Discover 3 Hard Truths to know before you start a Saffron cultivation.

Why I decided to write about Truths to know before you start a Saffron cultivation?

I'm an agronomist but I'm also experienced in Marketing and Sales techniques consulting.
I see many people that want to be farmers but haven't realized that today it's absolutely fundamental to be first of all Enterpreneurs.

So I decided to go beyond the usual things written about the Saffron and give you another realistic point of view, that I think could be helpful to have a clearer idea on this cultivation.

hard truth

If you fear the truth you'd better DON'T READ this article, that I've written for people who want to be aware on how things REALLY are.
So, if you keep on reading...I've warned you!

I've decided to share what in my personal experience of Saffron producer, are the 3 most powerful informations that can help you, if you're thinking to cultivate this spice.

Truths are what books don't tell you.
Either you do it only as an hobby or if you're thinking of a more wide business.

Saffron is an high work demanding cultivation.
1st HARD TRUTH: don't start a Saffron cultivation if your time is limited or you're thinking of outsourcing work 

hard work

Either you're thinking about a non professional cultivation, you'd better consider if you have enough time to manage it.
In many books you can find numbers
Numbers about work hours per day, numbers about work hours per square meter, numbers in business plans model, numbers about profit calculation and much more.
My suggest is to take very very carefully this numbers and trust only in what happens according to your experience.
For this reason I'll not give you numbers.

I could tell you than you need about 120 hours of hand work per year for a 1000 square meters field plus at least 600 hours for harvesting and processing.
Is it true? IT DEPENDS.

In books you can find that the mean production is 1 gram Saffron per square meter.
Is it true? IT DEPENDS.

Depends on your level of mechanization, for example.
Depends on your type, structure and crop history of your soil.
Depends on climatic conditions in the area.
Depends on many agronomical factors.

Perhaps you can obtain 1 gram per square meter if you manage 100 square meters and don't use any machine.
But if you want to manage a 10000 square meter field, are shure you can avoid machines? 
And if you instead use machines, you need inevitably to reduce bulbs density and consequently your production per square meter.

My data are based on my personal way of working, on my agronomic techniques and my level of quality.
So I suggest you to do the same: collect your data and work on them.

Be aware that the smaller is your field, the biggest is the cost per square meter you'll have.
This is due to the economy of scale.
I'm not talking of economics in this post, but to understand, the biggest is your number of products, the lower is your cost per product.

So if you're thinking of starting with a small cultivation, keep in mind the economy of scale.

If you're thinking about outsourcing your work, I suggest to think about an other type of cultivation.
Because your work costs could overcome your profits. In European countries.
But don't believe what I'm writing, experience yourself.
Take the hour salary of your country and do a simple calculation.

In my personal experience, if you want to start a business in Saffron, you (and your family) must dedicate completely to it and reduce to minimum every external work. Start a Saffron cultivation means to embrace a lifestyle.

 Every marketplace requires precise features.
2nd Hard truth: Without a precise market in mind, your product has no market.

Before we discuss this sentence, I ask you a question: "what are your business goals?"

Are you going to sell Ferrari cars or cheap city cars?
Are you aware of what market can be interested in your business?
Are you aware of HOW (technically) produce the product you have in mind?


Even tough Saffron is an adaptable plant, keep in mind that your business results comes only from a perfect combination of factors. There are hundreds of variables.

When you read Saffron books, it seems that geographical position, weather conditions, soil structure and features, environment constest, farmer technical skills, and many other conditions are relatively important. Many books give generic data that are useless. 

But generic data can't bring specific decisions.

Be aware that book are written to be sold and to make sell courses and technical advices.
Anyone writes books to make you rich.

So, if you start a business in Saffron, I'd suggest you to be really aware of HOW you can produce WHAT your customer WANTS.

And only you can understand the the HOWs better than anyone else. Better than any book.

If your ideas are not clear and you don't know exactly where you are going, you are going to nowhere.

 You need strong skills to obtain profitable results in this and any other cultivation. 
3rd HARD TRUTH: nevertheless your skills, business could also not be enough profitable.


This point follows the previous one.

Very often I see people thinking Saffron cultivation is EASY to do.
Easy cultivation= easy results=easy money.

The truth is that anything is easy.
You need strong skills to obtain profitable results.

What type of skills do you need?
As I wrote in this article, skills don't concern only agronomical area.
In reverse, many other skills are perhaps equally important.

Marketing skills.
Communication skills.
Sales skills.
Business administration skills.

And skills, often, are not enough, because you have to face against marketplace, competitors and customers needs.
Skills are a necessary condition but not enough.

Marketplace changes very quickly and also customer needs, buying habits, buying devices, and so on.

Today marketplace changes more quickly than 20 years ago. 
Market's changes, that in 1998 needed, to say, 5 years to be spread, today need 5 months or 5 weeks!
Companies need to be more and more able to change direction, to adapt, to deploy new strategies.
And this condition requires to have defined and winning ideas, to be strong skilled and also..."lucky".

"Lucky" means to do the right things in the right place and in the right moment.


1-Work Time availability

2-Focus on goals and market

3-Powerful Skills 

are the three main corner stone that I suggest you to take in consideration before you start a Saffron cultivation.

Your opinions are welcome.
Feel free to ask me any question.

See You soon,



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