Through this Master level thesis, the researcher will explore the role and scope of marketing in agriculture. The fact is that today farmers are facing several difficulties, and are dealing with very powerful stakeholders such as supermarkets, large sized companies and governments. Through this research the researcher is trying to find a solution in order to give farmers more control and power over their activity by using marketing. Marketing is a very powerful tool used by almost every company across the world, in order to improve their decision making process and their strategies, according to a specific process. The research question which is going to be answered is: “How can farmers integrate a business marketing strategy to their activity?”
The researcher will follow an inductive approach through this researcher. He will use secondary data as well as primary data. The secondary data collected will be presented in the literature review, and will have for purpose to provide a better understanding of the actual situation, as well as the knowledge the researcher needs to challenge this topic. Primary data will be qualitative thanks to five semi-structured interviews of professionals, and quantitative thanks to a survey to which 151 peoples responded.
The research will show that marketing can provide solutions to farmers, but only in some conditions. Farmers who want to integrate marketing have to make direct sales on their own or in association. An entire marketing strategy cannot be applied because farmers do not have the time, the knowledge, or the need for it. The marketing mix appears to be the most important and useful tool farmers can use and are already using, even if they call it “common sense decisions”. Farmers can get different kinds of help to make it work, and they can also be sure that consumers are very interested of buying farms products.
This thesis will give an overview to anyone who seeks to understand the actual situation of farmers (with a focus on direct sales), and how marketing can be integrated into farm activities. The thesis will highlight what has to change in order to integrate marketing, and what has to be done once marketing has been integrated. Author keywords: Agriculture, marketing, farm, France