Happy New Year!
We hope this year will be better than the last, and not just weather-wise. In 2022 we want to establish new export-channels for producers. We aim to deliver a steady stream of containers inland to your farm-gates or nearby facilities that can then be loaded and shipped directly to final export destinations. The Prairies are known for bulk-grains, but its time we reintroduce ourselves and show why we are the most sophisticated agricultural region in the world.
You have not heard from us since our last two market-insight-posts just before Christmas, but we have been busy formulating our strategy for the upcoming crop-year. Our agenda remains the same as we outlined in our Next Steps post, focusing on the same 6 items but prioritized slightly differently for the first half of 2022:
Portal-Following: We put together a social-media team that will conduct our campaigns to reach out to you more frequently with new initiatives and postings. The main channel will be our Facebook page, but please let us know if you want us to also expand our efforts to other social-media platforms.
Producer-Meetings: We had developed a plan to conduct a series of town-hall and coffee-shop meetings but unfortunately had to abort this plan due COVID-challenges. Instead we are going to start with Virtual group-meetings, and then switch to the original plan when circumstances permit -- stay tuned to the upcoming announcements and registration details.
Farm-Profiles: We had introduced this concept before but now are putting it on top of our priorities, as we are convinced that this is the most effective tool in presenting our region’s production-capacity and crop-variety in overseas markets. We have already structured a platform for this purpose (on our portal but using new development tools) -- now we are looking for funding sources for this initiative so that participating producers are not burdened with the costs.
Export-Image: As we discussed in a our previous articles, the world knows us as a source of bulk grains, not for the crop-varieties that are available for export from farm-gates in containers. We have put together a framework to cast this image to attract the attention of direct-buyers, and our goal is to work with government-agencies and producer-associations -- we are now organizing a grass-roots campaign to put pressure on them to support these efforts.
Buyer-Targets: We determined that the most effective way to attract buyer-interest is through two more tabs on our portal -- farm-profiles and a regional-profile. Pending support for both, we hope we can initiate our market-reach campaign by June, 2022, a few months in advance of harvest -- stay tuned but in the meantime we look forward to your comments and suggestions.
Market-Research: With our last two posts -- wheat-flour and animal-feed chains -- we gave examples of the type of market-research we plan to conduct in the coming months. But the prevailing belief seems to be that all producers need to know are crop-prices and stock-levels, an attitude we have to change with a new approach to market-research, at least if we want to develop direct-sales channels -- we would greatly appreciate hearing back from you on this matter.
We embarked on this portal initiative in the last quarter of 2021 to serve producer interests, and in three short months we developed a respectable following. Quite honestly, the response exceeded our expectations; we are honoured, encouraged, and determined to intensify our efforts into 2022. But at the same time, we have to mobilize more institutional-support for our cause that is meant to serve not just the interests of individual producers but also the Prairie grain-economy at large. Accordingly, in the coming months we have set ourselves a dual-pronged mission:
Follower-Engagement: We have some casual or curious visitors among our followers but most are serious, as we can tell from our site-statistics -- average visits often above 10 minutes with plenty of post-views. We are delighted with this trend but still want to further deepen follower engagement. To this end, we will be introducing changes to the portal to facilitate more interaction -- more room for comments-and-suggestions, as well as active dialogue-boxes.
Institutional-Support: As you well know there are numerous public-agencies and producer-associations involved in the grain-industry at every step of the way. It is very difficult for you as individual producers, and us as an advocacy-portal to promote the virtues of Prairie-agriculture and open up new export-channels. We need to deepen institutional support for our cause to succeed. To this end we will be embarking on a campaign to solicit your endorsement in this vein.
We look forward to serving your interests in 2022, not just with ideas and concepts but real export opportunities for you to capitalize on. Also, we look forward to attracting the attention and support of the various public-agencies and producer-associations that can play crucial roles in facilitating new export-channels. We wish you a good crop-year, and we will be reaching out with updates in the weeks to come in the hope of deepening your engagement in our novel mission, and also getting your endorsement for more institutional support.
PRAIRIE GRAIN PORTAL