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Issue 16

Wattleseed Production

By Anthony Hele, Industry Development Consultant - Native Foods

Introduction

There is a growing food industry demand for wattleseed, particularly for seed from the Elegant Wattle (Acacia victoriae), which is roasted and milled to produce a highly palatable and nutritious flour. It is a very versatile ingredient, excellent in a broad range of sweet and savoury applications such as casseroles, curries, breads, dampers, cakes, biscuits, pastries, scones and pancakes, dessert sauces, ice cream and cream. Wild-harvested Elegant Wattle seed from areas such as Alice Springs, Hawker-Port Augusta and Broken Hill has largely supplied the food industry to-date. It is estimated that approximately 10 tonnes of seed was harvested from the wild in the 1997/98 season and sold at a wholesale price of around $10.00 to $12.00 per kilogram.

Wild harvest poses some environmental and food safety concerns and the erratic supply and price of wild product have acted as a constraint to market growth. These factors have stimulated interest in commercial cultivation and although the industry is still small and many production questions remain unanswered, expansion is likely.

Other factors may also contribute to the further development of wattleseed production, including the potential for the use of Acacias in soil rehabilitation, dryland salinity mitigation, as a source of fodder, for windbreaks and as a host plant in quandong plantations.

Elegant Wattle (Acacia victoriae)

The Elegant Wattle (also known as Prickly Wattle, Gundabluey and Bramble Wattle) is a very adaptable and resilient species that grows naturally in SA, NT, WA, Vic, NSW and Old in hot, low rainfall areas (125mm to 500mm) on a broad range of soil types. It is tolerant of heavy frosts, moderate drought, soil lime and moderate soil salinity. It will also tolerate brief periods of inundation and heavy textured soils.

The plant is an evergreen, spreading and generally multi-stemmed small tree (2m to 5m high). Sharp spines are present at all stages of development, although spine-free (or almost so) plants are occasionally encountered. Leaves are blue/grey-green in colour and are 20 to 50 mm long. It is a nitrogen-fixing legume and a palatable stock forage species, which is browsed despite the sharp spines. Cattle are reputed to thrive on browsing the plant when in seed.

The plant exhibits moderate growth rates initially; becoming rapid once established, with early flowering (often in the second year after planting) and moderate to heavy crops. The tree generally lives for around 10 years.

Flowers are cream coloured and occur in August to December, depending on area. The round seeds, which mature between November and January, are borne in papery, oblong pods on the outside of the canopy. Mature pods fall readily and the seed can be separated with simple mechanical techniques.

This crop lends itself to dryland and irrigated cultivation. With attention to early pruning, the multi-stemmed habit can be trained into a single stemmed form suited to mechanical harvesting.

Other Species

Several other Acacia species with edible seeds have attracted attention as being potentially suitable for cultivation. However, the market demand for these species is currently low or non-existent and any prospective producer would be wise to carefully investigate sales outlets prior to planting. These species include -

A. murrayana, which has a number of common names, including Colony, Murray's and

 

Brisbane wattlefimbriata - Acacia fimbriata

Sandplain Wattle. It has a wide natural distribution, favouring well-drained soils in arid and semi-arid country from Narrabri in New South Wales to Shark Bay in Western Australia. Its growth and yields are good under favourable conditions, but it does not tolerate humid environments or drought conditions.

A.pycnantha, commonly known as Golden Wattle, grows on a range of soil types and is widespread in Victoria and occurs westwards to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia and also near Canberra in the ACT and in southern New South Wales. Yields can be variable, though heavy in some years, and in cultivation plant deaths and pest and disease problems are reported to be common.

A.retinodes, commonly known as Swamp Wattle, Silver Wattle or Wirilda, occurs in south-eastern South Australia and southern Victoria as two forms; variety retinodes, which commonly occurs on poorly drained soils in open forests, inland from the coast; and variety uncifolia, which commonly occurs on calcareous coastal sand dunes. Irregular flowering and extended ripening may require multiple harvests and yields may be less than other species, although flavour is reported to be good.

Management Approaches & Issues

There a range of basic management approaches and issues that prospective wattleseed growers and the wider industry will need to address, including -

Species, Provenance & Cultivars: Growers will need to determine the species that they wish to plant.

While on-farm experimentation with a range of species could provide valuable information and perhaps uncover a useful species, it also poses a higher degree of production and marketing risk. Since A. victoriae is the current industry `standard' and has a more secure market this species would normally be the first choice for most growers. Other species may have potential as an addition to an A. victoriae main planting or, in certain situations, as an alternative to A. victoriae.

Because of the genetic diversity of Acacias the provenance (i.e. geographic source) of planting material may prove important. Among the factors that may be influenced by provenance are growth rate and form, spininess, yield and adaptation to soils and climates.

In the longer term, cultivars (i.e. cultivated varieties - clonally propagated selections) may become the norm for planting material, as is the case in many other crops.

Field Crop vs. Horticultural Crop: Acacia production could be approached as a minimal input large-scale field crop or a more intensively managed and smaller-scale horticultural crop. The field crop approach could involve practices such as direct seeding and dryland production, while a horticultural approach could involve planting established trees and irrigation. A combination of practices could also be employed (eg. planting established trees and dryland production). A field crop approach would aim to reduce production costs, while accepting lower yields, whereas a horticultural approach

seed

Seed of Acacia sophorae

would aim to maximise yields, at a higher cost. As yet, the best management philosophy has not been determined and it is likely that a range of approaches may prove successful, depending on geographical areas, species and existing farm management practices.

Input Management: the management of inputs, such as water and fertilizers, is likely to have an impact on tree growth rates, yields and plantation longevity, as well as interacting with other practices, such as pruning and training. However, optimum programs and strategies have yet to be determined.

Pest, Disease & Weed Control: the extent and control techniques for pests, diseases and weeds under cultivated conditions are also undetermined at this stage.

Pruning & Training: Experience to-date indicates that pruning and training to achieve a single straight stem, suitable for tree shaker-style mechanical harvesting, appears to be feasible and necessary for normally multi-stemmed species, such as A. victoriae.

Harvesting: Mechanical harvesting appears to be a feasible proposition, with tree shaker-style machines, similar to those used in nut and olive production, the most likely option.

$5 per kg for cleaned seed,

• giving a per hectare gross return of between $8,335 and $20,825.

While the annual cost of production (which is more difficult to estimate and is likely to vary significantly from planting to planting) has to be deducted from this gross return, the figures as such do indicate that wattleseed production may be worth considering as a potentially profitable farming alternative.

Conclusion

Although there is still much to be learnt about wattleseed production, the market demand for the product and our steadily growing knowledge base is likely to continue to stimulate interest and further plantings. While it is difficult to predict costs and returns with any accuracy at this. stage, some reasonable assumptions that could be applied include -

• A planting layout of between 6m x 3m to 4m x 3m (555 to 833 trees/hectare),

• a yield in the fourth year from planting of 3 to 5kg/tree (1,667 to 4,165 kg/ha),

• and a farm gate price of perhaps

 

 

 

 

 

From the Editor

Comment

From Mary King

Letters

Gold Fields Bushfoods

Wild Harvest News

What's the right price?

Opportunities

Plant Hardiness Zones

Oops column

Lesser known species

RIRDC R&D

Wattleseed Feature

Sell Before You Sow

Citrus...

New Plant Names

Production Info...

Products

Book Review

Recipes

Web sites

Groups

Classifieds

From the List

Wattleseed - Markets and Products

by Andrew Beal, Managing Director Australian Native Produce Industries Pty Ltd

Acknowledgements

The assistance and input of Andrew Beal, Managing Director and Graham NcNaughton, Nursery Manager, Australian Native Produce Industries Pty Ltd in the preparation and review of this publication is gratefully acknowledged.

The Author

Anthony Hele's qualifications include a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness from Monash University.

His previous work has strongly focussed on new and alternative horticultural crops and industries and includes six years as an Extension Horticulturist with the NSW Department of Agriculture, providing a comprehensive advisory service in technology and management to individual horticultural producers, groups and organizations; two years as a Research Horticulturist/Farm Manager with Western Australia's Murdoch University, conducting crop nutrition and water use studies and provided day-to-day management and long-term technical and business planning on a commercial orchard; and six years as a private Consultant, providing technical and business management services to horticultural producers, agribusinesses and the government and educational sector.

In January 2000 he commenced as Industry Development Consultant - Native Foods, a position jointly funded by Primary Industries and Resources South Australia and Australian Native Produce Industries Pty Ltd.

The position aims to assist in the sustainable economic development of the native foods industry in South Australia.

Disclaimer

Australian Native Produce Industries Pty Ltd (ANPI) gratefully acknowledges the support of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) in providing funding for the Australian Native Foods Project.

ANPI is solely responsible for the authorship of this publication. ANPI and PIRSA and their employees do not warrant nor make any representations regarding the use of the information contained herein as regards to its correctness, accuracy, reliability, currency or otherwise.

You assume the entire risk from the implementation of this information/advice. ANPI and PIRSA and their employees expressly disclaim all liability and responsibility to any person using the information/advice contained in this publication.

Rejuvenation: Because Acacias may be relatively short lived, methods to rejuvenate plantings may be an important aspect of commercial production. Coppicing (cutting trees back almost to ground level to stimulate further growth from dormant trunk buds - although this would also tend to result in multiple stem development), pollarding (cutting trees back to a point some distance above ground level, to stimulate growth and particularly the development of a bushy crown) and/or shallow ripping to induce regrowth through suckering have been proposed, although these methods have yet to be trialed and perfected.

Further Reading

Edible Wattle Seeds of Southern Australia: A Review of species for use in semi-arid regions. (1998) by

Maslin et al is a useful reference work on species potentially suitable for cultivation and is available from

CSIRO publishing (telephone 03 9662 7666)

Wattleseed Production

Seminar & Farm Tour - Renmark, SA - 14th

December 2000

 

 

Native Foods Industry Overview

The Australian native foods industry is small but growing rapidly. Australian Native Produce Industries Pty Ltd (ANPI) conservatively estimates that the industry should grow to a value of $100 million per annum nationally within 5 years. Previous forecasts by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation are consistent with these projections. The South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Resources recently announced that the native foods industry is anticipated to make a significant contribution to the State's overall Food Plan, which aims to achieve a food sector valued at $15 billion by 2010.

Currently there are many small, and some larger players entering the industry. The key players nationally at this stage are ANPI in South Australia, Cherikoff Ply Ltd in Sydney, and Robins Australian Foods Pty Ltd in Melbourne. ANPI is the clear market leader with its innovative Red Ochre(®) branded products established nationally and expanding into export markets.

The delicious flavours, colours and textures of native ingredients are exciting consumers worldwide. When first exposed to the new flavours, leading chefs have likened the experience to an artist being presented with "a palette of colours never seen before".

From the thousands of different native food plants available, ANPI has selected those crops believed to have the brightest commercial future for development. ANPI `s `core' crops include:

  • Australian Blood Lime PBR;

  • Australian Sunrise Lime PBR;

  • Australian Outback Lime PBR;

  • Bush Tomato;

  • Frahn's Paringa Gem

  • Quandong PBR

  • Lemon Aspen;

  • Lemon Myrtle;

  • Rivoli Bay Muntries PBR

and

  • Wattleseed

As the industry moves from niche-gourmet to more mainstream distribution, international interest has emerged and is dominating demand during this take-off period of the industry.

In the late 1980s, there was a period of great enthusiasm associated with launching the concept of an authentic Australian Native Cuisine. Following this, the industry struggled through the high-risk period of identifying products and markets, and commencing cultivation of the new crops. With an improved supply of certain native ingredients, the industry is now experiencing a second wave of interest and rapidly growing demand for native foods.

With the very high risk period now behind us, the single-greatest limit to the rapid growth of the industry is the availability of high quality native raw produce at prices accessible to premium main-stream markets.

Wattleseed Products

Wattleseed is the seed extracted from the pods of Australian wattle trees (Acacia species). After cleaning, the seed is generally roasted (as coffee beans are roasted), ground (usually hammer-milled) and used fresh as a nutty-coffee-caramel flavoured ingredient in a wide range of sweet and savoury food products.

There is a large number of wattle species that are suitable for culinary use, while some have off-tastes, toxins, or anti-nutritional factors contained in the seed. The current industry standard is Acacia victoriae, commonly referred to as Elegant Wattle or Prickly Wattle.

The strength of flavour of Wattleseed varies according to the species used and the method of roasting. Relatively speaking, the Elegant Waffle has a bland to mid-strength flavoured seed, with species such as Golden Waffle (Acacia pycnantha) and Notable Wattle (Acacia notabilis) having greater strength of flavour.

Wattleseed has great versatility and is used in the making products such as pancakes, pastas, pavlovas, dessert sauces and syrups, Asian-style curries and casseroles, dairy products, and a wide range of baked products such as breads, cakes, biscuits and dampers. Certain species produce a highly flavoured pop-corn like

The current industry standard is Acacia victoriae, commonly referred to as Elegant Wattle or Prickly Wattle.

ANPI currently uses Wattleseed to produce Red Ochre(®) Wattleseed Linguine. The company also stocks bulk Wattleseed for the industrial ingredient sector.

Virtually all the seed currently available to the industry is harvested from the wild, and sold at farm gate prices ranging from $10 to $15 per kilogram, depending on seasonal availability, quality and the quantity purchased. Relying on wild harvested seed poses problems for processors like ANPI - the quantity available fluctuates greatly from season to season and the quality is also very variable. There are also environmental concerns over the potential for adverse environmental impacts to flow from exploiting wild stands of native plants.

Wattleseed Markets

From a marketing point of view, Wattleseed has a significant and sustainable point of difference as a new world spice. Although new, the flavour is readily accepted by consumers and the uniquely Australian character of the product is a further marketing advantage.

To drive viable sales volumes, it is important that Wattleseed is used in products that target mainstream markets and sell at mainstream price points. Until long lines of supply of the raw produce are in place, manufactured products will continue to have low usage rates. As substantial supplies become available, manufactured products with higher usage rates will become more available.

Given the greater reliability of supply that will flow from commercial plantings of Wattleseed, ANPI and other processors will be much better placed in the future to develop further products and expand markets, with respect to product-lines and geographical markets.

A recent media visit to South Australia by three leading UK food and wine journalists confidently predicted that Australian native cuisine will be the next international cuisine to be promoted in the UK and continental Europe. A South Australian Trade Mission lead by the State Premier last June staged a highly successful food and wine event at Lords Cricket Ground. Approximately 500 UK food and wine journalists, TV and radio food presenters, and retail buyers from the major grocery chains attended. Most dishes served contained native ingredients (including Wattleseed) and received high acclaim on the day and in the media after the event.

To date uptake of native cuisine has been relatively slow in Australia, with most growth in the industry occurring in export markets. This situation is set to change as major retail chains in Australia are now prepared to list products featuring native ingredients.

At present, there are no international competitors for the production and marketing of Wattleseed.


 

ACACIA retinodes var. retinodes: economic potential by Chris Jones

Acacia retinodes, the Swamp Wattle, Silver wattle or wirilda, is a tall shrub to small tree, used extensively in revegetation projects, and in the bush food industry because of its easy establishment, and short period of 3-5 years to seed production, along with the copious amounts of seed produced.

It grows in a wide variety of soil types, both acid and alkaline, and has a wide pH tolerance. It is used extensively in revegetation mainly for habitat and as a windbreak, roadside plantings and ornamental use, but it is also marketable as a bush food crop and for seed, with foliage also being sold overseas. At the farm gate you could probably expect somewhere about $60-80 per kg. for the seed. Birds such as honeyeaters and silvereyes love the nectar from this species and ants also are attracted to it.

Prior to planting, the seed will require pre-treatment by pouring very hot water over the seeds and allowing to cool. The seed can be left overnight, once the water is strained off, dry, and then sow seeds into standard propagating mixes, and keep moist. For raising nursery stock seed can be sown as late as October- November. If considering this species for plantation or broadscale establishment, then the most practical method after seed treatment is by direct seeding in late Winter- early Spring into well prepared sites at a rate of 400-500gms per linear kilometre. Logically if you intend to harvest the seed then rows should be spaced at least at a distance of 4m apart and you will also need access rows.

The species does exceptionally well and there would appear to be little need to use drip irrigation or fertiliser. It does best in the rainfall zone of 550-900mm, and it tolerates frost and acid soils, and is highly salt tolerant. It is suited to wet sites with saline subsoils, grows well on coastal sands, in damp gullies and on hillsides. It has low susceptibility to insect attack. Seed collection period is variable with seasonal conditions but normally is collected in SA between December and March.

In comparison Acacia victoriae ssp. Victoriae, the elegant or bramble wattle, is a tall dense prickly plant of 3-4 metres. This species grows on most semi-arid to arid soils and usually on soils with a pH of 7.0 and above. (alkaline) It grows naturally in the lower rainfall range of 250-450mm. and is a good habitat shrub for birds, particularly honeyeaters and butterfly larvae.

It is easy to establish in plantation form, and cheaper! and the directions are the same as for A.retinodes. Seed of this species is highly marketable as a bush food crop, and for seed for revegetation projects, but the species is also recommended for erosion control, as the plants tend to become hedgerow in appearance. For plantation crops early side pruning is recommended which will assist seed collection in later years. 

retin

Acacia retinoides var retinoides from `Economic Trees and Shrubs of South Australia'

Seed is normally produced within 3-5 years. In the drier areas it is recommended that drip irrigation on seed rows and young seedlings occur, however in the wetter areas of Australia where it is being considered or trialled, there is probably no need to irrigate.

Seed collection is normally from October through to March, but this may vary throughout Australia and can often be irregular. Seed currently is selling for about $30-40 kg. at the farm gate.

 

Sell before you sow! Part 3

newcropFrom the Australian New Crops Newsletter, No. 11
 

Parts 1 and 2 dealt with growing, supplying, roadside markets retail outlets and value adding. Now read on as we conclude with packaging, promotion and information...

Washed produce is welcomed by travellers or picnickers; you also might provide a produce-washing facility for customer use.

The number one rule of marketing is to listen to your customers

How can we serve you better? Practice the art of drawing out customer reactions. What did they like and dislike and what they'd also like to have in addition to what you offer.

Train your employees to do likewise.

Educate the customer

The more people know about your product, what went into growing it and how to use it, the more they are willing to pay premium price.

Ways to inform customers about your products or services include:

• point-of-purchase flyers,

• on-farm demonstrations/workshops,

• free recipe sheets,

• product information on labels,

• educational articles or columns in the media, and

• a regularly published newsletter.

Point of purchase materials

Studies show that most purchases are unplanned.

Few people go into a store and stick to their shopping list 100%.

Develop a roster of posters, shelf-talkers, tent cards, recipe pads and brochures to act as on-the-spot salespeople when customers walk into your store. In this way, customers are encouraged to try a new product.

By supplying customers with recipes and storage tips, point-of-purchase displays also encourage customers to purchase larger volumes.

According to `Guerrilla Marketing' author Jay Levinson, sampling is the most effective marketing method available

Hand a customer a small paper cup of cider and they'll probably want to purchase a gallon.

This is inexpensive promotion.

Product sampling is especially important for introducing new products or new varieties of a product.

Whether it's with toothpick samples at your farmers market stall or roadside market, by doing demonstrations at a retail store, or bringing along your cutting board when you visit produce managers or restaurant chefs, let the customers taste your great product.

Once they have tried, they'll buy.

Whether you are marketing your products through wholesalers, retailers, or directly to consumers, your success depends on personal, `whatever-it-takes' customer service

This is something customers can't find at the supermarkets or wholesale markets.

For example, if you have a roadside stand, go the extra mile and provide:

• information on types and varieties of produce

• recipes for customer use

• a picnic area

•a call-in ordering service and

• acceptance of credit cards.

The products you sell through retail stores or wholesalers will also move a lot faster if you can supply them with lots of interesting material.

Pricing for quality

Offer a unique, high-quality product that customers can't get elsewhere.

Stress quality, freshness and uniqueness rather than cheapness.

For high-end pricing:

• Package expensive specialty items in smaller units. Sell berries, for example, in pint rather than quart sizes-this makes it easier for the customer to buy and try out a new or expensive product.

• Price competitively for common items, but slightly above the market for unusual or hard-to-find items where competition is less intense.

• Give samples in order to show the customer your quality.

• If and when you do make upward price adjustments, make them a little as needed rather than all at once.

The personal sales call is the oldest and most effective form of marketing communication

As the farmer who grew and intimately knows the product you're selling, you can sell twice as much on any given day as a hired salesman.

Selling skills can be gained by common sense preparation.

Go to your library or bookstore  and get a good book on salesmanship.

Your logo is one of the best promotion and advertising expenditures you will make

Use your logo on road signs, packaging, letterhead, containers, business cards, brochures and direct-mail pieces, as well as on all advertising that you do.

In seeking graphic design help, look for barter arrangements: one flower grower supplied an advertising agency with fuchsias in exchange for half her bill.

Keep your logo simple, clean and crisp.

Logos with lots of details can distract a customer and cause her to miss the real message or theme you are trying to convey.

A brand name is one key to getting high prices for quality food products.

In a market of mass-produced, no-name products, stamping your personal identity on your product builds trust and confidence.

Even the smallest farmer can utilize branding to maximize his advantage over competitors.

It's important though that the `quality goes in before the name goes on'. Consistent quality is crucial to branding your products. Bad products will ruin your brand name.

Before spending money on advertising, utilize all the free publicity and promotion available.

A story written about your product or farm operation in the local newspaper can be worth hundreds or even thousands of advertising dollars.

An industry rule-of-thumb is that editorial coverage is seven times as valuable as paid coverage.

The best and most economical way to attract and keep customers is through personal recommendation, or `word-of-mouth'.

Word-of-mouth advertising is not free, however. It is earned each time you provide your customers with outstanding service and a quality product.

Word-of-mouth really takes off when you do something extraordinary.

This might include custom growing for restaurant chefs or providing an irresistible fresh berry-topping sundae for roadside market customers.

Other ways to help fuel word-of-mouth include:

• asking satisfied customers to recommend your services or products to their friends;

• setting up a referral program to encourage customers to tell others about your farm or market;

• printing your farm logo, along with a map, on your paper bags, cartons and other containers;

• handing out brochures for committed customers to pass out to friends; and

• collecting customer testimonials to quote in your advertising copy.

Contributing to your community earns you the kind of reputation that money can't buy.

Community involvement means joining the chamber of commerce or donating fresh vegetables or holding a benefit sale for a charitable organization.

Contribute bags or boxes of your product, and include a sales brochure.

Recipients will show up later at your farm.

Sponsor a local high school club that is community-minded.

One of the best ways to garner free publicity is by regularly sending out news releases to local newspapers, radio and TV stations

They are always looking for interesting stories to fill their newspapers or air time.

In fact, 75 percent of what appears in print has come from news releases.

Media people get so many slick press releases from large firms, they often favor `home-made' newsy items from small businesses, especially if they are local.

Ideas for news releases

Send information about something that is unique or new, and is of real interest or usefulness to readers, rather than blatantly self-promotional.

Make it news, not advertising.

Get in the habit of thinking `possible PR story.'

Ask yourself:

• What is unique about my market or my products?

• Do I grow an unusual food item not normally obtainable in grocery stores?

Recipes, tip-sheets and contests are just a few more of the hundreds of ideas for interesting news releases.

One key to writing effective advertising copy is to personalize your product

As a small entrepreneur, don't try to be General Foods.

Tell your story.

We live in a society in which everything is wrapped in plastic.

People want to hear your personal story.

Put lots of personality into your copy:

Sell before you sow cont'd

• tell how your farm got started,

• your early struggles, or

• about your ethnic background.

Tell what is unique about your product.

Why is it the kind of product customers won't find from major food manufacturers?

Tabulate sales and try to make a judgment as to how many of the sales resulted from the advertisement.

If the ad doesn't work, don't repeat it!

Coupons can be included in newspaper display ads, in flyers or direct mailings.

By offering the customer a bonus for bringing the coupon into your store, coupons act as an incentive to act on the ads or leaflets advertising your market or product.

Coupons act as a loss leader. As customers bring in coupons for the free or discounted item, they usually purchase other items as well.

Coupons also serve as an effective, low-cost way to test advertisements or promotions. Code each coupon so you will know where it came from.

Instead of offering a discount off the cost of an item in your coupons, offer a free cup of cider, a free recipe booklet or a free coloring book for the children etc.

This way customers won't become conditioned to always expecting low prices.

In union there is strength

Smaller growers need to realize that their competition comes not from neighboring farmers but from the supermarkets and their corporate farm suppliers.

Cooperative promotion can mean trading mailing lists, cooperative

advertising, joining a local direct marketing association, taking part in a farm trail map or getting together to sponsor a regional tasting event.

It pays to promote with fellow growers

Remember to `share the bounty'

Whether this means:

• helping the hungry by contributing food to a local soup kitchen

• joining an organization to save endangered farmland or species or

• fighting for rights through political action or community groups, it's worth your time to share the harvest with others.

What goes around comes around!

To make sound marketing decisions, you need up-to-date, accurate and reliable information

Information resources include:

• economic development groups

• TAFEs

• local libraries

• chambers of commerce

• farm and other trade journals

• trade associations and

• farm marketing conferences.

It is frequently expressed at marketing conferences that if you go home with one new idea it will pay for the cost of the conference.

Take time to relax and have fun with farm festivals and farm humor.

In the long run, you'll actually work more effectively and profitably by not working seven days a week.

When all else fails, make lemons out of lemonade.

When bad weather conditions turned his broccoli crop into pathetically small-time versions of real broccoli, Tom Willey of T & D Farms near Fresno, California, started the `broccoli florette' craze.

Similarly, if a drought makes your potatoes look like ping-pong balls, try selling them as `Pee Wee Potatoes' in $2 pint boxes.

Here's one more

Always give something extra.

Remember that word-of-mouth really takes off when you do something extraordinary.

So give customers their money's worth and then some by giving something away free, such as food samples, a pumpkin or a small basket of strawberries, hayrides, etc.

From:

`Sell What You Sow! The Grower's Guide to Successful Produce Marketing' by Eric Gibson.

Published and available from:

New World Publishing

3037 Grass Valley Highway #8185

Auburn California 95602 USA

Email: ebibson@jps.net

or - contact: Dr Rob Fletcher, School of Land and Food, The University of Queensland Gatton College, 4345;

r.fletcher@mailbox.uq.edu.au

 

Possum Creek Bushfoods

For Sale

Lemon myrtle leaf

Davidson plum

Seedless riberry

Cut leaf mint

Finger lime

601 Friday Hut Rd

Possum Creek, Bangalow, NSW 2479

Ph: 02 6687 1975

Diemen Pepper

Native Pepper Products

Berries:

· fresh (frozen),
· dry,
· milled

Leaf:

· whole,

· flaked

· fine-milled

Delicious Tapas Oil:

Extra virgin olive oil, spiced with pepper leaf

Orders, pricelists and

information from Chris,

cd_read@tassie.net.au

Ph: (03) 6278 1601,

Or: 0407 781 600

 

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