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Let me spend a little time on the trends that we believe are driving the success of the marketing and production model built by New Terra Farm.

This is not to ‘preach to the converted’ - if you bought this book you probably know or believe many of these things – but rather to provide some discussion points when you are approaching customers, potential partners and other stakeholders e.g. spouses.

We believe there are both negative and positive drivers of the success of this model. Some of the negative factors are easy to find; they show up in the newspaper with distressing frequency e.g. food scares, chemical herbicide and pesticide residues on food, hormones in our food, GMO’s, and big agri-business / big government that seem to have little concern for their impact on people and the planet.

The model you are creating, based on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), is the opposite of those things. It is personal, and personalized. It is ‘human-scale’. It is sustainable, both environmentally and economically. And it connects people back to the real source of their food.

There is ‘growing’ interest in real food, local food and healthy food, and also in family-sized sustainable businesses. So do every thing you can in your communications and interactions with your customers to personalize your business.

For example, we meet with each and every family who joins New Terra Farm. This takes a lot of time, but it is time well invested in understanding the people we are serving. It’s like instant market research to find out what they like and don’t like about the service we are offering. And of course you should adjust what you do accordingly, if at all possible.

There are 2 bonuses to this approach; Bonus #1, you will find out, through your conversation, if there are other things your customers might like that your farm can provide. Bonus #2, you will meet lots of like minded people, have lots of great discussions (and possibly some actions – lots can be accomplished if you get a group of 50 or 100 committed people together to address a local problem.)

Your customers’ best assurance of food safety, quality and nutrition is this ‘local flavour’. You are your own best customer (or you should be). I always let my customers know that they are getting – exactly – the same food we eat, so they can be assured I will take care that it is as healthy as possible.

You are providing your customers good food that is also good for them - i.e. less of the bad things like herbicide, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics – and more of the good things like vitamins and minerals. This is guilt-free extravagance; buy the best food because it really is better for you.

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