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Facts & Figures The status of global agriculture - CropLife International talks about some of the key facts affecting the future of agriculture

Farmade and Muddy Boots A common language for software systems

2 Million Reasons for using Muddy Boots Barfoots of Botley completes its 2 millionth assessment using Greenlight technology from Muddy Boots

The Importance of Data Exclusive article from the UK’s leading food and farming market research organisation, Agrifocus

Let’s Get Social Is there a place for social media in the world of #foodandfarming?


01.

Welcome Welcome to the Muddy Boots Magazine Dear Readers, I would like to welcome you to the Muddy Boots magazine, where we will be ­discussing some topical industry issues and taking a look at how technology can support the future of food and farming. Last year we announced an initiative to work with Farmade to improve data ­transfer to reduce the lengthy process of duplicate data entry between our respective ­systems. I am pleased to announce that this task is now complete and all our combined users will be able to benefit from this new capacity. The status of global agriculture is never far from top of mind. Whether that is ­tracking the short-term volatility of global commodity prices or stopping to consider the long-term sustainability of our industry. This long-term picture remains deeply concerning. We face increasing demand on the world’s finite resources and with a projected population of 9 billion by 2050, the pressure of sustainably providing for a diverse and growing population becomes a real challenge. CropLife International, the global federation representing the plant science industry, talks us through some of the key factors that will continue to affect the future of ­agriculture. How well do you know your market? Lesley Russen of Agrifocus, a leading food and farming market research organisation, discusses the role of market research within the world of fresh produce. Finally, we get social. Have you been tweeting about your latest crop of asparagus? Are you telling your customers where they can find punnets of your strawberries? Is there really a place for social media in the world of food and farming? Find out on Page 13. Please enjoy; we hope you find this read informative and fun! Best wishes, Jonathan

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011

Jonathan Evans Managing Director Muddy Boots Software


Contents Page 3: What’s new? Latest news from Muddy Boots. Q&A with the Muddy Boots Account Manager

Page 4: Fresh Thinking. Word on the Tweet and Dates for your diary Page 5,6: What are some of the key issues affecting global agriculture? CropLife International fills us in...

Page 7: Farmade and Muddy Boots synchronise systems

Page 8: Farm recording made easy with CropWalker

Page 9,10: Barfoots of Botley completes 2 million assessments using Greenlight technology

Page 11: The importance of data in the complex world of food and farming. Article from Lesley Russen

Page 12: Industry News. E.Coli outbreak, PLANET update and more...

Page 13, 14: Let’s Get Social: To Tweet or Not To Tweet...?

Got something you’d like us to discuss next time? Contact Emma Stockley on e.stockley@muddyboots.com

Next Issue

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011

02.


03.

What’s New? Muddy Boots Moves House We have finally moved into our brand new office in Phocle Green Business Park, Rosson-Wye. Built from scratch and with a host of staff incentives the new office provides the additional space needed to support our expansion over coming years. We are experiencing continued growth in demand for our products and services fuelled by a growing concern from consumers for increased visibility and transparency in the supply of products and retailers’ unrelenting drive for high quality and safe food, sustainably farmed with unambiguous traceability. In response, our teams are growing. We have introduced more Technical Support, Software Developers, Analysts and Administrative Support and the new office caters comfortably for the expanding team at Muddy Boots HQ. Our new office has been been built in the open countryside, within the same business park as the current premises. The design supports our ethos for a work / life balance by introducing gym facilities, an outdoor dining space and a bike shelter in support of the Government Cycle To Work Scheme. The new office has been built all on one level maximising the concept of “team unit” and minimising its intrusion on the Herefordshire landscape.

Meet The Team Member... Name: Julian Knight

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Job Title:

Working with a friendly team and the challenge of turning new industry and customer requirements into functional, easy to use features within our farm applications.

Account Manager

What’s your backgound? I have a BSc in Business IT. Though I grew up in the countryside, I don’t have a farming or agronomy background! My previous job was also in software (sales and support).

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Explain your job:

If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?

I have several hats! My main roles involve looking after our agronomy clients and being the interpreter between developers and customers – they speak very different languages!

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011

Overseeing the year long transition from managing our own pesticide database to an automated link with FERA’s Liaison database.

I’m too old to play football now, so I think it would have to be professional golfer! I can’t think of anything better than getting paid to play a sport you love.


Fresh thinking

04.

TheGrocer Food prices to rocket as population explodes

Dates for your Diary To Meet Muddy Boots

mackmultiples Our Brazilian melon supplier and our Chilean avocado and grape supplier have been recognised by M&S for their environmental standards.

15 - 16 June 2011 Cereals, Lincolnshire

FPJlive Grapefruit consumers think big: UK grapefruit consumers have decided that size does matter and bigger is better!

25 - 27 August 2011 Romeo Bragato Conference, Auckland, New Zealand

GrowingDirect Unless it’s a #freshproduce emergency I AM Not going on Twitter today ;o)!

12 - 16 September 2011 HACCP, Gold Coast, Queensland

Word on the

weet!

13 October 2011 SOFHT Traceability Conference Oxfordshire

Ltd

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dy

d Mu

ts oo

If you’re attending any of these events, we’d love to catch up! Let us know on:

@

sales@muddyboots.com

Fast Facts ‘The

‘Food Safety’ was mentioned twice every day in the UK national news in 2009 & 2010

ratio of arable land to population will decline by 40 - 55% by 2050

Lamborghini started as a tractor company before moving over to sports cars Almost $100 billion of food is wasted in America each year Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011


05.

Lead Story

Facts and Figures The Status of Global Agriculture CropLife International, the global federation representing the plant science industry and sustainable agriculture, talks about some of the key factors affecting the future of agriculture.

• Nearly 9 billion mouths to feed by 2050 • The ratio of arable land to population will decline by 40-55% • 3.9 billion people will be living under severe water stress by 2030 We face increasing demand on the world’s finite resources As a global community, there are a multitude of issues to overcome along the path to sustainably providing for a diverse, growing population. In the period from 1960 to 2007, the global population has grown from 3 billion to over 6.5 billion. Projections for future growth take that number to nearly 9 billion in 2050. Based on these figures, the

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011

World Bank estimates that one hectare of land will need to feed 5 people in 2025, whereas in 1960 one hectare was required to feed only 2 people.

Prices driven by declining stocks, poor harvests and growing demand

natural habitats and threatens biodiversity, while increased water use is making it a fragile and scarce resource. In addition, the effects of climate change are contributing to the challenge of meeting our current and future needs. The increase in droughts, desertification, flooding, soil salinity and soil erosion endangers our capacity to meet demand and more than ever points to the necessity of finding sustainable ways of farming.

Global commodity stocks have been steadily decreasing, contributing to increases in commodity prices. Between 2000 and 2008, global end stocks for wheat decreased by 24%, reaching a long term low. Land Global end stocks for rice declined Around the world, the ratio of by 39% during the same period. arable land to population is steadily declining. Between The limitations of our 1960 and 2000, it declined resources by about 40%, but in The challenge of meeting growing developing nations the decline demands is compounded by has been fastest. In Africa, for the limited resources at our example, the ratio of arable land to disposal. Expansion of land population declined by 55% in the under cultivation damages same period.


06. Water

Efficiency

Water use has tripled over the last five decades, with demand for freshwater growing by about 64 billion cubic meters a year. Agriculture accounts for approximately 3,100 cubic meters, or 71% of global water withdrawals today, and without efficiency gains, will increase to 4,400 cubic meters by 2030. The key driver behind water use remains increasing demand for agricultural products to meet the food, feed, fibre and bioenergy needs of a growing population.

In the U.S., the Field to Market study found that 50,000 fewer gallons of water are needed to grow an irrigated acre of corn today, compared to 20 years ago. Today, one irrigated acre of cotton requires 30% less water than two decades ago.

Yield Increase Globally, production of major crops has more than tripled since 1960. Yields for rice have more than doubled and yields for wheat have gone up about 160%. In the 1980s, one farmer produced one tonne of food, and one hectare of arable land produced 1.8 tonnes, annually on average. Today, one farmer produces 1.4 tonnes, and one hectare of land produces 2.5 tonne. This has come about as a result of both an increase in yields and a reduction in post-harvest losses. In some regions, losses can be as low as 20%. Conversely, losses can amount to 100% of a harvest if no crop protection is available or unaffordable.

The high water use in agriculture is dramatic given that many people have access only to limited water or water of poor quality. By 2030 it is estimated that about 3.9 billion people (47% of the world population) will be living under severe water stress, with Asia, Africa and Middle Eastern countries encountering the greatest pressure on water resources. Water scarcity is a critical constraint to agriculture in many areas of the world. In key food-insecure areas, dominated by rain fed agriculture (sub-Saharan Africa and peninsular India, in particular), anticipated reductions in production may have multiple impacts, including loss of livelihoods and displacement of rural populations. This will accentuate demand in global markets and put further pressure on irrigated production.

A 1% increase in water efficiency in food production can potentially make available an extra 24 litres of water per day per person. On average, it takes about 3,000 litres of water per person to produce our daily intake of food. More efficient use of water can be obtained primarily through improved application/use of water and through net water gains resulting from increasing yields. Land and water productivity are rising steadily – with average grain yields rising from 1.4 metric tons per hectare to 2.7 metric tons over the past four decades. The plant science industry has a long history of seeking to improve agriculture, not only in terms of output, but also in terms of quality and safety. New technologies and production techniques account for dramatic increases in yield in many crops and many countries.

A 1% increase in water efficiency in food production can make available an extra 24 litres of water per person, per day

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011


Breaking News

07.

Farmade and Muddy Boots Talk to Each Other Software collaboration brings record-keeping time savings

Farmade Management Systems Ltd. and Muddy Boots Software Ltd., both leaders in crop management software for farmers, agronomists and advisors, have formalised a method of data transfer between their respective systems; GateKeeper and CropWalker. Both organisations recognise the growing need to improve general ease of integration between business systems for their customers. GateKeeper and CropWalker alike are essential tools for the modern farming business. The software enables farmers and agronomists to manage their traceability and compliance requirement; resulting in the safe use of pesticides, instant stock control and simple evaluation of nutrient budgeting requirements. The

interface

between

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011

GateKeeper and CropWalker has resulted in intelligent twoway data synchronisation of the key records. Subsequently, there is a significant reduction in the time spent record-keeping, which traditionally involves manually coordinating the data between the individual software systems. Peter Henley, Managing Director of Farmade Management Systems Ltd. discusses the benefits that this collaboration will bring to its users; “This is a very positive move for the industry and will result in significant benefits for users of either system. The two pieces of software working in conjunction with one another ensures accuracy across an entire organisation and significantly reduces the amount of time spent inputting data – not to

mention considerably reducing the risk of expensive error.” Jonathan Evans, Managing Director of Muddy Boots Software Ltd. talks about the decision to work alongside Farmade; “We have worked closely with Farmade over the past 12 months to make this possible. It was clear that formalising a method of data transfer between our systems would work in the best interests of our customers. “I am pleased with the result and look forward to similar partner initiatives in working with Farmade.” The initiative went live at the beginning of 2011 and is already demonstrating the benefits of this collaboration for Muddy Boots and Farmade users.


08.

What is CropWalker? Farm Recording Made Easy Record Keeping Today, whether you are a farmer or agronomist, keeping accurate and up-to-date records is an essential part of your work. Record keeping is required not only to satisfy legislative and compliance issues, but also to help with the day to day management of your business. CropWalker is the software of choice to help you manage these farm recording requirements. Farm Management With the high cost of inputs, it is vital that these can be accurately recorded and reported on. Costs can be assigned to all seed, pesticide and nutrient inputs along with field work operations. CropWalker’s wide range of financial reports can then provide valuable information about field, crop and variety performance for improved business planning. Assurance Standards All food quality assurance schemes (ACCS, GlobalGAP, Tesco Nurture, M&S Field-toFork, etc) require detailed records to be kept. Typically, among other things, these records need to demonstrate traceability, quality, rational use of pesticides, fertilisers and manures and consideration to the environment. CropWalker

What our customers are saying...

enables you to demonstrate compliance with all of these areas. Peace of Mind All planned applications of crop protection products can be automatically checked against label information while fertilisers and manures are checked for compliance with RB209 recommendations and NVZ limits. Ease of Use Muddy Boots work hard to ensure CropWalker continues to meets the changing demands of this challenging industry, without itself becoming too complex to use. Screen layouts are consistent and logical, helping users to become familiar with the system very quickly. Flexibility CropWalker is flexible and scalable to suit many different business needs and growing operations, from arable to soft fruit, salad to herbs. CropWalker also acts as a component of Muddy Boots’ Track & Trace solution for fresh produce packers and processors, so whether you have a small farm or a large multi-enterprise business, CropWalker has something for you.

“CropWalker has become an essential tool for agronomists and we have come to rely heavily on it. We have made a significant investment in the system, which illustrates the confidence we have in Muddy Boots.” James MacWilliam Commercial Strategy Director Agrovista “Using CropWalker to manage our produce compliance has given us the freedom to focus on what’s important - producing the crop.” Henry Chinn Cobrey Farms Supplier of M&S’s UK asparagus “Pesticide choice is increasingly difficult to navigate. Using CropWalker to produce detailed recommendations and records will remove pressure in this crucial area of business, allowing us to focus on other key aspects of our agronomy service.” Ken Tuffin Managing Director Pearce Seeds For further information on

CropWalker or any of the Muddy Boots product portfolio, visit our website www.muddyboots.com or call us on +44 (0)1989 780540.

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011


Case Study 1,100 Quality Assessments Completed Every day using Greenlight Barfoots of Botley has completed more than 2 million assessments since implementing Muddy Boots

Sweetcorn specialist, Barfoots of Botley, has just completed its 2 millionth assessment using Greenlight technology from Muddy Boots Software. Since the implementation in 2005 nearly 1,100 assessments have been successfully completed every day; with significant improvements and efficiencies ‘always being made’. Barfoots, which has significant fresh produce operations specialising in the growing and packing of sweetcorn and semi-exotic produce, was faced with increased requirements from retailers and organisations to demonstrate traceability and quality assurance of certified produce. The company needed a robust, manageable quality assurance system to facilitate their daily audits and assessments. Subsequently, Muddy Boots Software, leaders in traceability and quality assurance solutions

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011

for sustainable food and farming was implemented, providing an opportunity for Barfoots to review current practices and identify areas of change that could yield process improvements and embed control points to preserve the integrity of the product.

onsibility every business carries

Improvements are now always being made it serves.

09.

“When dealing with fresh produce, constant improvements and efficiencies have to be delivered and better quality results in less work and less cost. “Since the introduction of Muddy Boots across our supply base, improvements are always being

made,” claims Justin Creasy, Technical Director at Barfoots of Botley. “One of the biggest industry concerns is Emergency Product Withdrawal’s (EPW’s) through careless label management; this is potentially business threatening. Therefore, a system like this, which is capable of reducing the risk of label failure, is a huge improvement. The big advantage of Muddy Boots is knowing that the information is correct and therefore that the security in the audited label is ‘safe to release’. I believe that the company’s Greenlight label check assurance is the ultimate solution for this. “Electronic systems, like Greenlight from Muddy Boots, are much easier to police and since implementing the software we have witnessed


10. better organisation within our supply base and a more empowered workforce. “Members of staff and suppliers are continuously supported by the system and we can quickly identify the number of checks that a particular supplier has carried out and the accuracy of these assessments. It is now simple for us to recognise the best performing suppliers and because of this our suppliers are encouraged to take ownership of their responsibilities. “This data has enabled us to put improvement plans in place to promote continuous development. Any supplier that is not meeting their objectives is able to use Greenlight technology to establish where the problem lies and hopefully put preventative measures in place for continuous improvement gains,” concludes Creasy. Jonathan Evans, Managing Director at Muddy Boots, says the level of assessments completed by Barfoots is testament to the value Barfoots place on quality control; “Over the past 6 years Barfoots has demonstrated their ability to utilise the capabilities of Greenlight to add efficiency and cost gains. Completing their 2 millionth assessment not only reflects the reliability of the software but also the importance they place on quality control and the value of the management data it generates.”

What is Greenlight? The Greenlight suite of products represents significant advances in how quality management and traceability data is captured and managed. Greenlight Quality Control: A paperless QC system that manages daily facility audit and product quality assessments, from raw material through to final product. Greenlight Supplier Exchange: A web based communication exchange between suppliers and growers to manage the status and process of supplier approvals and compliance to market standards. Greenlight Track and Trace: A pack-house management system that manages raw material intake and production control to final product; delivering full traceability history to source site. Greenlight Grower Management: A web based Grower record system for crop and field based activity records, for managing large numbers of individual growers.

What our customer’s say: “Greenlight QC from Muddy Boots has given Coles first class product quality monitoring and performance reporting capability. This helps us focus our efforts in partnership with our suppliers, to achieve our objective as Australia’s leading supermarket for quality produce.” Muddy Boots’ Adrian Talbot, presenting Kamil Krasoski and Freddie Siepak from Barfoots with champagne in recognition of two million quality assessments using Greenlight.

Jackie Healing Head of Quality, Policy and Governance Coles Supermarkets, Australia

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011


11.

Article

The Importance of Data Lesley Russen, a leading food and farming research specialist, discusses the role of market research within the complex world of food and farming

Say the words ‘market research’ and, for many, their perception is of a lady of a certain age, in a shopping centre, clutching a clipboard to her breast. But whilst consumer research has a higher profile, this same discipline plays an important role in food production along the entire length of the supply chain: literally from field to fork. Market and industry research has been taking place in UK farming and agribusiness since the early 1970s (and even earlier in the US). In the 1980s and 1990s, when high input systems were the order of the day, manufacturers involved in agrochemicals, plant breeding and specialist machinery used market research techniques to support the development of a stream of new products to meet the demands of growers in the push for maximum production. Think of the huge range of crop protection products available plus higher yielding and robust plant varieties, not to mention improvements in labour saving

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011

machinery used in large scale crop production, as just a few examples. Focus groups, telephone and faceto-face surveys of growers and producers, alongside B2B research amongst agronomists, food processors and distributors have contributed to the development of well honed products and services within the industry. Some growers are regular contributors to panel data covering a range of crop inputs. The collated data allows issues such as weed and disease trends to be mapped against crop protection practices and average yields, allowing examples of best practice to be identified and showcased, further supporting the drive to improved efficiency in food production. More recently market research has played a key role in the drive for greater efficiency in supply chain management. With the focus now on efficient, lower input production, traceability

and sustainability, much research is now designed to support the implementation of sustainable supply chain management. Research of practical issues amongst stakeholders involved in quality assurance and audit management are resulting in improved efficiency, communication and understanding between different tiers in the supply chain. Effective research continues to make a contribution to the delivery of well targeted industry and business solutions in an increasingly global food market. So when you next think about market researchers, alongside that lady with the clipboard, consider the industry specialists playing their part in the drive for a more efficient farming future. Lesley Russen, of food and farming research agency, Agrifocus, delivers a specialist service to clients in all aspects of farming, primary food and agribusiness. www.agrifocus.co.uk


News In Brief

12.

Industry News CropWalker PLANET update Muddy Boots has been working hard over the last few months on a complete overhaul of their version of the PLANET fertiliser recommendation software. PLANET is a Field-level Nutrient Planning and Record Keeping module which calculates nutrient recommendations based on Defra’s latest ‘Fertiliser Manual (RB209)’ (published 2010). The Muddy Boots version of PLANET links directly to the crop records held in CropWalker to provide farmers and advisers with a quick and easy way of obtaining RB209 recommendations for each field, each year. Julian Knight, Account Manager at Muddy Boots, talks about the new version of PLANET; “The requirement to redevelop the software from the ground up has inevitably led to a much longer development cycle than simply updating the previous system, and we thank our customers for their patience in waiting for us to complete this work. “We do however firmly believe the wait will be worthwhile, as the new system will be geared towards faster data entry for processing large numbers of fields and a simplified interface to help reduce complexity. Re-writing PLANET has also given us the opportunity to include a number of new reports and features that have come as a direct result of customer input.” The new release of PLANET anticipated to go live in July.

is

Positive attitude is vital to the future of farming The Chairman of Natural England has called on young farmers to adopt a more positive attitude towards farming than their predecessors; that’s according to Farmer’s Weekly.

“Professor John Beddington talks about the perfect storm of climate change, population growth and the pressure on the environment and commodities,” he told delegates.

Speaking at the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee forum at the Young Farmers AGM in May, Poul Christensen said the next generation of farmers had a duty to quell the ‘continuous whinging’ in the wider industry and promote the opportunities agriculture had.

“We are all using finite resources and we should be concerned about them running out. At the same time we have to provide food for a growing population. It’s an awesome responsibility but it’s an exciting place to be.”

E.Coli outbreak reaches the UK and U.S. The E.Coli outbreak in Germany, which had already taken 22 lives up to writing this article*, has reached Britain and the U.S.

Health officials said the ‘unique’ strain had ‘characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing’, and therefore more dangerous, and warned that this could result in one of the Seven people in the UK have been deadliest E.coli outbreaks ever seen. infected by the food poisoning outbreak, all of which Ilse Aigner, Agriculture Minister, said the are thought to have been following: infected in Germany. So far, more than 2,000 people have fallen ill in 11 “Hundreds of tests have been countries across Europe and the U.S. done and the responsible agencies have determined that most of the Scientists are working hard to find patients who have been sickened ate the source of the outbreak and it is cucumbers, tomatoes and leaf lettuce believed that salad vegetables may have and primarily in northern Germany,” been spread with manure. Originally she said on ARD television. the finger was pointed at Spanish cucumbers; however officials have now “The states that have announced that those vegetables, conducted the tests must while contaminated, did not cause now follow back the delivery path the outbreak. These allegations to see how the cucumbers, or have virtually paralysed exports tomatoes or lettuce got here.” of Spanish fruit and vegetables, * 8th June 2011 causing major financial losses.

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011


13.

Let’s Get Social

To Tweet or Not To Tweet What does the #agri industry have to gain from virtual interaction? Networking opportunities, reputation management, customer engagement, advertising and market research are all free and at the tip of your fingers within the new social marketing era. It begs the question therefore, why would any business not be tweeting? Social sites are changing the way people do business. News channels now refer to Twitter or Facebook as a valid source of information and the rise in the number of people adding #socialmediafail to their C.V. is also growing. HR professionals are using these services to manage staff members and wives are using social networking to spy on their husbands! But, what role can social media play in the world of food and farming…? In the last 5 days (up to writing this article) ‘fresh produce’ was mentioned more than 1,200 times on Twitter; 93 Tweets mentioned ‘Food Certification’; 804 people were Tweeting about ‘Sustainable Food’, in the last 24 hours, 1,617 Tweeters have been discussing Agriculture and 2,156 tweets have mentioned farming.

Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011

Jazz Apples is a great example of a company that is embracing social media in all its glory. 1,130 Twitter followers, nearly 2,500 tweets and 54 unique mentions of Jazz Apples in the last 2 days alone. So, what’s their secret? They’ve created an online buzz for their brand, born out of a successful Twitter campaign to exchange fresh Jazz Apples for some Twitter love. Each month they ask their Twitter followers to tweet about their product. The Tweeter that sends the most Jazz Apple Love is named ‘Jazz Fan of the Month’ and receives 125 free apples or iTunes vouchers. In the words of last month’s winner ‘Oh @jazzapple, you are TOO good to me!’

powers of social networking. 2,180 people are ‘following’ the company’s Tweets and 1,549 people are fans of the Makro Facebook group. To engage with its customers, Makro launched a free Twitter promotion called ‘Tweet a Price’, where ‘followers’ were invited to buy products at a significantly reduced price.

Following on from the success of the campaign, Makro launched ‘Tag the Deal’, the first campaign of its kind, where customers are invited to tag themselves on the company’s Facebook page for a chance to win ovens, toasters, dinner sets and more. Both campaigns were a fast-paced and free way to advertise their product and ultimately sell some Wholesaler Makro is another goods. example of a company that is that is taking advantage of the Many Retailers are exposing


14. themselves and their brand through social sites. For many, the connotations associated with Customer Service would be a big queue of unhappy customers in the Supermarket or waiting in a call queue trying to speak to a representative on the phone. Customer Service can evoke many negative emotions; so, sending your customers to a social site which your company is able to manage and monitor and where your customers can express their thoughts in no more than 140 characters instantaneously, sounds genius to me! These Customer Service Twitter accounts are full of Tweets about moldy bags of apples or squashed plums; this level of exposure can be crippling for a company if it’s not managed in the correct way, but responding quickly and transparently can help maintain the integrity of your brand. Yes, the company is exposing itself but isn’t this the beauty? The level of honesty and the instant interaction with your customers

months now and in that time we have gained significant momentum. We have been invited to contribute to the Fresh Produce Journal’s live Twitter debate, invited to attend key industry events via Twitter, received job applications, business enquiries, the majority of our industry news intake is fed to us directly from our favourite Twitter sources and, most importantly, our customers have told us they love our twitter feed!

can significantly reduce a problem that could have easily escalated. For many, the idea of using Twitter to interact with colleagues and customers seems slightly juvenile but unlike Facebook, a recent Nielson study has revealed that the age group making the most of Twitter is 35-49 years, with this demographic amounting to 42% of all Twitter traffic. Much like the Blackberry (an acceptable form of business communication), Twitter enables you to be contactable in an informal way, even when you’re not actually contactable at all!

The questions we must ask ourselves however are, Does it make any money? Does it have any business value? We’ll let you know in 6 months...

So, how has the @MuddyBootsLtd Twitter account worked for us? We’ve been Tweeting for 12

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Next Issue To sign up for FREE to the online Muddy Boots magazine, please email e.stockley@muddyboots.com, with the subject heading ‘Magazine Sign-up’. Muddy Boots Magazine, 2011


...your partner for good

Muddy Boots Software Ltd t: +44 (0)1989 780540 e: sales@muddyboots.com Contact details for our worldwide offices can be found at www.m udd yboots.com

Muddy Boots Agricultural Magazine  

Muddy Boots' magazine for Cereals 2011

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