Perfecting the art of positive promo | OPINION

Perfecting the art of positive produce promotion | OPINION


Opinion
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Could artists, not athletes, be the best advocates for agriculture?

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EDITORIAL

EVERY commodity needs a Jeffrey Allen Price.

The New Yorker is a potato artist. He writes, lectures, draws, paints, sculpts and cooks with potatoes.

He has gained considerable attention over the past 20 years for his installation pieces, films, sculptures and presentations all about the spud.

As he describes himself, he's the potato's "number one hype man". It seems he would be an ideal candidate to make an ambassador for the Potato Association of America or a sizeable grower. Perhaps he already is.

Jeffrey Allen Price does what the horticulture industry should be doing on a daily basis- flying the flag for a fresh produce item.

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Maybe there are other artists out there specialising in fresh fruit or vegetables, just waiting to be heard.

Is there a cucumber animator? A persimmon performer? A grape playwright?

The various Australian horticulture bodies representing a particular section have long dabbled in securing a representative to promote their product, usually from the sporting arena or maybe a celebrity chef.

There's a good chance, if they are true to their art, they'll be coherent in whatever vegetable, fruit, herb or nut they are inspired by.

They are contracted to promote for a period but it never seems to become a long-time attachment.

(Is Libby Trickett still declaring her love for grapes? Jessica Watson pumped about cherries?)

But getting an artist is something we haven't seen much off.

There's a good chance, if they are true to their art, they'll be coherent in whatever vegetable, fruit, herb or nut they are inspired by.

She or he becomes a natural billboard for the item and would no doubt attract media attention.

In a recent opinion column, Queensland-based agribusiness lawyer, Tom Marland, put a call out for agriculture to fund a better publication relations campaign.

It is possible to do this in a fun and engaging way. Artists could be the key in breaking through here.

"Farmers can also no longer sit back and let their peak farm bodies do the heavy lifting for them, alone," Mr Marland said.

"When disaster strikes, agriculture can make the front page. However, when it comes time to sell our positive messages, we are stuck in the classifieds."

It is possible to do this in a fun and engaging way.

Artists could be the key in breaking through here.

The banana industry made a dive into this area this year, declaring May 1 as National Banana Day.

It didn't exactly set the country awash in yellow but it got national news air time, plus online and radio coverage.

Perhaps in subsequent years, Aussies will further embrace a day given over to the banana.

But why couldn't there be a day for each fruit sector?

Should there be a funded-national song/performance competition where the focus is vegetables?

In this highly-visual and digital age we live in, getting the product in front of as many eyeballs as possible has got to be a good thing.

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