Do you bend forward with your hands on your head face down in anguish? Many of us in the produce industry are in that same position as we try to control the many challenges faced daily.
Inflation, supply limits, labor shortages, runaway freight costs, and profit margin threats are in the headlines while we try to keep business running on a full engine despite thoughts of dire straits in our minds.
Inflation has hit the farming community just as hard as the retail sector. Farm operations are not only concerned about rising costs of material such as fertilizer but also the shortage of it down the road. Perhaps the soaring costs of planting and raising organic crops will be more manageable for the larger farm operations, but what about the smaller organic family farms that depend on a much lower expense budget to operate—and survive?
The dollar does not have enough value power during this stage of inflation to meet the higher cost of operating the business. While some companies are eating the cost increases for fear of losing their customers, many companies are nursing it along in hopes of better days ahead. Hoping and wishing, however, are only for Santa and blowing out birthday candles.
Perhaps the soaring costs of planting and raising organic crops will be more manageable for the larger farm operations, but what about the smaller organic family farms that depend on a much lower expense budget to operate—and survive?
We are so intertwined with inflation, rising operating costs, and product shortages that it may be time to change the tone and head in a different direction. We need to lean toward a more enthusiastic state of mind by reverse engineering the gloom and focusing on protecting the organic program and increasing consumer consumption.
Don't lose the grip on your organic program by allowing inflation and other impediments to push you back to the starting line. At the end of the day, sales growth is all that matters. Allowing your operation to be stuck in the mud by putting all your energy into cutting corners and shaving costs will only put you behind in the progress of growing the company.
There are many issues on our collective plates right now, and time is of the essence. We simply cannot resolve the existing inflation crisis at this time. Concentrating on selling organic produce and protecting sales should be the primary goal. And those sales are only as favorable as the profit they generate for growth.
We need to lean toward a more enthusiastic state of mind by reverse engineering the gloom and focusing on protecting the organic program and increasing consumer consumption.
Here are a few points to consider in order to move forward from the inflation doldrums and return to the sales growth agenda:
- Focus on selling: Never be led down different paths that take you away from doing the selling. Always remember that when you sell something, that's the only time you make a profit. Your job is to drive sales that will deliver results.
- Protect Your Organic Business: Don't lose customers during this inflationary period, especially those loyal to only organics.
- Sustain Your Growth: Do not cut back on section space or eliminate organic items that could put your program in jeopardy. Consumers are aware of price increases due to inflation and still will prefer to make purchases of their favorite items.
- Strategize: What's your organic produce sales game plan? Every retailer should have a workable merchandising strategy. Your biggest strategy is to always be sales minded by sustaining full and aggressive organic displays. Off-shelf displays on endcaps are especially recommended as a successful strategy.
Once again, do everything to move past this troubling inflation trend and put your focus back onto merchandising and selling more organic produce. Stay clear of doing less to try to solve your problems.
Ron Pelger is a produce industry adviser and industry writer. He can be contacted at 775-843-2394 or by e-mail at email@example.com.