Freedom Farms recently celebrated a significant milestone for the brand by launching its first mainstream media campaign in the shape of a set of billboards trumpeting the ethical point of difference of the brand. But getting to this stage has been no simple task.
Convincing consumers to spend a little extra on what are standard grocery items—bacon, ham, fresh pork, sausages, eggs and chicken—is never easy, but this is exactly what Freedom Farms has managed to do over the last decade.
What's interesting about the Freedom Farms model is that the company doesn't have farmers and doesn't produce its own food. Instead, co-founder Gregor Fyfe refers to the team as consumers who are concerned about how animals are farmed and knowing that when they chose a product it is farmed in a way they can be proud.
“We are about how animals are farmed and trying to improve how they are farmed, and we are also about trying to improve the way farmers look after the environment because of the big cost of farming from an environmental perspective.”
Because of this, its marketing plays an important role of selling the idea of cruelty-free farming as well as the products. Fyfe says the mission of its campaigns is to show consumers that they have an opportunity to influence farmers to make changes by buying Freedom Farms.
One of the efforts hoping to do just that is a new campaign rolled out with Special Group across busses and billboards. The images show the aftermath of a Freedom Farm meal with headlines that highlight Freedom Farms’ cruelty-free philosophy.
Fyfe says this, Freedom Farm's first mainstream campaign, is a sign of how ethical consumerism is on the rise around the world.
“People who have never thought about us but are in the space are going ‘oh golly, there is a company out there that is trying to do something’ and that is what it’s all about,” he says. "It’s no longer just a little niche, there are more and more consumers who are saying ‘I do care and I’d like to make a difference’.”
When Freedom Farms launched ten years ago, it turned to the likes of top-end food magazines, like Good, and PR to spread the message.
At the time, there were no products in the market to satisfy the wants of ethical consumers. However, with the rise of both awareness and ethical products, Fyfe says it's estimated that 30 percent of all consumers are ethical.
Furthering its effort to inform consumers that buying Freedom Farms means they are buying an ethically farmed product as well as a product that will influence change is its #freerangefriday campaign.
The campaign promotes Freedom Farms’ mission to see all conventional chicken farms converted into free-range farms by encouraging grocery stores to stock Freedom Farms free-range chicken.
This mission to see the end of conventional chicken farms supports the concern of ethical consumers that the brand they are buying is also involved in conventional farming – a quality, Fyfe says, sets Freedom Farms apart from other brands because it only sells high welfare products.
Making Freedom Farms stand out further is its positive image, which is something Fyfe says it set out to do from the start.
Since its launch, it's stuck with its children’s drawing-like style on its logo, which Fyfe says is its effort to be “fun, playful and non-conventional”, an image different to other food brands ten years ago.
And while many food brands have changed their style to be more reverent and fun now, Freedom Farms still stands out when comparing it to other organisations against conventional farming that use harrowing images of caged animals.
“We only tell the story that there is a solution and there is a choice,” Fyfe says. “There are plenty of animal welfare activist groups out there that are doing a fine job shocking people into facing some reality, but that is not our job.”
Instead, he says its job is to promote the positive side of how its products are farmed to show consumers they have a choice.