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Marketing your farming business: A success story

Richard Smith, farms director at Daylesford Organic, gave an inspiring talk on the journey of Daylesford Organic.

At our recent Rural Conference, Richard Smith, farms director at Daylesford Organic and JCB Farms, gave an inspiring talk on the journey of Daylesford Organic and provided some tips for marketing your farming business.

Richard grew up in a farming family himself. He also spent a considerable amount of time living in New Zealand, where he witnessed a different style of farming, before returning to the UK. He began working for Daylesford in 2004 and was employed to help build the brand for the Bamfords’ farming business.

Photo of Richard Smith, farms director, Daylesford Organic

The journey so far

Daylesford Organic farm shop was created with the ethos of wanting to sell what is produced on the farm, to minimise waste, and to offer visitors another way of engaging with the business.

Within the shop, cheeses, meats, and other food items produced on the farm are sold to the public. For example, 100% of the milk produced on-site is used in their own creamery and sold as end produce, such as milk and cheese.

In 2011, Daylesford Organic joined forces with Ocado, in order to sell their products online and further build their brand. It was important to Richard and the Bamfords that the brand remained consistent and authentic, so they partnered with Ocado in a way that ensured Daylesford Organic would have its own ‘shop within a shop’ on the Ocado website. This was also a first for Ocado: the first shop within a shop for their online sales.

Fast forward to the present, and the Ocado partnership is still going strong. There are also now six physical shops operating as part of Daylesford Organic: four in London and two in the Cotswolds.

Organic farming

There is an ongoing demand for sustainable, organic food. All of JCB Farms’ sheep are fed organically rather than corn-fed, and when it comes to their chicken, Richard explained that even if they opted to double production, they still would not meet demands.

When farming organically, uniformity is key. This is achieved largely through selective breeding. It is important to remember that quality truly is paramount, and people take organic produce very seriously, so you need to as well. Look into adopting a pedigree approach when growing your business.

Another important aspect to focus on is regeneration. Regenerative farming is becoming a major trend, and you can take a step toward this by measuring your carbon footprint.

Top tips for marketing your farm

Richard’s advice for marketing your farming business is simple but effective.

First of all, you need to demonstrate your passion for your business within your marketing. Customers will then be more likely to buy into your business.

Secondly, when telling your story, make sure you do so in a way that is not condescending or offensive. Ensuring your story is honest and unique is very important when it comes to selling your products, and ultimately your business, to customers.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your story comes to life and that the passion you have for your farm is felt by others too.

If you are looking for further inspiration, why not find out more about Daylesford Organic’s journey?

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