Farmers are set to cash in over the coming years as raw materials become ‘food brands’ in and of themselves, according to an advertising expert.
Poran Malani, who has worked with global giants including Coca Cola and Vodafone, said farmers would be ‘put back into the middle of the conversation’ as shoppers become more aware of the provenance of food.
Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference this week (January 9), he said: “If you have an app which tells you of the provenance of produce – and they already do exist – you will want to know more about the farms, the conditions, the soil make-up and the types of chemicals used.
“These are all value points in the supply chain, and consumers will be able to demand and know the best places to get the ingredients.
“Up until now, you have been producers of the raw materials which have gone on to be processed and people make money out of the manufacturing.
“The future, potentially, is those raw materials become the brand, and that is a great place for farmers to be in.”
As part of his speech to the conference, Mr Malani urged the industry to rebrand to close the gap between the public’s perception of farming and the reality, which he described as ‘the biggest I have ever seen in 30 years’ experience’.
He suggested people outside agriculture view farming as a traditional job, not one which is vital to solving some of the world’s biggest problems, such as feeding 10 billion people by 2050, slashing food waste, playing a part in solving the mental health crisis or providing renewable energy to mitigate climate change.
“In short, all the world’s problems – more political extremism, better education – none of them get solved unless you, the farmers, put food on the table,” he said.
“And the cost of failure is humanity’s failure. So there really does need to be a change in approach and perspective.
“There is a dialogue going on already out there and we need to find a credible way of engaging in it if we are ever going to start to lead it.”