Farming and Food Stronger Together – communication and engagement with farmers

Jane King Editor Farmers Weekly

28

Farmer attitudes to business and to information

Typology
Business Farmers:
Challenging

Traditionalists 67%

Business Farmers 17%

Advisors

Improvers, ambitious, expanding, knowledge seeking

Traditionalists:
Students Retailers

not overly ambitious, family, lifestyle, outdoors

Comfortable

Me & My Farm 17%

Outsiders
Proactive

Me & My Farm:
insular, cautious, tactical, local, remote

Reactive

Tips to effective communication with farmers
• • • • • • • • • Don’t lecture Allow farmers to have a voice Keep it real Show them the money Stop all business/management speak Demonstrate empathy Show them the context Make it easy, accessible, hassle-free Make it practical

More tips
• Work hard at participation and engagement • Reputation/relationship is key if you are to be believed • Help them weigh up cost v benefit with hard evidence • Keep paperwork to absolute minimum • Show how other farmers profit

Farmers use a wide range of sources to gain information & advice about farming
Base: 20+ ha crops & grass
90%

Use of digital sources is greatest amongst larger farms: 49% Websites 46% Email newsletters

Use of digital sources has increased since 2007:

64%

+11% Websites +23% Email newsletters
Base: 200+ ha crops & grass
42% 40% 40%

60%

52%

52%

37%

34% 25%

Around four fifths of farmers currently have access to the Internet in the farm office/home
Base: 20+ ha crops & grass

Internet penetration is highest amongst larger farms with 92% of those with 200+ ha having access to the web

Farmers are using the web for decision making and to perform a range of business tasks
Base: 20+ ha crops & grass with Internet access

67% for technical information 61% to check market prices (+16% from 2007) 60% For product information to aid brand choice 52% to source suppliers (+27% from 2007) 27% for business advice (+13% from 2007) 21% for online learning & training (+12% from 2007)

17%

to take part in forums/discussion groups (+12% from 2007)

Major changes in way we communicate
• • • • • • • • • Over 50% of world’s population under 30 96% of these use social networking sites Email seen as old hat Consumers spend half waking hours multi-tasking with technology Average person spends 45% of time awake absorbing media We send 4 x more mobile text messages a day than in 2004 Average person crams 8 hours 48 minutes of media into a day Younger people cramming 5 hours of media use into 2 hours a day Imagine what that means for bad customer experiences