The way you’d farm if you farmed yourself

This story is also posted at

Think for a moment that you’re a Western consumer contemplating buying some animal protein for dinner that night.

Faced with an array of red and white meat choices, you have a tiny thought in the back of your mind about how the animal that produced that steak or mince or breast grew up.

(Ignoring anthropomorphism) mostly, you’re going to be aware that its life was pretty confined and squashed, and bears very little resemblance to how it would’ve existed in a ‘natural’ world.

However, you’ve got to eat, and pretty much you have Hobson’s choice when it comes to the production source of the meat.

Further imagine there’s meat product that has a pH and/or a pasture Harmonies co-brand sitting alongside a marketer’s brand, a sign of responsible pastoralism.

You know the pH story.

That’s the one where a farmer works in with the seasonality of grass/clover/herb growth.

That’s the one where animals are outside, relatively free to wander, relatively free to express their natural behaviours.

That’s the one where a sustainable use of land is the goal – and where science has helped contribute to and verify that the planet’s not being harmed in the product’s creation.

That’s the one where there is an explicit invitation to VISIT – this production method has nothing to hide.

And, even though the steak or mince from the pH co-branded product costs more than its fellow chiller-mates, you appreciate there’s something more heartfelt, something more uplifting about buying it compared to the others.

All in all, the pH product ticks all the right ethical, moral and emotional boxes (let’s call it a heart) – allowing the head to follow.

In fact, such a consumer is standing there thinking, ‘if I was a farmer, that’s the way I’d want to farm’.

That, I argue, is what we ‘risk’ by owning our story.

We risk connecting with a consumer in a way that nobody else has.

We risk laying claim to a market position that others, simply, understand.

We risk putting ourselves in the position of global leaders in responsible pastoralism and providing ourselves and our children’s children with a sustainable business model beyond commodity.

All that, I argue, through owning our story…..and we’d own our story by naming it.

Is it a risk worth taking?


About sticknz

sticK is by Peter Kerr, a writer for hire. I have a broad science and technology background and interest, with an original degree in agricultural science. My writing speciality is making the complex understandable. I am available for outside consultancy work, and for general discussions of converting a good idea into something positive
This entry was posted in Innovation, Market validation, SciBlogs, Science, sustainability, value added food and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The way you’d farm if you farmed yourself

  1. BDB inc says:

    “Where science has helped contribute to and verify that the planet’s not being harmed in the product’s creation.”
    Sorry but that is not true, why did science help develop a carbon trading & ETS based on the harm of cow farts.

    P.S It is a choice to eat animals, lets call it a heart, and it ticks all the right boxes.
    You would think “science”( our our knowledge) would have helped man move away from some environmentally unsustainable practices.

  2. BDB inc says:

    ” Is this the way you’d ship if you shipped containers to N Africa”?
    No, its embarrassing.
    Yet another opium war.
    One day science is going to see the light and remember our human traits which don’t include supporting NZ trading “Smac’milk” .

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