Recently, Agri-Mark Inc., A dairy cooperative with about 1,000 members, investigated and found that in the past three years, .three farmers took their own lives. The most recent was last month in January 2018, and though the number might be very small, it is a sharp and disturbing increase, nearly a rising trend in the industry.
The 850 farms that dotted the state of Massachusetts 30 years ago have now dwindled down to under a hundred. Where farms were once, now country clubs and other infrastructure is being developed. Land values, labor, and energy costs are high, and landowners have this thinking - Why milk cows if we can sell our land and make millions?
2018 is the fourth year of depressed milk prices, making a large number of dairy farmers depressed. Experts have determined that farmers are facing a kind of 'perfect storm' of financial pressure, and a sense of powerlessness in an industry where the government sets prices; combined with social isolation, and an independent spirit that may make them loathe taking any help. Majority of farmers are not able to make meet any longer, with only a few farmers milking only 75 cows on their dairy farms.
What efforts are being made to prevent suicide among farmers?
Declining milk prices are taking a financial and emotional toll on dairy farmers. However, Next month, in March 2018 - Agri-Mark says it'll start offering free counseling to farmers and will continue their suicide awareness and prevention efforts. It's not just individual farmers' lives are at stake, but also New England's landscape and character.
Many farmers have also started to diversify also selling hay, cornstalks, firewood, pumpkins, sweetcorn, raw milk, and beef, along with milk.
With the rapid increase to adopt technology in many industries, it is highly recommended that farmers or agriculture and dairy industries should start employing Dairy Machinery to increase production with this one-time investment.…
According to an estimated report, the population of the world is expected to expand from 6.8 billion to almost 9 billion by the end of 2050. The demand for healthy and wholesome foods will topple the dire need for fish products from marine sources.
The productivity of marine food supplies is already struggling to find balance through imprudent pressure for fishing, coastal degradation, toxic contamination in the sea, rising organic pollution and frequent climatic changes.
With population expanding rapidly along with numerous malnutrition and hunger problems existing all over the world in Africa and South-Asia, security for foods is a major international concern for many. Fish resources are enriched with micronutrients, proteins, and vitamins majorly for areas with low income and poverty.
According to an estimated report provided by the Agriculture and Food Organization of the United Nations, fisheries gathered nearly 144 million tons of fish by the end of 2006, out of which 82 million were extracted from the capture fisheries from the marines. 10 million fishes were taken from the capture fisheries inland and 32 million from the agricultural inland while nearly 20 million tonnes from aquaculture marines.
Agriculture is expanding faster than most of the food sectors out there, and if it is maintained adequately, it will flourish and take the production fishery which is a world demand right now, supplying nearly fifty percent of the food consumption by 2015.
The most obvious statement that ceiling in the production of marine fisheries has been reached to its designated position by the marine resources. Estimated that it is going to back up sustainable yield, it has been reported that nearly twenty percent of the fishery resources which are targeted are exploited significantly, while fifty-two percent are exploited more.…
Since the start of the New year, many eyes are on the milk and dairy markets. Tiffany LaMendola of dairy consultancy Blimling and Associates have outlined the five milk market factors for 2018.
1. The European Union
There are increased outputs among dairy farmers over the past several years. EU milk production is 6.8 times larger than New Zealand's milk production, and it continues to grow. Hence, higher the inclination and favorable decision-making towards clinging to the EU market.
2. U.S. Milk Production
The milk which American dairy farmers produce has continued to become soar. Production was up nearly 2% in September 2017 and 1.4% in October 2017.
3. Dairy Producer Margins
LaMendola says that profit margins do not look too terrible. Although they are below the farmer expectations, it is still important to note that there are more fabulous highlights of profit-margins being extremely regional. It has been found that California continues to show a decline in the production of milk & dairy products, which has lead to negative margins.
Currently, the domestic market for milk is not too helpful. While dairy fat had boosted local application for several months, it seems to be flattening out now. Instead, yogurt, another highly demanded milk & dairy product and a huge driver of domestic milk demand has also flatlined. So, it's clear and comes as no surprise that fluid consumption continues to decline. Moreover, export sales have held up over the past year and export sales are not enough to prop up milk prices because of the global oversupply of milk.
Not only is there a global glut of milk, but milk powder stocks are soaring as well. There is also an imbalance in the demand and supply of milk in the markets. LaMendola says massive stocks of milk & dairy products around the world are putting pressure on prices. Even cheese, another favorite milk and dairy product, has been trading in a range and faced price pressure.…
Food is part of our daily lives. What we eat is important, and consumers are nowadays seeking more information about their food, including questions about their origin - where it comes from and how it is produced. In fact, it would be entirely relevant to say that food is becoming less of a commodity and more of a specific, individual choice.
Producers and processors are responding to these evolving demands by offering more choices and niche products. There are also increasing choices on where food can be purchased - from smaller-footprint neighborhood shops to big-box stores.
Increasing choice - how are producers responding?
The challenge becomes balancing the costs of choice and the value that decision brings forth. Retailers, food services, processors, and producers need to determine which products and services to develop and offer, as well as asking the question: "How much choice do consumers want?"
There are significantly positive and negative implications on supply-chain, arising from providing more variety but then the question arises: Do consumers want more choice of standard food products, or do they want entirely different foodstuffs?
Antibiotic use in meat production
The World Health Organization has emphasized on the reduction of the use of antibiotics in meat production, particularly in making the animals healthy. What needs to be considered is the fact that it requires a lot of care to strike the right balance among human health needs, consumer preference and animal health.
The Alternate to Proteins
It is seen as a trend, that a considerable number of consumers are trying to get more plant-based proteins into their diet – It might not just have come alongside the news of antibiotic use in production, but because, people have their minds-set more towards consuming vegetarian products as they contribute well towards a healthier lifestyle. However, there is still a chunk of the audience which is obsessed with flavors and aromatics of the cuisine they eat.
These are the primary receptors of the food market. The producers should be able to communicate directly with; through personal interactions, mass marketing, and social media as they are the most-used platforms which are playing a significant role in molding consumer choices and their thinking about food or what they buy at the grocery stores.…
Yes - In recent years breakfast cereals seem to have lost their snap, crackle, and pop. The market for ‘ready-to-eat' cereals, between 2012 and 2015, according to Euromonitor (a data firm), shrank by 9% in America and Britain, overall sales fell by 6%. Why the decline in sales? - Mainly due to consumers shunning the idea of having cereals containing carbohydrates, gluten, genetically modified (GM) grain and artificial flavors.
The big brands are merely being replaced by the small ‘authentic' ones as they are providing better quality, using healthier ingredients in the production process – making the big brands suffer from soggy sales.
The audience is becoming more aware of what they should eat, therefore; companies should be able to meet the demand to keep their business from suffering any losses, and it might take hard work to revive the flaky industry.
The finding above shows that since 2006 till 2015, there has been a downfall in the sales statistics of cereals over the years. Makers are also spending to revive their leading brands. For instance, Kellogg had put in more fruit in its Special K Red Berries cereal, and General Mills stripped GM ingredients and gluten from Cheerios.
However, in 2018, it is planned to remove all artificial flavors and colors from its cereals. Some analysts do have questions concerning whether the changes are worth the extra costs, but Robert Moskow of Credit Suisse, a bank, had reckoned it back in 2016 that cereals and food grains industries can compensate by cutting overheads and streamlining supply chains; which can be applied even today.…
Food sector is a vast and dynamic space, but which element caters to this constant expansion of food industry? It’s a basic and simple fact – people have to eat. Owing to this absolute necessity, food industry is never saturated and always welcomes new businesses.
Here the question may arise, just how big is the food sector? According to a research, food industry alone is responsible for 20% of the nation’s economy. On average, the food sector encircles up to 2.1 million farms, 935,000 eateries and above 200,000 food processing, manufacturing and storage facilities that are government registered.
It is understandable that an economic sector as large as the food sector triggers a huge variety of activities in order to bring the food from farm to end consumer’s table. Research reports that in United States alone, up to 1.5 million people are associated with the food industry, belonging to different areas including supplying, consuming and catering food products that the American market demands every day.
The Food Supply Chain
Food Supply chains are quite complex and to operate successfully they require a vast range of activities like:
- Farming & Agriculture – Food chain initiates with farmers growing crops and raising livestock. Fishing for seafood is also involved.
- Food Processing: The process of transforming fresh products and ingredients in to canned and frozen foods.
- Research & Development: Working on exploring new ways to make food tastier and nutritious along with discovering ways to make the overall product more profitable.
- Food Manufacturing: Producing goods that cater to agricultural production in the food industry. For instance, farm technical equipment, fertilizers and hybrid seeds.
- Financial services: Dealing in funds or loans and insurance to aid food production and distribution.
- Marketing: Promoting the food products through different mediums to wholesalers and retailers. It also involves packaging.
- Regulation: Maintaining the safety and quality standards of food by monitoring the manufacturing and distribution process.
The size of the food sector in combination with the unique nature of the industry itself poses some unique challenges. Following are some of the common challenges that people belonging to food sector business confront and guide on how technology can help solve them.
Challenges in the Food Sector
The diversity and complexity of the industry is clearly described above. With the exception of retailers and restaurants one thing is mainly common in food sector business – Most of them are B2B companies and their customers are other small and large businesses.
This is how the chain works – farmers and growers sell the food material to food processors and distributors, research and development firm sell ideas and solutions to manufacturers and restaurants, manufacturers sell to food distributors and food distributors sell to restaurants and retailers.
Relationship-Based and Data-Driven
In the food industry all partners somehow depend on the network of B2B relationships to manufacture and distribute food for end customers. The complex network of B2B relationships makes the food industry unique as compared to other sectors where relationships are generally long term and knowledge based. When decisions associated with huge transactions are on the line then ultimately customer insights turn important than ever.
Strong adherence to relationships or network and demand for knowledge indicates that data is crucial in the food sector. Gone are the days when knowledge used to prevail within the sales organization through sales force responsible for collecting and leveraging customer knowledge in order to drive sales. Now is the era of B2B Marketing Food Industry.
Speaking of now, many food businesses are transforming from in-person relationships to an omnichannel structure where PR is built through digital sales channels like for instance mobile ordering. An online platform allows for placing mobile orders online enabling customers to directly online or through a mobile order writing too.
The Commoditization of Food
The food industry has some other different challenges. The food sector tends to depend heftily on marketing/promotion, quantity, and price conditions to persuade, attract and keep customers. It’s because the food is considered as a commodity. For example, one farmer’s soybeans are not much different than another farmer’s soybeans. It won't be wrong to say that there’s a great deal of competition that makes discrimination between products grounded on value reasonably challenging. Therefore factors like price, knowledge, and connections are valuable means of differentiation in the marketplace.
The challenge ingrain in versatile pricing strategy, making omnichannel selling highly beneficial for buyers and sellers in the food industry. Omnichannel approaches involve online order placement. Management associated with mobile sales allow both the parties to quickly access information about price and promotion, acquire data related to past or standing orders, exclusive customer pricing along with other contractual detail. It makes the ordering process convenient for the consumer, as well as more beneficial for the merchant.
The ability to uplift margins is crucial in the food industry except for beverage sector because it's usually classified by low margins. According to data from NYU’s Stern School of Business that was collected on margins of several industry sectors in the United States; American business’s net margin was 6.4% in the food industry. The number ranged in such a way that 1.13% was for food wholesalers, 6.86% was for processors and 3.83% for farmers.
Rare challenges like the demand for data, the requirement to raise margins and reduce costs along with keeping up customer relationships and uplifting market share—are directing widespread technology implementation in the food sector.…