“We sold out 7 weeks before first delivery…”

[Also in this series: The Albatross of Vegetables, Here’s how I help market farms ,“You’re Really Going to Pay That?” or How I’m Going to Make your Farm More Profitable ]

Dear Farmers and Supporters,

In my last email, I talked about the retention gains of 15-30% that Harvie farms are seeing. However, there is a second question of equal importance: are farmers able to attract members and increase sales?

Yes!

Robyn at Park Ridge Organics said , “We sold out 7 weeks before first delivery which was a huge relief and let us focus on farming. Harvie is worth every penny for marketing alone, let alone the efficiencies in managing members. It is saving me a ton of time.” She said that “Harvie sells itself” to members.

From Bart at Falcon Ridge Farm, “We completed our 10 week spring season back in June and are now nearing the end of our summer season.  Memberships are definitely up.  Last year for the summer season we were packing on average about 100 boxes per week.  This season we are averaging about 175.  So I am pleased with the growth.”

Heritage Family Gardens, “We are SOLD OUT for our 2018 summer season!”

Jade Family Farm, “I’ve exceeded my membership goals for the season…”

Looking at the numbers, between 2017 and 2018, the average farm increased their sales on Harvie by 235%. Part of this is huge growth number is due to farms bringing more of their existing business to Harvie, but every farm using Harvie increased sales by a minimum 20% between 2017 and 2018.

So how did this happen?

Two factors:

1) A more attractive program for members. It turns out, if you give people what they are asking for, they will pull out their credit card and buy. For example, custom shares, vacation holds, flexible share costs, payment plans, etc.

2) Increased marketing: Harvie is not just a piece of software, it is also a marketing service for the farmers. It’s like having a full time marketing staff behind your farm.

As I’ve said before, I think a major blind spot to grow CSA / farm share is that we don’t spend enough time and money on marketing. Harvie is giving farms a viable way to invest in marketing.

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