How to Run a Farm: Packaging Your Produce

Friday, June 10, 2016

One of the great things about farming is the harvesting stage and packaging the produce. Having the fresh produce in your hands and knowing that all the hard work has paid off is truly rewarding. A big part of produce marketing is how produce is packaged. This element is the deciding factor for the final consumer when choosing between your product and your competitors'. I have met some farmers who complain about low sales, but when I ask to see their produce they just have some broccoli heads in a plastic bag or meat in a  dull punnet without their logo.

The first point I would like to emphasize is hygiene. It would be a waste to go through the entire process of land prep, planting, and harvesting and then spoiling it all with bad packaging.

Ensure that all workers are clean, their uniforms are clean, and all packing materials are also clean. Use an environmentally friendly disinfectant to wipe down all surfaces and equipment. Good hygiene will make customers trust you and it is generally just good practices to have when handling food.

If you want to catch the customer’s eye when they walk past your produce the presentation is everything. It is no longer enough to just have substandard packaging and then dumping the produce at your local supermarket and hoping for the best. People relate to brands and buy from brands they know and come to respect and trust. I’m not saying go and spend thousands of dollars packaging your lettuce or tomatoes, but it certainly does help to even put your logo and use a package that is different from all the other competitors.

If you are selling in the open market or in a fruit and vegetable store present it in a way that is appealing. It takes a moment of your time to go into a store like Food Lover’s Market and see how eye catching the presentation is set up.

I usually end up adding more produce into my grocery basket than I intend simply because of the whole shopping experience that store offers. So I want to see you set up a similar setting and have your produce arranged in a way that provides a better buying experience for your customer.

Happy Farming!

About the Author

Kundai is the co-founder at Emerging Farmer and an award-winning farmer and entrepreneur.

Disclaimer: while Emerging Farmer does everything to ensure the accuracy of our guides, it is important to contact an agronomist or your Agritex officer for accurate recommendations for your farm. Emerging farmer takes no responsibility for any losses or damage incurred due to information in this guide.


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