Total time: 15 hours
• Gain experience doing a marketing plan;
• Use a variety of methods of product promotion;
• Gain experience in all phases of actually marketing fish;
• Reinforce concept of profit incentive and strengthen trainees' convictions in aquaculture as a form of farming for income.
Overview: This exercise takes place near the end of the program. Trainees actually market the fish from their own ponds. They are responsible for all aspects from identifying the market, determining the best market size range, doing the promotion, transporting the fish to the point of sale and actually selling the fish. Selling the fish that they have produced gives the trainees a sense of accomplishment and purpose, as well as demonstrating the economic feasibility of fish farming.
1. Preparations should begin at least a week in advance of the selling date. In order to determine size preference, local prices and other important information about the local market situation, trainees visit grocery stores, fish markets, restaurants, etc. They may also do research by telephone, contacting live haulers or processing plants.
2. Once the date, price and location of the fish sale has been determined, trainees begin product promotion through whatever means are suitable, i.e. newspaper ads, radio ads, signs, flyers, phone calls, etc. Staff may need to provide transportation for distribution of flyers and/or putting up signs.
6 hours (depending upon supply of fish, location of sale, briskness of sales)
3. On day of sale, trainees must be very well organized to coordinate the following activities efficiently:
• Set up transport equipment (may do in advance)
• Harvest fish (may do this the day before and hold fish alive in tanks or cages)
• Prepare point of sale, set up for sales (have cash box with change, plastic bags or other containers, dip nets, scales, displays and/or signs, holding facility for fish, etc.)
• Transport fish to point of sale
• Weigh (and/or count) and sell fish.
4. The day following the fish marketing, trainee coordinators facilitate a group discussion to review the entire marketing process, critique their own work and draw conclusions that include a list of points they want to remember for their next marketing experience.
Materials and Resources:
• Fish of marketable size
• Access to local information sources such as fish markets,grocery stores, commercial fishermen, live haulers, etc.
Access to newspapers, radio, television or whatever appropriate means of advertising are available
• Poster board, plywood, nails, boards, markers, paint,stencils, etc. (for making signs) Paper, rulers, markers, computer and/or xerox machine(for making flyers)
• Seines, dip nets, buckets, tubs, scales, measuring boards for harvesting fish
• Truck, transport tank, aerators, holding tanks, ice, salt and/or other equipment and facilities for transporting fish if necessary and for holding fish (alive) during sale
• Tables, chairs, money box, change, calculator, scales and tripod, plastic bags, dip net,etc. for point of sale.
• Three or four trainees should be assigned as coordinators of this project. They delegate duties to other trainees, generally through forming committees.
• One trainer should be assigned to be in charge of this exercise. Trainee coordinators should work only with this trainer to avoid confusion and inefficiency. The trainer should communicate only with the trainee coordinators and should not undermine their authority with the rest of the group.
• The trainer provides logistical support, obtains all requested materials, helps trainees make contact with resources, etc.
• Caution: Staff must take care to learn about any legal issues, social customs, local etiquette, etc. regarding selling fish. There may be required permits and/or certain restrictions for selling fish directly to the public, to a restaurant, live or processed, etc. In addition, the exercise should serve as positive public relations and not a cause of bad feelings due to competing with or undercutting local merchants or fishermen. There may also be rules regarding putting up signs or distribution of flyers.
• To avoid administrative problems or misunderstanding on the part of the trainees, staff will need to determine in advance what will be done with the money from the fish sale. Be sure trainees understand whether or not they will have any input into how the money is used.
• Depending upon the circumstances, certain aspects of the marketing plan such as price setting or location of the sale may need to be dictated by the staff. However, the trainees should be given as much responsibility and freedom as possible.
• To avoid any potential health problems, all fish should be sold live.
• Although there are many ways to sell fish (to restaurants, supermarkets, live haulers, processors), it is recommended that trainees have the opportunity to sell at least some of the fish directly to the public.
• If customers are likely to be driving vehicles when they come to purchase fish, be sure that the point of sale has convenient parking areas and will not cause any problem for traffic passing by.