Social networks, YouTube videos… When farmers take charge of their communication: SPACE

In Europe, through videos, social networks, or open house operations, breeders are addressing consumers more and more directly. Goal? Deconstruct the clichés about their profession and work for more transparency.

Do you know Étienne the agri youtubeurre or the Jolies rousses videos  ? They are what we call Agri YouTubers. Known, they have up to 100,000 subscribers. In fact, in recent years, farmers have been speaking out on social networks. Tired of clichés and criticisms of their profession, more and more breeders are fighting back on social networks. Via their smartphones, they challenge Internet users, testify about their daily life and defend their profession and their commitments. A novelty. “There has always been communication around agricultural products but this communication went through professional federations and was intended rather for professionals”, explains Anne Dumonnet-Leca, president of SYRPA, the network of agri-communicators bringing together 400 professionals from the agricultural sector. One of the organization’s objectives is “  to support farmers in their role as communicators, to help them decipher the societal issues which are closely linked to questions of food, the environment, and agriculture. ” The idea is also to help them share their voice taken to better connect farmers and consumers.

“A real gap between farmers and consumers”

The agricultural world realized the importance of communication: “Farmers spoke little to consumers and consumers were not necessarily interested in what they ate. Between the silence and the lack of curiosity, a real gap has widened, ” she continues. Agribashing, prejudices… Farmers suffer from incomprehension and now wish to free themselves from the communication of their representatives to show their own vision of the profession. They want to regain control of their image to better explain to consumers behind the scenes of their food, where they come from, how are they raised or cultivated … Little by little, farmers have freed themselves, emancipated themselves, and thanks to the networks social and open doors, they shed light on their work.

Open house, direct sale at the farm …

This is the case of Aurore Célard, a farmer from Morbihan. Installed with her husband, Hervé, near Muzillac, this former salesperson wants to twist the accepted ideas about farmers. Especially during the open days organized by the family farm. No less than 1,000 people came to visit the farm on September 26th. At the same time, Aurore Célard opened a small direct sales store, Maison Jeanne et Jean, in tribute to her husband’s grandparents. It offers the production of a dozen local farmers: seasonal vegetables, raw milk, cheeses, bread or even quinoa produced a few kilometers away.“Yes, yes, we grow quinoa here! But to find out, you have to come. Maison Jeanne et Jean is a store of common sense, common sense in the peasantry, with seasonal products, from local producers that I have chosen in accordance with their way of working, ” smiles Aurore Célard, who wishes to share information. that “farmers feed France and Europe and yet they have difficulty eating.” We want to show the general public the richness of this agriculture. Show the courage and passion of these breeders who get up every morning to produce, milk, breed, manufacture, transform. It is an admirable profession ” .

Showing the richness of agriculture is also the goal of Laurent Le Coz, a farmer in Gourin (56). The poultry farmer shares his daily life on his Instagram account every day with his 933 subscribers: “I like to show life in the fields, nature punctuated by the seasons but also my work. So much is said about agriculture. I want to tell my truth and show my unfiltered life ”. Photos taken at daybreak, selfies in the fields, videos of equipment, Laurent Le Coz takes the time to observe his environment and share.

Dialogue, an essential lever for communication

Maintaining dialogue, especially during open days is essential, according to Anne Dumonnet-Leca: “Farmers are often very well integrated into the local fabric, interaction with the neighborhood and therefore the public is regular. The idea is not to break off the dialogue. We speak badly of what we do not know. But it is not always easy for the farmers who, with agribashing, feel that they are constantly under attack even though they are putting in a lot of effort. ” Sometimes it takes time for these to be visible enough to ” reassure consumers about what they are eating. However, fears vis-à-vis food create an ambivalence on the image of farmers who, moreover, enjoy a huge amount of sympathy ”.Aurore Célard is convinced of this: “The best truth is transparency. We are there for that “. With open doors, social networks, and their Youtube channels, breeders bring the general public into their world and show a very different reality, far, very far from clichés. Another way to communicate with the public is agricultural donations to the Food Bank. Gilles Le Pottier, president of the Food Bank of Rennes, explains in the podcast La Voix de l’Elevage, that the generosity of farmers makes it possible to feed 20,000 people in the country of Rennes. The farmers of Ille-et-Vilaine give up to 1,500 tonnes of products per year, especially milk. 

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