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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Farmers must adapt to new buying practices

FARMERS have been warned they face uncertain times as retailers need to adapt to changes in the way people buy products.

Delegates at the annual Oxford Farming Conference heard that the supply chain faces major changes in the next fives years.

First Milk chairman Bill Mustoe said changing consumer behaviours posed serious challenges for retailers – and farmers.

He told delegates the future of farmers being paid a sustainable price hinges on the supply chain collaborating and moving with the times.

The National Farmers’ Union reported back from the conference, saying sustainability was at the heart of the speech.

Mr Mustoe is quoted as saying: “I believe that in 2020 the supply chain will be driven by consumers. That might be on a mobile device, at home or in a store.

“The difference between success and failure in consumer goods in the coming decade will be the ability to adapt and change.

“Companies need to be set up to continually change and make regular tweaks to strategy.”

The delegates heard that 2bn people will have made a purchase on their mobile phones by the end of the year.

And as consumers drive the changes in the supply chain, retailers need to adapt the way they operate.

Mr Mustoe suggested a company’s green credentials would become increasingly important to their success.

He talked about companies working together to increase their collective efficiency and prove their green credentials.

He also mentioned the use of regional distribution networks as a means of bringing products to consumers.

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