Zoe and I were sitting down eating lunch with our family, talking about our most recent updates. The conversation shifted to examples of when we had recently engaged our farmers by passing on some market trends we had observed, advising them on popular products to make or prices to sell their products.
Then after telling this story someone summarised Aggie Global as:
Your value isn’t necessarily in being the supplier, but rather creating connections and consulting farmers within your network.
It’s something we’ve always tried to do with Aggie, to be more than just a sales platform to our suppliers. To be able to provide advice and guidance that is useful and helps empower the people who otherwise don’t have access to the same information we do. It’s about creating something more than just ‘another ecommerce platform’.
By providing advice and guidance for our suppliers, we create stronger relationships built with trust, where we can all grow together. This trust and understanding of our suppliers helps us explain individual situations to buyers when they ask, including unfortunate incidences when farms get flooded or destroyed due to cyclones, so their supply will be limited. Or we can share more positive things like how they discovered a new technique that will totally change the flavour of the product, and that they’ll be the first buyer to try the new product.
Running the business and focusing on specific tasks day in and day out makes it really easy to forget our vision. By having these lunchtime, reflective conversations it helps us refocus and stay on track with our mission. Giving out advice to farmers for free seems counterintuitive for a business, but if it helps Fiji's agricultural sector thrive and further support the economy, then we are all for it. For us, we aim for impact first, then allow profits to follow to sustain that impact.