Provenance toolkit to help rural businesses stand out from the crowd

22.04.20

When it comes to food and fibre, consumers want to know who produced it, where it was produced and how it was produced. New AgriFutures Australia funded work not only confirms that building provenance through storytelling is a critical strategy for bringing brands and products to life, but also offers the practical tools to help small business achieve it.

The provenance toolkit, developed by agricultural market research and digital marketing experts Honey and Fox, offers a suite of practical resources available for download via the AgriFutures Australia website. The toolkit is aimed at Australian producers who want to build an impactful provenance narrative for their food and fibre business and share it with current and prospective clients.

Sharing your product’s origin story, history or journey to market is a powerful way to connect with your consumers and differentiate brands in the market. It’s an approach that can play a critical role in sustaining, increasing or expanding market share.

Australian and international consumers are more conscious than ever when making purchases; one in five consumers make food and beverage purchasing decisions based on provenance, with nutritional qualities coming second to this (1.).

AgriFutures Australia’s Senior Manager, Business Development, Jennifer Medway said producers need to constantly innovate to keep pace with changing consumer wants and needs in often crowded marketplaces.

“Giving consumers line of sight to where and how their food and fibre is produced is no longer a strategy reserved for small boutique businesses,” said Ms Medway.

“Market insights from the research showed how producers can take their own production stories and turn them into successful marketing strategies. The resources in the toolkit are designed to walk businesses through the process making it easy to start your storytelling journey.

“We’ve kept the focus on producers by creating tools and templates that are tailored for small to medium-sized food and fibre businesses. They equally fit with family farms to sole traders; you don’t need an army of communications specialists to make this work for you and your rural business.”

Released as part of the project, the report Consumer Trends and Storytelling Technologies explains that as humans we are wired to connect with stories, which is why telling stories is good for business.

As the physical and psychological distance between consumers and their source of food and fibre products widens, there is increased demand for provenance information and assurance. The report details the platforms and technologies currently available to get provenance stories to the consumer, with the accompanying case studies demonstrating the practical application to rural businesses.

Henry Terry, from Tasmanian Truffles, said they have employed provenance and storytelling to educate local consumers about the value and uniqueness of their premium fresh truffles and truffle products, which has boosted domestic sales.

“Because of their delicate nature, our traditional method of selling our truffles internationally posed a lot of challenges. But through stories and educational promotions, we’ve increased our local market; now we sell all of our product domestically, which has made life much easier,” Mr Terry said.

“We use a variety of media channels to share our stories; social media, our website and online store are some of our most successful platforms; but one of our favourite outlets is through our dog, Doug.”

Doug is Tasmanian Truffles’ highly trained truffle dog and brand ambassador who features heavily in their social media stories. Humans identify with animals because of their human qualities that trigger emotional responses and connection. People remember the brand through the association with Doug and his adorable Labrador antics. Using Doug as the focal point allows the company to tell their production and business story in an engaging way.

Food and fibre producers are encouraged to explore the suite of provenance resources including the Consumer Trends and Storytelling Technologies report, case studies, guidelines and templates to start creating and sharing their provenance stories.

The Consumer Trends and Storytelling Technologies report and accompanying toolkit are available via the AgriFutures Australia website: https://www.agrifutures.com.au/rural-industries/provenance-and-story-telling/

1.The NDP Group/CREST retrieved from https://www.gowine.com/food-and-beverage-news-850-australia-food-origin-themost-important-factor-for-consumers.html

Dog with spade

Media enquiries:
Emma Hand, AgriFutures Australia
Coordinator, Communications
emma.hand@agrifutures.com.au | 0427 347 269