Farmers urged to visit the shops more to assess consumer trends

Farmers need to carry out the family shopping at least once a month to learn more about the buying habits of consumers, according to Andrew Fearne of the Kent Business School.

In an article for Farmers Weekly, Dr Fearne argues that too often producers make assumptions about what their customers want.

He advocates the use of consumer research – particularly the dunn-humby data held on 1.2m Tesco shoppers – to help farmers succeed in direct selling to the public.

Dr Fearne has been dissecting the data for farm businesses for several years, but is frustrated by the lack of farmers coming forward to access it.

“Focus on the positives and look for opportunities. They abound, but you have to look for them,” says Dr Fearne. “If you don’t then don’t complain when the next boat load of Brazilian beef hits the supermarket shelves.”

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