BARRIES TO HORTICULTURE MARKETING
The agricultural sector in Brazil grows more each passing year, contributing to the economy and reinforcing the idea of the agricultural country that feeds the world. In 2019, agribusiness GDP grew by 3.81%, representing 21.4% of the total gross domestic product, according to Cepea (2020). However, not all the products of this increase are shared among the players in the production chain.
A large portion of food production in the country, mainly in horticulture, comes from small and medium producers, who combine the most important and weakest link in the food that is daily on Brazilian tables.
One of the great difficulties encountered by man in the field is an improvement in the marketing of his products. The hf sale is one of the biggest responsible for the producer's income and is often associated with factors that negatively influence the final profit. Some of them are:
- Price variation;
- Transport logistics;
- Market requirement.
Prices in agricultural markets are often much more volatile than in other industries. This is due to the fact that the supply may vary due to climatic conditions, the market, the supply and demand law, among other variables that contribute to instability.
The climate conditions, for exemple, can unfortunate the production, increasing the pests and diseases, long periods of droughts and unforeseen events, that cause big loss in the production and, consequently, the profit decrease.
A sharp production decrease, automatically elevates the product prices and the farmer income. However, the producer closing doors is a big susceptibility. But if there is supply excess, the prices can fall under cost.
Another condition is when prices get stuck in an increasingly volatile cycle. If prices fall, many farmers will leave the market. The offer next year will fall. This causes the price to rise. However, this higher price acts as an incentive for greater supply. So, next year the supply increases and prices plummet again!
Middleman are intermediary marketing agents that link the producer to the consumer. They usually know the region and the dynamics of the regional market, thus proposing the farmer a partnership, where he often buys production before harvest. This encourages the sale by the farmer, as some facilities are included, such as transportation logistics.
In this partnership, the farmer is often frustrated, as in addition to the fact that prices are always much lower than in direct sales, no sale condition is favorable to his higher income due to the price fluctuation. At a time when prices are high, production is low, and when production is high, the market is often saturated and has no one to sell to, and when it does, prices are very low and may even be below its production cost price.
A solution to this problem was found in the cooperation between farmers in the melon producing pole in Juazeiro (Pernambuco) and Petrolina (Bahia), where with government incentives there was a strong development in agriculture, and small producers were able to integrate with larger producers that, before they disputed the market, shared common processes and advantages. The result of this practice was so positive that the commercialization of the fruit reached the foreign market and the regions became known for exporting.
A major villain in the horticulture market is transportation logistics: when done incorrectly, without care with the goods, hygiene, weather conditions and delivery time, the quality of the products can be lost and great losses caused.
Due to the great perishability of these products, the process efficiency requires strong supply chain management, which is often out of reach for producers. According to Moore et al. (2015), the fast transportation, storage and information system in the logistics processes make its efficiency possible. This management in transport logistics can impact cost reduction and contribute to higher profit margins.
In the information age, consumers are increasingly concerned by the origin of the food they consume, summed up by food security. Fruits and vegetables can suffer different types of microbiological and chemical contamination, during and after production, therefore, post-harvest care is essential to avoid contamination and loss of quality of these products (MATTOS et al., 2009).
By adopting Traceability, production management can be registered, thus contributing to the quality of the food can ensure the sanitary conditions of the food.
Although at first glance the implementation of the traceability system seems costly and takes a certain amount of time to fill out the field notebook, the consumer is willing to pay for this differential in the product. Thus, it is advantageous for the farmer, the consumer and especially the environment, as it requires the adoption of good production practices.
How can managing horticulture marketing help?
Usually in small and medium-sized properties, composed by family farmers, agricultural activity is not professionalized. Perhaps this is the big flaw in this market. Regardless of the size of the production, it is important for the farmer to know and integrate the consumer market actively, as he is a direct member and most affected in the commercial process.
The management of the horticulture market is an important step towards increasing the income of rural producers. Paying more attention to market fluctuations, eliminating middlemen, through the construction of cooperatives and associations that can unite small producers, facilitating the transport of goods, adding value to the product with sustainable practices required by the market, are things the farmer can adopt to eliminate the barriers to the horticulture market.