Search organisational intelligence to cope with collective marketing challenges

The core function of this website is to provide information on tensions that producer groups face and make them searchable. We have developed a reference framework to help in searching through the various tensions. We have called this the Collective Marketing “Tensions” framework.

After this table you will find a special search function, which you can use to search the various categories of tensions in relation to your specific queries and find experiences from practice which may offer practical solutions.

The Collective Marketing “Tensions” framework

1) Fair pricing The members expect that a fair price will be negotiated on their behalf by their organisation. The group’s stronger bargaining position should translate into better terms than members could have negotiated on their own. This creates the need for a mechanism that creates transparency in price determination.
2) Quality assurance When a deal is made, there is a need to control the quality that the organisation has promised. Individual members may try to deliver lower quality produce and the organisation needs a system to maintain minimum quality requirements.
3) Coping with working capital constraints Many farmers face cash constraints and want fast payments, while the organisation needs time to finish transactions with the end buyer. This creates financial costs for the group as they need to have a working capital to pay farmers quickly.
4) Anticipating “side selling” The organisation might provide a credit service or advance payment system to enable production. However, this entails a serious risk that farmers will “side sell” their produce to competing traders or processors, to whom they have no repayment obligation.
5) Distributing profits When the organisation makes a profit, it will prefer to invest or increase its capital reserves, while the members will prefer shorter term benefits, e.g. better prices.
6) Differentiating services to members and non-members Most economic organisations need contributions from members to achieve their business targets. However, members can sometimes be deterred from making such contributions if the benefits from the groups activities accrue to both investors and non-investors.
7) Task delegation and supervision of professional staff Most farmers’ organisations employ professional staff to support them. Board members need to have proper information to make good deci- sions. This means that staff must be transparent and willing to provide this information. At the same time, however, decisions about commercial transactions often need to be made quickly, and professional staff need to have sufficient autonomy to make these decisions.

Search Function.

This is the central search function of the site. Use this function to navigate through the various categories of tensions, and enter your specific queries.