Many of our goals as producers stem from the principal purpose of trying to feed the world because the products we produce are essential to sustain life. These goals relate to production aimed at reaching a certain net worth. The human population is always growing, which continually challenges producers to grow food to meet the ever-increasing nutritional requirements. One of the important factors in a farming business is to harness good relationships in order to create opportunities and make use of them.
‘Harnessing’ in this context means to control or utilise relationships for the attainment of goals and creation of opportunities. This can be achieved at the following levels:
Within the farm
A good relationship between the farmer and his/her staff has been shown to increase productivity on the farm and improve knowledge transfer and the understanding of tasks, as well as the creation of independence, responsibility, and reliability.
“A person that feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”Brigette Hyacinth
Good relationships among farmers can have an enormous impact on the sustainability and progressiveness of farms. Farmers’ associations play an important role in influencing others, as well as providing a support system in terms of cheaper bulk purchases and aid in times of distress. These associations create opportunities for farmers to network and, lastly, they play a role in providing opportunities for competition and cooperation.
Within the industry
Good relationships within the industry help keep producers ahead of the curve by keeping them informed about the latest developments, future opportunities, and possible setbacks, including the availability of new technologies or additional services, or the provision of certain cost reductions.
Powerful customer relationships are essential to business success. The more you know and remember about your customers, the more they know you care about them. This enables you to forge a much stronger connection and a deeper relationship with your clients and customers, which improves customer loyalty, contributes to positive word of mouth, and eventually creates more opportunities for you to solve the next problem they encounter – all of which ultimately translate into increased sales.
As producers we are bound to a purpose. We all have a role to play in achieving this purpose and above all, we all have a market despite our different scales of production. The extent to which we fulfil this purpose depends on the goals we set and the degree to which we can harness our relationships.