Evans, T., Tim Evans Environment(free)
This paper will review, from the perspective of a Soil Scientist, the lessons learnt from creating the largest biosolids recycling operations in the UK and subsequently in training teams in effective selling and in HACCP. Good agronomic advice is one key to securing repeat business and customer loyalty. Having adequate sales support resources in place is another and so is having an appreciation of customers’ businesses. Quality Assurance ensures traceability and lessens the risk of reputation-damaging “issues”. The Quality Protocols (PAS100 and PAS110) will be discussed as will the fundamentals of practicable models of fertiliser replacement value. If you don’t understand your product, you could be exposing your customer to risking 1 tonne grain per hectare over tens or hundreds of hectares, which at about £100 per tonne is a poor gamble. Much better to be professional and understand the agronomic value of your products; coincidentally it is also a requirement of farm quality assurance schemes.
Keywords: available water capacity, biosolids, fertiliser, marketing, nitrogen, nutrient availability, phosphate, recycling, selling, soil structure, soil texture
Creating markets for treated organic resources has the same principles as creating markets for anything else. The key steps are understanding what customers want, or could be persuaded to want, knowing the properties of the organic resources and the relevant products that could be made from them, making the products, selling the products, delivering the products and doing the whole thing in a quality assured manner.
In this particular case the market sector is agriculture and therefore the customers are farmers and their advisors (agronomists). Farmers’ customers and neighbours can have a very strong influence on farmers’ buying decisions, they are therefore pseudo-customers. In the farming community you won’t know who is talking to whom, who is related to whom or who is feuding with whom. Customer referral and repeat business are essential in the farming community so it is important that every customer’s experience is satisfactory every time.