As The Weekly Times reported (Mar 30th 2011, page 16) it took only 41 potato growers to deliver a winning message to food giant McCain.
And how did they do it?
It started when the growers rejected McCain’s contract offer which was $26.50 less a tonne than last year. Then the growers in 50 tractors drove in to town to block any deliveries to the factory. Within a day the factory had run out of potatoes and by the 4th day were ready to negotiate.
By this time McCain’s were also keen to avoid the growing media attention which had been organised by the farmers. Support of several public figures including independent MP Bob Katter and Senator Nick Xenophon and pressure from Tasmanian company Simplot, who had actually raised the buying price for potatoes to more than $40 per tonne, was welcomed by the farmers.
The outcome was victory to the growers as McCain agreed to the grower demands.
This is a great example that by good strategic planning and collaboration the little man can win. Farming Secrets applaud the farmers involved.