It's tempting to want to produce all your products yourself. However, it's not always sustainable or scaleable. As your business grows, you'll likely reach a point where you need to partner with other producers. The timing is different for everyone, but regardless there are many benefits to partner with other like-minded producers.
Not only are producer partnerships a great way to keep up with demand, they can also allow you to diversify your offerings and your customer-base. And while it can feel a little vulnerable opening up your business to others, when it's done right, this kind of collaboration yields a better result for you, your partners, and your consumers.
In this episode of GrazeCast, we're talking with special guest Johnny Wood of US Wellness Meats about the power of producer partnerships.
Johnny Wood's Top Three Tips for Establishing & Maintaining Producer Partnerships:
1. Practice good communication!
More partnerships = More products = More logistics. With more moving parts, it's important to keep an open stream of communication between you and your partners. In this industry, there's a lot to plan around, and things can be unpredictable. So, listen to your partners, and do your best to meet them where they're at.
2. Be transparent!
Just because you're no longer the sole provider doesn't mean that you've compromised the integrity of your products. Let your customers know that they can expect the same level of quality (and values) from your partners' products. Consider making your partnership criteria public to give your consumers peace of mind.
3. Take the time to develop a relationship!
Treat the relationship between you and your partner as you would any other relationship. That means putting in the time to build trust and understanding. To start off on the right foot, we highly recommend taking a trip out to visit potential partners in person. Not only will this help you get to know them better, but it shows that you’re serious about establishing a solid relationship.
Don’t let proximity limit your options!
Meaning, don’t box yourself into a region. Good partnerships can be found (and maintained) far and wide.
Pay a fair price!
Your partnerships are an integral part of your operation. Show your partners that you value them with a price that’s reflective of their worth.
Networking is key!
Take advantage of pasture walks and field days. And don’t let conference costs hold you back! A few good contacts can be worth every penny spent on admission, hotel stay, etc.
Johnny's Favorite Conferences for Networking:
The Grassfed Exchange
American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA)'s Professional Pastured Poultry Conference
Acres USA's Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show
Check out US Wellness Meats' website to see how they are making waves with their collaborative business model!