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Adam Boot

What does this mean? Can't Sell your Honey, Lets Talk!

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I have read the post 'Can't Sell your Honey, Lets Talk!' I am intrigued and I would love someone to explain to me what this is all about? Why? and what it is supposed to achieve? 

 

I thought there used to be a Honey Co-operative that failed completely? 

Supply and demand determines the price. How is a Co-operative going to increase/stimulate demand? 

If a Co-operative reduces supply to inflate price it will have no impact unless they are the dominant supply in the market and there is no alternative. How will they sell at an inflated price? 

If the Co-operative does the packing but pays the beekeeper an inflated price then they will not sell their packed product in any volume if they pass that cost on. So no revenue to pay the beekeepers. 

If they don't pass the inflated honey cost on then they will not make any margin on the packed product. So where does the money come from to pay the beekeeper? 

 

What is trying to be achieved here?

What are the goals and objectives?

If the Market value for Clover is $5 how does forming a Co-Operative make the value $8 or $9?

 

I would welcome an explanation of the thought process?  

 

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It simple Adam. They come together with a common goal and that is to create value.  They do this by forming a solid brand and extract a premium over the commodity price.  Number one rule for success in consumer products is own the brand.  Bee keepers are getting killed right now because they failed to own the brand, with the brand owner putting the cheapest honey they can find into their brand. 

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totally agree @flash4cash.  The honey cop in Alberta buys honey at international prices and sell under a brand.  Yes, international prices but there is probably some kick back as well.  For one you can sell your honey!  Drums provided- Stop beekeepers trying to copy themselves in the market. Cost effective. It won't be a benefit scheme. 

@Adam Boot- we are trying to sell a crop- no one is buying my honey- no one has offered $5.  Be a bit sensitive my man. 

Will you buy my honey? at $5? ...  No, only interested in the high value. Be great if Midlands could develop a strong pasture/bush brand overseas- You might even make a dollar or two😋

 

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2 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

totally agree @flash4cash.  The honey cop in Alberta buys honey at international prices and sell under a brand.  Yes, international prices but there is probably some kick back as well.  For one you can sell your honey!  Drums provided- Stop beekeepers trying to copy themselves in the market. Cost effective. It won't be a benefit scheme. 

@Adam Boot- we are trying to sell a crop- no one is buying my honey- no one has offered $5.  Be a bit sensitive my man. 

Will you buy my honey? at $5? ...  No, only interested in the high value. Be great if Midlands could develop a strong pasture/bush brand overseas- You might even make a dollar or two😋

 

Definitely not meaning to be insensitive. Have you approached us with your crop? What have you got at $5?

We are currently developing two new international brands that have ranges including Clover, Bush, Rata, Kamahi, Dew, Rewerewa. We are as keen as everyone to stimulate the market and get NZ honey verities back on international shelves. 

46 minutes ago, flash4cash said:

It simple Adam. They come together with a common goal and that is to create value.  They do this by forming a solid brand and extract a premium over the commodity price.  Number one rule for success in consumer products is own the brand.  Bee keepers are getting killed right now because they failed to own the brand, with the brand owner putting the cheapest honey they can find into their brand. 

I agree that the concept is simple. I am not so sure about this in practice. 

For instance. When you have your cooperative up and going and you have developed your brand and you have your packing facility up and running with all the compliance in place and your churning out this great product - Who is going to sell it for you and who are you going to sell it to? 

Then when you have all those sales contracts in place for your great brand and your cooperative has a poor harvest (maybe just down 25-30%) where are you going to get your additional stock from to keep your brand going? Presumably you go back to the market like everyone else? 

 

What percentage of your combined crop do you want to see in your own brand? Your own Cooperative supply will not provide much flexibility so it can only ever represent a proportion of your sales other wise the fixed overhead burden is to great a risk. What % supply split are you looking to achieve? 

 

Just some thoughts to stimulate what could be a great idea! 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Adam Boot said:

where are you going to get your additional stock from to keep your brand going

Just like Mr Berry said, Keep one crop in the shed.
Where you been Adam?

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Posted (edited)

Adam when i got the email i had exactly the same misgivings as you. Wether this venture succeeds or fails is up in the air right now. But -

 

5 hours ago, Adam Boot said:

I thought there used to be a Honey Co-operative that failed completely? 

 

I assume you would be referring to the old Honey Marketing Authority? The reason it "failed", was because beekeepers then were exactly the same as they are now. The constant petty bickering and arguing eventually led to the demise of the HMA. But as someone who was around at the time i can tell you a lot of beekeepers regreted it once it was gone.

 

5 hours ago, Adam Boot said:

Supply and demand determines the price. How is a Co-operative going to increase/stimulate demand? 

 

By taking a page out of your book Adam. Marketing.

 

3 hours ago, Adam Boot said:

 when you have all those sales contracts in place for your great brand and your cooperative has a poor harvest (maybe just down 25-30%) where are you going to get your additional stock from to keep your brand going? 

 

That is where a cooperative is stronger than an individual.

 

I think what is going on here is suppliers of bee equipment will have seen sales fall through the floor, and not hard to see that worse is to come for them. So, one of them is attempting to assist beekeepers to earn some money, and possibly instigate a new business opportunity for themselves at the same time. Where's the harm?

Edited by Alastair

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11 hours ago, Adam Boot said:

Have you approached us with your crop?

Last November I contacted M, he said that 'sorry, no we won't be interested in clover' which is what we normally produce. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

 

I think what is going on here is suppliers of bee equipment will have seen sales fall through the floor, and not hard to see that worse is to come for them. So, one of them is attempting to assist beekeepers to earn some money, and possibly instigate a new business opportunity for themselves at the same time. Where's the harm?

The company organising these  meetings has been seen to dramatically reduce staff in  his retail outlet, so he is well aware of the dropping market, probably far more so than the new entrants to beekeeping and honey marketing.

Edited by Sailabee
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10 hours ago, Philbee said:

Just like Mr Berry said, Keep one crop in the shed.
Where you been Adam?

What do you mean 'where have I been'? 

 

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Just now, Adam Boot said:

What do you mean 'where have I been'? 

 

Just a joking phrase Adam

No offence intended.
John Berry spoke at a mini conference in Taupo and it was there that he alluded to the very situation we are now in
He spoke of the importance of Beekeeping operations being well foundered financially and able to stand 3 seasons in a row without a crop.
If I remember correctly he also spoke of the importance of having a crop on the hives, one in the bank and one in the shed.

"Were you not at that conference" was my little joke at your expense,

Im Sorry if you dont see the funny side.

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8 minutes ago, Philbee said:

He spoke of the importance of Beekeeping operations being well foundered financially and able to stand 3 seasons in a row without a crop.

Most of the commercial beeks I talk to who have been in the business for 20 yrs or more say there is  a good crop about  every five years .

How do they survive the other 4 .?.

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26 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Just a joking phrase Adam

No offence intended.
John Berry spoke at a mini conference in Taupo and it was there that he alluded to the very situation we are now in
He spoke of the importance of Beekeeping operations being well foundered financially and able to stand 3 seasons in a row without a crop.
If I remember correctly he also spoke of the importance of having a crop on the hives, one in the bank and one in the shed.

"Were you not at that conference" was my little joke at your expense,

Im Sorry if you dont see the funny side.

All good. I don't get offended - No problem. I like the sound of Mr Berry's perfect world scenario - Is it feasible?

13 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

totally agree @flash4cash.  The honey cop in Alberta buys honey at international prices and sell under a brand.  Yes, international prices but there is probably some kick back as well.  For one you can sell your honey!  Drums provided- Stop beekeepers trying to copy themselves in the market. Cost effective. It won't be a benefit scheme. 

@Adam Boot- we are trying to sell a crop- no one is buying my honey- no one has offered $5.  Be a bit sensitive my man. 

Will you buy my honey? at $5? ...  No, only interested in the high value. Be great if Midlands could develop a strong pasture/bush brand overseas- You might even make a dollar or two😋

 

Where does this 'Kick Back' come from? Who pays for the drums?

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Adam Boot said:

All good. I don't get offended - No problem. I like the sound of Mr Berry's perfect world scenario - Is it feasible?

 

 

It used to be pre Manuka .

Thats how most beekeeping businesses worked I would have thought. 

Edited by frazzledfozzle

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While I agree with the sentiment it sounds more like something my uncle Russell Berry or my father Ian would say rather than a quote from me. I've been to a lot of conferences and have occasionally talked about bees and beekeeping but don't remember giving a talk on marketing. I have certainly been through some hard times with beekeeping and have always tried to live by what the old beekeepers told me which was to not spend last year's money until you got this years.

I have a friend in Alberta who supplies honey to the Co-op and if I had to live on what he is paid I wouldn't be very happy.Co-ops and communism both sound good on paper but aren't always fun to live under.

We have just moved from an extended period of living in a seller's market to living in a buyers market and that is the fundamental change that people are going to have to get used to. 

 

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1 hour ago, Adam Boot said:

Is it feasible?

My understand in is that in the old days this was the aim.

We may be going back there

1 minute ago, john berry said:

While I agree with the sentiment it sounds more like something my uncle Russell Berry or my father Ian would say rather than a quote from me. I've been to a lot of conferences and have occasionally talked about bees and beekeeping but don't remember giving a talk on marketing. I have certainly been through some hard times with beekeeping and have always tried to live by what the old beekeepers told me which was to not spend last year's money until you got this years.

I have a friend in Alberta who supplies honey to the Co-op and if I had to live on what he is paid I wouldn't be very happy.Co-ops and communism both sound good on paper but aren't always fun to live under.

We have just moved from an extended period of living in a seller's market to living in a buyers market and that is the fundamental change that people are going to have to get used to. 

 

Sorry John I meant Russell 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Alastair said:

I assume you would be referring to the old Honey Marketing Authority? The reason it "failed", was because beekeepers then were exactly the same as they are now. The constant petty bickering and arguing eventually led to the demise of the HMA. But as someone who was around at the time i can tell you a lot of beekeepers regreted it once it was gone.

 

@Alistair I assume Adam is talking of the Honey Co-op formerly based around Timaru, that owned the Hollands, Sweet Meadow and other brands. The key person of which, and many suppliers switched to Midlands when the Co-op finally fell apart. 

I had some involvement with the Co-op post demise and while I can't discuss details, let's just say it was far from the ideals of a co-op as postulated by some on this site recently, or a well run company despite the best efforts of some.

 

Without quoting those before in this thread, I'll answer them generally by saying that I largely agree with Adam. A co-op seems to be desired by those who feel disenfranchised by the current system. In reality a co-op seeks to replicate and add to the existing brands, but doesn't create additional value to justify the required commitment of financial resources. If it gets off the ground, all it will achieve in the marketplace is to add additional brands, and competition, to the existing market. How will it find it's place in the market? Generally by starting near the bottom(!), causing more competition, and more choice for the supermarkets to play off against each other, thereby lowering prices for all. 

 

Also note, given the "constant bickering" and disagreement of current and historical beekeeping in NZ, how do you expect a group of beekeepers to agree on enough, and put enough money into it, then there's the issue of appropriate skills and resourcing. Who's going to put the time and commitment into all aspects of this? This will take millions of $ and tens of thousands of hours to do even a basic operation with a reasonable modicum of success.

Part of the reason the Honey Co-op fell apart was because they were a group of many beeks many (possibly all) of whom were looking out for their own interests first. I heard more than one say they would supply part of their crop/what they had to to the Co-op, but would sell to other commercial buyers for higher prices. 

Also, skills: while the suppliers/owners are experts at producing drummed honey, they don't necessarily have the skill set and additional time and resources to create and run a successful manufacturing operation and the marketing and sales side of the business. This can't be done part time while you're looking after your bees in the back blocks...

Who has the millions of $ to fund this, not just the initial funds, especially coming after the past several years of financial difficulty. The beeks involved will need at least several years of accepting lower returns investing into this. 

Apart from the Canadian example written earlier in the thread, do co-ops have a good track record? Not in this country, look at Fonterra's track record of destroying farmer wealth for example, and compare that to the privately owned dairy companies. 

While a co-op is great left wing ideology, history shows it is a great way to create negative equity and below average returns. Private ownership and professional organisations have a much better record of creating wealth. Compare the results of the Honey Co-op, which had a historical and first-starter's advantage over Midland Honey. 

If disenfranchised beeks want skin in the game, and to own part of a larger enterprise, you'll probably do better financially by buying shares in some other company e.g. Midlands or Manuka Health if you could, otherwise Comvita or Capilano, otherwise other investments

 

Sorry to burst the dream, but while the best side of it is wonderful in theory, unless financed and resourced properly this could be another nightmare, that creates competition, and drags down prices, returns, standards and reputations. 

Edited by Rob's BP
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In my experience the most reliable people to sell to are Family-owned producer\ packers . All the rest have a tendency to disappear like bees in a Canterbury Norwester as soon as times get a bit tough.

 

 

 

 

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Oh ... I found this post after a brain faze on another ...... but anyway, repitition is the best form of learning.

 

I been trying to sell honey today. It was'nt intentional. I was waiting for a fertilizer truck to show up and got bored of doing bee stuff, so sat on the verandah in the late summer warmth armed with a phone and a list of numbers.

It would have been a more productive day spent with the crew up the paddock splitting wood. 

 

Sales are flat.

I love that marketing spin ..... 'The market is slow, we are doing the ground work and things may get more positive in a few months ...  we bought ten tonnes and that will do us for a while.'

To be honest, I don't think anyone is out there trying to push our product.

I am a realist. I know my strengths.  It's chopping wood, cracking bee boxes , driving trucks and fixing stuff that breaks.

I am happy to leave the clever stuff like 'Pushing the Barrow'  and 'Presenting sales figure pie charts'  to the clever people ..... But you know what ..... I am having serious second thoughts.  The second thought is that these people are'nt too serious about selling honey ..... unless it's Manuka. Which is strange as generally people are motivated by money, and as everyone knows ,there is money in honey. Yeah right. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

There is a packer / exporter up this way won't even buy manuka atm. Not sure how that can be. Too much Ozzy stuff on the world scene?

Edited by Alastair

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36 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Oh ... I found this post after a brain faze on another ...... but anyway, repitition is the best form of learning.

 

I been trying to sell honey today. It was'nt intentional. I was waiting for a fertilizer truck to show up and got bored of doing bee stuff, so sat on the verandah in the late summer warmth armed with a phone and a list of numbers.

It would have been a more productive day spent with the crew up the paddock splitting wood. 

 

Sales are flat.

I love that marketing spin ..... 'The market is slow, we are doing the ground work and things may get more positive in a few months ...  we bought ten tonnes and that will do us for a while.'

To be honest, I don't think anyone is out there trying to push our product.

I am a realist. I know my strengths.  It's chopping wood, cracking bee boxes , driving trucks and fixing stuff that breaks.

I am happy to leave the clever stuff like 'Pushing the Barrow'  and 'Presenting sales figure pie charts'  to the clever people ..... But you know what ..... I am having serious second thoughts.  The second thought is that these people are'nt too serious about selling honey ..... unless it's Manuka. Which is strange as generally people are motivated by money, and as everyone knows ,there is money in honey. Yeah right. 

 

 

 

What are you trying to sell? We look for quality supply all the time and business is tuff but growing. 

17 minutes ago, Alastair said:

There is a packer / exporter up this way won't even buy manuka atm. Not sure how that can be. Too much Ozzy stuff on the world scene?

No - Just some brands are busy and others are not. What are you looking to sell and what quality? contact me through this site messenger

 

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I also contacted a few overseas buyers.  Via email, which is always a bit dubious. 

I did notice Buyers seeking supplies of Manuka, of New Zealand or Australian origin. 

@Adam Boot you looking to buy clover? What quality supplies are you seeking? 

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12 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Most of the commercial beeks I talk to who have been in the business for 20 yrs or more say there is  a good crop about  every five years .

How do they survive the other 4 .?.

Drive Trucks?

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10 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

I also contacted a few overseas buyers.  Via email, which is always a bit dubious. 

I did notice Buyers seeking supplies of Manuka, of New Zealand or Australian origin. 

@Adam Boot you looking to buy clover? What quality supplies are you seeking? 

Yes. Clover no darker than 10mm

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38 minutes ago, Adam Boot said:

Yes. Clover no darker than 10mm

How much 10mm or less is out there??

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17 minutes ago, Philbee said:

How much 10mm or less is out there??

 

Thats very light, it would be interesting to know the answer 

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