It’s sometimes said that farmers know how to farm but don’t know anything about marketing. We find, on the whole, that anyone running a successful business of any sort has all the skill they need to be good marketeers – it really isn’t rocket science - it’s often just a question of confidence.
St Ewe Free Range Eggs is a classic example. Run by Bex Tonks and her parents, the farm made the move from dairying into eggs in the 1980s with a flock of 1,500 hens. Thirty years on, the flock has grown ten-fold and demand for their eggs means they are now working with other family poultry farms to boost the volumes they need to keep up with demand. The family had managed the transition from small local supplier to becoming listed with the major multiple retailers very successfully, but in 2012 they found themselves contemplating further major investment in the business alongside the development of a brand new product – a selenium-enriched egg. This would be a first to the UK market and Bex knew she needed a marketing strategy that would incorporate the creation of a name and brand identity for the product, plus a way of telling new and existing wholesale customers, as well as consumers, about this new product.
Anyone who knows Bex will know that she isn’t short of brilliant ideas and that she has a very strong business head – confirmed by winning the ‘Best Woman in Farming’ accolade at the Western Morning News 2014 Farm Business Awards. But this was bigger than anything she had done before. So she enlisted Cornwall Food & Drink’s help.
Our Trade Development Manager Kevin Gray-Roberts came up with the Boost the Roost name – amongst other things, selenium is said to be good for improving male fertility as well as being an essential mineral for children’s development and health. Brand development, website, and a marketing and PR strategy all followed.
Writing a strategy is the easy bit – implementing it successfully takes a lot more and we know that’s the bit many of our members want help with. With Boost the Roost’s roll-out Bex has always been very firmly in the driving seat but we’ve been up there in the cab with her all the way as sounding board, critical friend and a source of knowledge, ideas, expertise and reassurance. Incorporating our knowledge of the food market and the supply chain into our handling of the PR has provided the right balance for such a specialist product launch.
Boost the Roost is now in two major multiple retailers and about to go national. And we’re enormously proud to have been part of the story so far.
"St Ewe Free Range Eggs has gradually been growing to the point where we realised, though the help and guidance of Ruth Huxley that we needed a structured plan for our brand, public presence and communication with consumers. This is exactly what Cornwall Food & Drink have offered us not only on a regional scale but national too. We are very confident that they are helping us grow our business in a very professional and articulate manner. Thank you Cornwall Food & Drink.”
Rebecca Tonks. Partner, St Ewe Free Range Eggs