Farmers receive critical support in times of need

The SmartOysters service is based on a subscription model but has a range of policies in place that can applied if a farm comes up against hardship such as an extreme events such as weather, wild fires and more recently of course, the pandemic.

When Hurricane Dorian slammed into North Carolina near Cape Hatteras in 2019 it wiped many of the region’s oyster farms off the map. The storm surge swept gear and stock away and resulted in significant economic impacts. Having a deep understanding of the industry and its challenges, SmartOysters immediately stepped in and offered affected clients a free subscription period lasting for three months. They call this their "Three for Free" offer.

SmartOysters’ business development manager, Col Bridges, says the policy benefits both parties.

"When a farm has been affected to the point where the owner has no income, online services are often overlooked or even dropped as finances are diverted toward perceived higher priorities. However, by giving our clients a subscription ‘vacation’ they can continue using the service. This helps them get back on their feet more quickly. They can record inventory, assess losses, and schedule essential tasks. All without the burden of having to pay yet another bill. For us, this was a no-brainer. We’re in a position to help farmers get back on their feet faster. This has an industry wide benefit," he says.

"Being part of an oyster farming family means we have a built-in understanding of how tough it can be. We pride ourselves on taking an equitable approach and always strive to put our clients’ welfare at the forefront of any decision making.”

It’s believed that this attitude is among the reasons that North Carolina in particular has opened its arms to the service.

SmartOysters did the same thing during the early stages of Covid-19 as farm sales dried up as the effects of lock downs took a hold. All existing clients were provided with a minimum of three months free usage.

“Obviously, we have to generate an income too but wherever possible we’ll step up and do what we can to help farmers get through tough times. It’s the right thing to do,” said Col.

“We understand farming and we understand its challenges particularly where cash flow is concerned. It’s what we’re all about.”

Want to learn more or how this works in practice? Contact Col here and he'll be happy to help.