Marketing local products:
Short and long distribution channels
[ Summary ]
Collectively marketing local
products via long distribution channels
3.2 A contractually agreed partnership
From an ad hoc promotion campaign to the creation of a fully-fledged
specialist organisation, any collective business development
initiative confronts participants with a number of problems:
- they have to delegate to others tasks that they were
accustomed to managing themselves;
- they are putting their image at stake, since their image will
now be associated to a greater or lesser degree with that of their
- they will be sharing resources, tasks, etc.
The people responsible for managing the project must also be able to
rely on a number of certainties to make them credible in the eyes of
their new business associates. Here we refer to the classical
implications of representation (in other words, the ability to make
commitments and ensure that they are complied with).
It is necessary to clearly establish from the outset a contractual
platform that will govern relations between the different people
involved, and that will define their several responsibilities as
well as transparent terms of participation.
Project leaders should take into account the following parameters:
- the fundamental quality criteria of the products and the
origin of the raw materials used;
- prices and pricing policy;
- the limits of financial participation;
- distributing tasks and responsibilities between the collective
organisation and the partners.
Quality charters, specifications, contracts and so forth, however
perfect, are of course no substitute for personal integrity, nor for
attention to human relations in order to make an organisation
“work”, all of which are decisive factors. As a consequence,
investing time and resources in defining and applying highly
structured internal documents may well have the opposite effect to
the one intended. A few simple and clearly worded rules that meet
everyone’s needs can be an effective instrument .
The association “Saveurs des Pyrenées” based its relations with its
members on a clear division of labour:
||Is responsible for promotion
The members pay for the association’s services through a sales
commission currently set at 7%.
Every year the association, together with each member, determines
the parameters of the commercial approach:
- pricing policy;
- which market areas come within the association’s remit and
which are dealt with directly by the member;
- the forecast plan mentioning the annual sales targets for the
The relationship between the association and its members is
formalised in a simple and pragmatic agreement.
 see technical data sheet n° 3:
"Example of an agreement protocol between
the collective organisation and its members".