We often hear of the importance of trade, with headlines updating us on international trade deals. But, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. With each trade deal there are opportunities and risks, and it’s up to individual businesses, including farms, to assess how they could be impacted.
“We’re a trading country and our agri-food sector depends on external markets for obvious reasons,” says David McInnes, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute. “The key issue is, once those deals are signed…the hard work begins.”
In this episode of Mind Your Farm Business, McInnes joins RealAgriculture’s Kelvin Heppner to talk about the importance of trade, the impact international trade deals can have on individual farms and independent agricultural businesses.
That hard work, says McInnes, is figuring out how to get the product to the customer, or onto the customer shelf. Besides meeting standards outlined in the trade agreement, there are logistical considerations and marketing options to figure out.
And, consumers are only getting more complicated. Not only are they demanding products are sourced or grown a certain way, they’re also expecting proof. Product labels are venturing into the realms of verifying sustainability and water footprints.
So how do you know whether or not to go down a specific road of market differentiation? Is there more to it than boiling it down to a cost-benefit analysis?
Well, “we certainly don’t want to be offside the key competitors,” explains McInnes. But on the other hand, “we have to be very clearly focused on how the markets around the world are changing.”
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