Together with key partner organisations, Copa and Cogeca showcased at Expo Milano under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Education a new on-line Farm Inc project designed to help farmers better market and brand their produce.
Copa vice president Maira Dzelzkaleja and from the Latvian Farmers Parliament said: “We have had positive feedback from the project including from national governments and the European Commission. With farmers getting only a fraction of the market price for their produce, we at Copa are pressing for farmers to get a better return and to add value to their produce. The Farm inc. project is useful to help farmers achieve this giving practical guidelines on how to market produce.”
She continued: “We believe that there is a great potential for regional and local products in the market, but, there is a lack of marketing strategies to enable European agricultural entrepreneurs to compete with the international network and structures of multinational companies.
“The Farm Inc project which involves a training tool to market produce, tailor-made to the needs of farmers should help us to achieve our objective and make farmers become more entrepreneurial. The training material consists of six modules (What is marketing?, A good marketing plan, Farmers markets, Quality, The strength of a Rural Brand, Selling Abroad) with a focus on marketing, branding and internationalisation of agricultural products.
“In the future, we could also add an additional chapter highlighting the key role cooperatives play in helping farmers to better market and get a higher price for their produce. The tool is likely to be updated continuously to take account of upcoming trends.”
Speaking in Milan, Olga Stavropoulou, president of Militos Consulting and co-partner of the project, highlighted the fact that the agriculture sector has been one of the key sectors to override the crisis in Greece and she believed that this project would help farmers to be even stronger and to think more like entrepreneurs.
Professor Alessio Cavicchi from the University of Macerata and main author of the project said that in pilot tests in three European countries, there was a good response to the free, online, interactive education and training platform, produced by the EU co-funded project Farm inc. which focuses on marketing, branding and exporting agricultural products.
More than 304 stakeholders (farmers, representatives of farmer associations, agricultural entrepreneurs, VET trainers, policy makers etc.) participated in 21 pilot events in the three targeted countries, endorsing the platform’s relevance and usefulness, while 191 of them provided valuable recorded feedback on the improvement of its content and interactivity. The active involvement of participants, even during harvest season and under bad socioeconomic conditions, added to the value and potential of it in the near future.
The project was also co-partnered by Coldiretti who played a key role in presenting case studies for the project and showcasing it to farmers in pilot tests.
The marketing tool will also be sent to all their farmer members across Italy to help them get a better return for their produce.
The project, which was co-funded by the EU Commission, was also co-partnered by the Hellenic American Union who played an important role in the qualitative input of the project. For further information, please see http://www.farminc.eu/.