A new truffle-growing co-operative is celebrating its first online sale, less than 24 hours after receiving marketing advice from Farming Together.
The Australian Government-backed program provided the NSW/ACT truffle co-op with free advice that saw the first sale dispatched to a Queensland buyer.
The group established a website one month earlier, but had not attracted a sale. They were provided with an expert online marketer through the Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program, known as Farming Together.
“The next day we had our first sale,” said Tricia Lockart, from the Eastern Australian Tablelands (EAT) Truffle Cooperative. “It was great to get such an immediate result from a three-hour consultation.”
Consultant Scott Nailon explained SEO, tags and click throughs. He also helped identify potential markets and helped Tricia link the website to a Facebook sales campaign.
“It was amazing how much I learned from him about Google algorithms. There’s no doubt he knows his stuff,” said Tricia.
While the truffle sale heads north, express-posted in its special foam box, the new skills developed by the EAT Truffle Co-Op will continue to bear fruit.
Tricia said belonging to the co-op was a vital step to online sales success.
“I had spent a fair bit of time looking at online selling privately, but I couldn’t justify the time and expense. Now, with a co-op, we’re sharing the workload and the costs among several of us. And the co-op also sends a message around grading standards and consistent quality.”
The co-op’s website is at http://eattruffle.com.au/truffle-store/
The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.
Program director Lorraine Gordon said: “The EAT Truffle Co-op is a good example of the way the Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program supports agriculture from the group upwards. The program is farmer-driven and has attracted unprecedented levels of engagement. In barely 10 months we have had interaction with 16,000 farmers, fishers and foresters across the country and across many commodity groups.”