Farmers' inspiring stories forge real connections with consumers

Farmers' inspiring stories forge real connections with consumers


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Better connecting farmers with consumers is one of the greatest challenges for Australia's agricultural industries.

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Better connecting farmers with consumers is one of the greatest challenges we face in underpinning a sustainable future for Australia's agricultural industries.

Fostering a greater understanding regarding where, how and by whom our food and fibres are produced is essential to grow confidence and demand for our sustainably and ethically grown goods.

I sincerely congratulate the National Farmers Federation on their recently announced initiative Telling Our Story.

This project focuses on sharing modern Australian agriculture's story, and how "farmers take very seriously their responsibility to grow food and fibre in a manner that meets contemporary community expectations".

There is no doubt that the wool industry must adopt a leading role in the Telling Our Story initiative.

In this world of enhanced scrutiny and immediate global news sharing, it has never been more important that our farmers embrace best practice, innovation and technology.

And I am confident that the majority of our farmers are exceeding global best practice in the way they breed and manage their livestock, grow their crops and care for their land.

They are inspired to leave their properties in an even better state for future generations.

These are the stories that we need to share.

We are incredibly fortunate in Tasmania to have so many inspiring wool growing stories to tell - from six and seventh generation farmers through to newcomers to the industry - that will assist us better connect with consumers around the world.

Roderic O'Connor recently told us that Connorville has been held by the O'Connor family since 1824 and as a sixth-generation woolgrower, he recognises the power of telling the family's story, history and commitment to sustainable and ethical farming to better connect with wool purchasers.

John and Isabelle Atkinson from Maitland shared with me their thoughts about the importance of collaborating with people who recognise the value of their wool, who "see in it the natural elements of our pristine landscape and appreciate our values of sustainability and authenticity".

And Victoria Archer from Quamby Plains, which has been owned and operated by the Archer family since 1894, said storytelling and collaborative marketing will be instrumental in driving further global recognition and demand for premium Tasmanian wool across a range of breeds and microns.

These incredible farmers and stories enable us to forge real connections with consumers, who demand traceability, authenticity, sustainability, a guarantee of provenance and excellence.

Next time we wander into the supermarket, a deli, a clothes shop or a market, look for the stories of our passionate farmers.

When you purchase a suit, adventure wear or carpet runner made from wool, take a moment to identify with the grower who put his/her heart and soul into that fibre.

Storytelling and marketing will further entwine as we counter the mistruths that the minority sprout about our agricultural industries.

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