Branding the mark of modern farming

A new brand, owned by Australian farmers, that enables us to get the price we bloody well deserve

INDUSTRY players are jostling to align the True Aussie brand with a business case that will be digitally-enabled, owned by farmers and accessible to everyone.

Will you believe in it?

“Not till I see it” most will say, but it's my belief that you can’t see brands, you feel them.

If that seems odd to you, a bit mushy or downright stupid, read this short blog, and watch the clip at the end.

If there was a phrase I could brand into the minds or forearms of Australians it would be: “In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.”

Not my words, but the Dalai Lama’s.

But what would that brand mean? Nothing, unless you believe in it. Without the belief, it’s just a logo.

So what is branding? Well, farmers have known for a very long time, at a micro level.

Branding - the hair-singeing, skin-scarring print on the rump of bullock kind - is a logo for most, but a symbol of belief for the people that own it. It is essentially the means of identification, and usually an optional one at that.

Branding - the confidence-building, passion-enabling security blanket kind - is just a belief, but beliefs guide behaviour, and our behaviour shapes our culture. All of that can be represented by a logo, but by then it’s a brand, not a logo.

Take Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), for example, with its famous 'wineglass brand that Troy Setter and his team believe in.

Their company has a culture that makes up parts of the brand, represented by the logo. It’s how CPC differentiates itself from other producers who have a different brand, with a different culture.

That’s what Australian agriculture has been lucky enough to get away with - producers peppered across seven million square kilometres, all with their own brand (or name on the front gate) and a culture that unites under the commodity they produce, where the brand is redundant and the commodity is bought, at a commodity price.

At last, with True Aussie, we’re being presented with a brand which is not just another logo, by people in agriculture who get it.

A new brand, owned by Australian farmers, that enables us to get the price we bloody well deserve. This is light at the end of the tunnel.

A new brand that brings traceability, integrity and value back to the farmgate.

A logo can’t do that, but a brand can.

If you’re still unsure on what a brand actually is, this three-minute clip explains it well, and even mentions farmers!

Sam Trethewey

Sam Trethewey

grew up farming down south and now commentates on agriculture across Australia
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


Chick Olsson
16/06/2015 9:46:38 AM

NZ merino model worked well, but farmers didnt run it..
Mike Cahill
16/06/2015 10:39:25 AM

When a farmer talks so sensibly about brands, the world should slow down and take notice. A brand is a set of relationships right along any value chain. From producer to processor to wholesale to retail to consumer. At the end of the chain, it's how many consumers define themselves. A brand is definitely not a logo. Most 'Australian' brand logos are crap devised by people who know nothing about the psychology of marketing. The Kiwis rebranded the humble Chinese gooseberry of my childhood as 'Kiwifruit' and exported a motza.
John NIven
16/06/2015 11:03:30 AM

For goodness sake Sam put the horse in front of the cart. Quoting success stories when there would be failed brands all over the world is silly. How in the name of creation can "True Aussie" cover integrity in the beef industry when it relies on nonsense such as the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS). ?
16/06/2015 2:01:43 PM

Forced branding fails because every end user knows the quality of Australian commodities within a range. Many people are lured by the proponents who spin branding as a utopian outcome. It ends up costing producers their profit and provides a welfare stream for the blood suckers it attracts. Silly piece Sam, you are better than this!
16/06/2015 2:36:58 PM

all this generic branding leaves me cold. Meat processors invest in their own brands. Logos or other are just wanks for agri politicians and do not put one red cent in anyone's pocket except highly paid PR, Advertising execs and their clients in the huge cluttered lot of industry organisations. It is an old broken model.
16/06/2015 8:25:17 PM

Bet you a box of beer the 'True Aussie' brand will be a flash in the pan and last a few years if that. The CPC brand has something behind it of substance, the True Aussie brand is nothing but words and fluff.
Jock Munro
17/06/2015 4:52:27 AM

We had an iconic wheat brand through our grower single desk national pooling arrangement-we had a global quality reputation that was the envy of the world. I don't recall Sam defending it at any time.
18/06/2015 3:50:50 PM

Sam, how many of Iconic Australian Brand names, have been prostituted into oblivion By Multinationals in the Name of Eficientcy & productivity???
19/06/2015 7:53:03 AM

Jock Munro....! You hit the nail on the head. In todays global world of online marketing and social media, Brands or Logo's are the best way to destroy your small business. You will be like road kill on the highway after the Corporates and the world buyers find out where you promote through or from. If the marketing guru's don't take the cream the executives will and once again the Australian Farmer is left behind. Start thinking collectively people. I believe there is hope on the horizon that will embrace all small to middle class farmers. Farmers must work together and fight together.
Get MuddyTo think clearly in farming and about farming, you need to get muddy - commit, roll up your sleeves and get involved. SAM TRETHEWEY gets stuck into some of the issues facing those on the land.


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