market of good quality. Quality assurance (QA) accreditation is a major requirement in most markets. Focusing on quality guarantees you a ready market every time, any time.
Now, as we come to an end, there are three important things that should always stick into your mind.
Regardless the strategy you intend to employ, remember that profitability will depend on these three things;
1. Focus on how much fresh produce you sell - The more the better
2. The cost of production – As you produce keep the cost as low as possible
3. The price at which you sell your produce – Always strive to negotiate for the best prices.
Once you do this, you’ll never go wrong.
And I’ll be there waiting to congratulate you when you finally make it through.