Matching supply with demand and getting fair prices for their products are among the recurring challenges of farmers and especially mountain farmers. One of the reasons for that is the lack of visibility of the food products on the market. Indeed, besides the food production, a critical activity of farmers is to market efficiently their products to show what they have to offer to their customers. In the era of the Internet and social media, new networking technologies have a role to play to increase communication and facilitate the organisation of food supply chains.
In Spain, different actors from the fruit-producing sector (technical sector and farmers) and IT sector (programmers, web designers and computer specialists) worked together to establish in 2012 the web platform http://naranjasyfrutas.com (or in http://orangesandfruits.com). On the website, farmers can advertise their crops along with their contact information.
For these farmers, the main reason for the creation of the platform was to improve trade with international markets. The website was initiated in collaboration with several agricultural associations of farmers including the ASAJA (the Agrarian Association of Young Farmers). The website received media coverage from national newspapers and was introduced through several conferences to the actors of the fruit business.
Today, the website counts 1,900 farmers registered, among which 80% of them are aged between 40 and 50 years old. The creation of the website led to an increase of their income between 20% and 50%. In the end, the project contributed to boost significantly the fruit producing sector in rural Spain.
This success story is a good example on how new technologies could help mountain farmers to strengthen their network and improve their marketing and communication practices. Other good marketing practices have been developed during the last European Mountain Convention, see here the marketing leaflet.
If you want to know more about this initiative, click here.15 September 2015