In order to be successful in the world trade of apricots and dried apricots (kuraga), it is necessary to know the main universal factors of success in the market like any other fruit and vegetable product. These factors were discussed yesterday by Andriy Yarmak, an economist at the Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), during the national online conference “Apricot business in Tajikistan: efficiency of production, processing and marketing.”
The event was organized by the EastFruit project with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The partner of the event was the agro-media agency Sapieza.
Dried apricots are 11th in the ranking of Top-12 goods that are losing popularity in the world fruit and vegetable trade. What is the reason? As Andriy Yarmak notes, the first three places in rating success factors are quality.
“The first three most important factors are quality, quality, and quality. I noticed that many people in the countries of Central Asia and Eastern Europe misunderstand what quality means. This category must be considered from the point of view of the buyer. For wholesalers and supermarket chains, quality means, above all else, a problem-free product. A high-quality apricot is a fruit that a customer buys and returns to buy it again. To do this, the apricots should not only be tasty and beautiful, they should reach the buyer without losing their appearance and not spoiling for consumers. This is quality.
“Another equally important factor is the duration of deliveries. If you sell apricots for one week a year, then in the next week you will be forgotten. If you sell your product or range of products for a long time, then you are interesting to the buyers. In addition, it is equally important to guarantee a significant volume of supplies, which means that cooperation among producers is inevitable,” emphasizes Andriy Yarmak.
Another significant factor is the price. Mr Yarmak pointed out that this does not mean that it should be low. It is important to correctly determine the price of your product. “It shouldn’t be too high, but it’s also important not to sell too cheap. To do this, it is worth getting access to market information. Thanks to the EastFruit platform, this information is available today – all that is required from producers is to start using it. Additionally, the largest international trade group was also created by the EastFruit team where you can get not only information about prices and trends but also find buyers for your products,” stressed the FAO economist.
Mr Yarmak also drove home the importance of producers needing to invest in marketing. “Unfortunately, products do not sell themselves. There are no shortages of apricots in the world so it is important to promote your product by investing in marketing, sales, and public relations. In addition, the reputation of the producer is important, which is very difficult to win and very easy to lose,” cautions Andriy Yarmak to the attention of the conference participants.
It is not enough to sell just once; producers need to provide a service to the buyers. “For example, very often sellers lose contact with buyers immediately after the product’s sale. I highly recommend sellers to call after a certain amount of time and clarify the results of their trade with buyers. It is very useful for sellers to understand whether their product was successfully sold and whether they need to make any changes in the future. This outreach is also appreciated by buyers who are more likely to return to you in the future because you were interested in their problems and not just your own,” notes Andriy Yarmak.
The FAO economist clarified another very important point – the need to exceed expectations, at least by 10%. “Always try to do at least 10% more than the client requires; this is the key to success in any business.”
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