Paris, 15 September 2008

EFITA newsletter / 377 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Q.: Use of mobile phones by farmers and advisory services?
I’m working with the advisory services here in Armenia and a recent survey has shown that 84% of farmers have a mobile phone. Do you have any papers, reports or web sites that could help me to show the Armenians what is possible, please?
Contact: Ian HOUSEMAN
E-mail: ian.houseman(a)

A.: I have recently developed a database of mobile web sites
The site is still in beta, but there is a list of over 300 sites. Nothing specific for agriculture as far as I remember, but it gives an overview of possible types of applications.
Contact: Guido BONATI
E-mail: bonati(a)

A.: Authorised mix of chemicals available on mobiles in France
Contact: Guy WAKSMAN
E-mail: waksman(a)

Pioneer launches re-designed websites across Europe: New-look sites already breaking conversion records
Earlier in August, Pioneer launched re-designed product websites in 21 territories across Europe. Early performance indicators are very positive: bounce rates are significantly lower and sales lead conversions have grown by at least 40% for almost all websites.

Each site is based on the architecture of the main corporate site

The websites, designed and developed by These Days, reflect Pioneer’s increasing marketing commitment to online investment and performance.

“Our strategic focus for online e-marketing and publishing is to always put customer goals first, business objectives second and hard metrics third.”, says Ronan McDonagh, Pioneer’s eMarketing Manager for Europe.

“Globally our budgets have shifted favourably into online marketing and presence. Good as that may be, we want to ensure that not only does the customer have a pleasant, valuable experience, but that we get back an equally pleasant, valuable return on investment.”

The current websites do not yet offer e-commerce, but strong KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are in place to measure return on investment. “Brand interaction is a very important measurement for Pioneer.” Says Erwin Jansen, MD of These Days. “It measures the total time spent by customers on the website. This metric, when compared to the cost saving of what it would cost to service these customers by, for example, a call centre, is a powerful tool in measuring effectiveness.”

According to the Pioneer / These Days eMarketing Team, the websites are all part of a continuous optimisation and improvement process. Averaging around 80,000 visitors a day across all sites, they are a valuable tool for gaining customer insight, measuring and tracking visitor satisfaction and needs.

The websites include:


United Kingdom












The Netherlands





Cyprus North



Contact: Raphael NOLENS
E-mail: raphael.nolens(a)

Terra Madre e-forums
“Terra Madre” is a very interesting initiative put forward by Slow food every year; it takes place in Turin (Italy) and involves farmers and other stakeholders related to food production and consumption from all over the world.

Developing countries rural communities representative are present, exchanging ideas and experiences on topics related to the development of sustainable agro-food sytems, including biodiversity, local development and social justice.

Within Terra Madre different e-forums have been started see

Among other interesting topics one of the forums is related to: MARKETS – Fewer intermediaries, more trust, which I am moderating.

You are welcomed to register and contribute with observations and ideas; it is not important whether you would like to participate to the event or not.

I think this can also be a good chance to get to know other people involved in the topic of trust worldwide, from a “sustainable agriculture oriented”
point of view.


Contact: Cesare ZANASI
E-mail: cesare.zanasi(a)

Old Butch

Homer was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens) called "pullets," and 10 roosters to fertilize the eggs. He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.

This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance which rooster was performing. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.

Homer's favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but one morning he noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all! When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the roosters coming, could run for cover.

To Homer's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one. Homer was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the County Fair and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.

The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the No-Bell Piece Prize, but they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.

Vote carefully this year...the bells are not always audible.
Contact : I. KITRON
Mél : kitron1(a)

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