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Thu 11 June 2015
As the months turn we suddenly find ourselves approaching mid-summer and very soon the longest day (blimey winter’s on the way). With hopefully better weather the summer shows across the country start to take their place in the calendar of events.
To the casual visitor shows are, quite rightly, a pleasant day out, meeting friends, being entertained and an escape from the pressures of everyday life. However to the people who organise, run, support and enter the shows, it is literally a shop window for their goods and wares.
Where else can you show off the “fruits of your labour” to a captive audience with a strong feel good factor and the sub-conscious thought of treating themselves with retail therapy (my goodness I should have been a psychologist! mmm…. don’t answer that!) Advertising is all very well and a necessity but there is no substitute to getting out there and communicating with the customer.
You may feel this statement is loaded towards the retailer which it probably has a strong bearing towards but at a more basic level summer shows do have an element of country coming to town. The “town” of course are our customers, some are keen and knowledgeable and want to learn and some are apathetic and just want the beer tent but all of them, whether consciously or not need a strong farming/food base to live. We want them to have our products of whatever type but we do need to sell ourselves.
Having just returned from a judging stint at the Royal Cornwall Show I was delighted if not amazed at the interest in the livestock and their purpose in the food chain from so many of “joe public” – Cornwall is a very “rural” county and therefore perhaps the people are more “food aware” but it was of great pleasure to discuss with people the whys and wherefores of different breeds and how they have developed over the years to produce modern day requirements and food fashion.
Communication by television, radio, i-player, i-phone, text and newspaper all have their place but having spent two days talking to complete strangers about the attributes of certain breeds was a rewarding experience – why do politicians get down to “eye level” when electioneering …. because it is the best form of communication, eye to eye – we can all take heed of this whatever our business. The same principle exists with the recent Open Farm Sunday – a chance to educate, guide and explain the basics of farming and food production and the importance it brings to everyone’s lives – congratulations to those busy farmers who opened their gates and let the people in – I hope they felt the effort was rewarding – I did!
Clive C Roads
Partner, Agricultural Dept. Chairman
For the full list of agricultural shows that McCartneys will be attending this year please click here