undercover.co.id – GREENVILLE FARM , Surviving Because of Consistency , Every business needs consistency in maintaining good product quality. Even in the midst of weak economic conditions, good product quality is able to keep the brand afloat in the midst of difficult situations.
The quality of a business’s products determines the sustainability of its business. Without good quality, even slick marketing will not maintain business continuity. This is what Greenville Farm, founded by Bobby Agus, experienced.
This hydroponic vegetable farm was established during the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, many businesses collapsed due to social restrictions to stop the spread of the plague. Not a few also switched businesses to survive, like Bobby at that time.
This Greenville farm was established to maintain the existence of the sports centre that Bobby managed at that time. The pandemic clearly forced the sports centre to stop operations to reduce the level of transmission. Bobby and management tried various initiatives so that no employees had to be laid off.
After going through various trials, agriculture with this hydroponic scheme was finally agreed upon as a saviour. “So, management is looking for ways to keep this sports centre operating with essential businesses. Because one of our friends had studied aquaponics in Australia and America, he suggested that we do hydroponics instead. So, we make hydroponic vegetables, we throw them to the market,” said Bobby.
This business change was not immediately smooth. Transforming the business from a sports centre to a hydroponic farm with employees who did not have basic farming knowledge was a big challenge. At first, Bobby had to learn and educate his employees first.
Bobby’s own sport centre employees have a variety of backgrounds. Starting from security, cleaner, and many more. Similarly, Bobby previously worked at a creative agency. After providing education, Bobby and his employees then built the infrastructure for planting with the hydroponic method.
Greenville Farm finally reaped its first harvest on 28 October 2020, marking the farm’s first time in operation. Founded in a difficult time, with minimal knowledge, Bobby admits that what keeps this business able to survive through these difficult times is consistency in maintaining product quality.
“What makes us able to survive is our consistency in maintaining the quality of our products, which is what we have been consistently doing until now,” he said.
The hydroponic farm focuses on leafy vegetable products. These include asian green, pakcoy, caisim, kale, kailan, green spinach, siomak, and various variants of lettuce. In addition, the farm also produces vegetables such as swiss chard, kale nero, and curly kale. Greenville Farm also sells hydroponic vegetable and fruit products in the form of juices.
With the hydroponic method combined with greenhouse technology, the farm is able to produce vegetables without depending on the season. The land area itself is 600 square metres with 24,000 planting holes. Per month, the farm is able to produce 1,200 kilograms to 1,500 kilograms of vegetables.
The vegetable sales method combines offline and online methods. Offline, the sports centre with the name Tangkas Sports Centre located at Jl. Tj. Duren Barat Jl. Komp. Green Ville No.11, Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta is still the physical outlet of this business. For online sales, it uses various marketplaces and social media.
The majority of promotion methods are done online using social media ads and endorsements. Endorsements that collaborate with a number of public figures and nutritionists also bear sweet fruit. Some public figures who have known Bobby since he worked at a creative agency have also volunteered to help, because they consider vegetables from Greenville Farm to be of good quality.
This promotion is sweet for business turnover. Although he did not explain in detail how much the turnover was, Bobby explained that the vegetable products sold reached 80% of the harvest, while the rest was used for promotion. The vegetable products themselves are sold per pack, with the contents of the pack weighing 250 grams and selling from IDR 15,000 to IDR 25,000 per pack.
Market penetration has changed since the pandemic ended. When the business first started, it relied heavily on direct sales to consumers. Now, many businesses have started ordering these hydroponic vegetables so that the proportion of direct sales to consumers and to businesses now has a 50:50 ratio.
In maintaining product quality, Bobby does not use chemical products for his vegetables. All vegetables are grown with organic fertilisers and pesticides. This consistency is carried out by not using chemicals, although, the use of organic fertilisers and pesticides does not make plants permanently immune to pests. As a result, sometimes excessive pests make vegetables grow smaller than they should.
“We want to provide additional value to consumers that in addition to the fresh produce that is sent directly after harvest, directly sent, the fertiliser that we use is organic fertiliser, natural fertiliser, not chemical fertiliser,” he said.
To keep the quality of vegetables fresh until they reach consumers, Bobby uses logistics services that have delivery services within a day. This is also a way for this business to maintain product quality. Currently, Greenville Farm has been able to sell its products in the Jabodetabek and South Tangerang areas.
Sad stories are not only experienced when starting this business, or when pests attack. Because the greenhouses are made using UV plastic, the claws of stray cats are a danger to the greenhouses. However, the hydroponic farm has never experienced crop failure.
On the other hand, Greenville Farm has seen its share of happy times. In fact, Bobby said that the farm once made a delivery of 80 boxes. One box contains six packs of vegetables.
Approaching its third year of operation, Bobby said that the business is changing its growing method from hydroponics to aquaponics. Bobby hopes this process will be completed by 2023.
What makes us able to survive is consistency in maintaining the quality of our products.
Founder of Greenville Farm