Spring 2022 - Keynote
Watch on youtube:
Or read the transcript, below:
It’s the beginning of the koi season, and the start of a new cycle.
And so a great time to update you all on what’s been going on at Byer Koi Farm, and developments coming through.
2021 was an amazing year here. My first year full time at the farm and, we’ve been able to double production creating more choice for our customers for 2022 and beyond.
The main spawnings last year being Showa with 2 separate breeding lines, Chagoi from Oakly our 105cm female, Asagi, doitsu kawari ,kujaku .
You will see these varieties flow into our small koi mix and tosai offerings in the first half of this year, followed in the second half of this year with nisai and also Kohaku which were a very late spawning last year and need a few extra months in our care; the colour quality on those is already looking fantastic.
Over the winter we have bolstered our breeding lines, doubling the Showa females with new additions of very large and high quality examples from Momotaro and Dianichi. Also, general increase in brood fish numbers in Shiro Utsuri and also Doitsu Ochiba. New breeding stock can take a few years to deliver but we will be working to generate some output from them this year. We also have Kikusui’s brought in 2 years ago from some of the top breeders in Japan that we hope will be mature enough to breed from this year too. We also have our new Mukashi female, purchased as a 94cm 7yo last year and we are hoping she will delivery for us this year.
We’ve also completed our expansion, including full refit of the original facilities that will help to maximize the potential in our breeding lines that we invest so heavily in.
In terms of sales stock.
For 2022, we have our small koi mixes range now available. The pictures on the website are up to date, and we even have some video footage there too.
We are available any day of the week for visits by appointment. We are a working farm, and need to work in this way so we can set aside time to assist when you visit. Existing customers will tell you, that arranging a visit is very simple.
The small koi mixes can also be ordered from the website.
There is no further small koi mix stock to be brought through, so grab your chance soon if you are interested in small koi mixes.
More individual koi will be coming through to the sales room in a series of releases through the year.
I think this is probably where many of you listening are most interested.
The next one that you probably already know about is our jumbo tosai release which is from 2nd April. This is the largest release to date, both in terms of the number of koi available to choose from, and also the size - with a great range at 30cm and larger - great going, for 10 month old koi. You will also find tosai from 20cm and larger at the event. There is an abundance of large Showa, Oakly Chagoi, Asagi and Doitsu Kawari varieties. If you want a 35cm, 10 month old koi… a genuine jumbo koi with the maximum growth potential, we have plenty of choice for you.
We are running this at Byer Koi Farm via appointments in the normal way, that’s either in person or via video call. If you can’t get to us and haven’t tried a video call yet… please feel free to give it a try; they work surprisingly well.
We are grateful once again for the high interest in our koi, and the first 3 days post release are already fully booked, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to book in - and we have availability currently from 5th April.
Reflecting on feedback over the last year, we know some customers would still prefer to be able to browse individual koi on a website.
We are always looking for ways to improve our customer service, and we have been looking at how we could do more in this area without taking anything away from our existing sales channels. And with the extra stock we have this year, we can now look at doing that.
I want to talk around those aspects with you because the selling of individual koi online is not something that particularly aligns with Byer Koi Farm ethos. So, I want to share our thinking about our new online shop for individual koi and how we plan to make it work. Whilst also keeping the on site releases, and maintaining them at the highest priority.
Catalogue items like koi fry and the small koi mixes, have always been available on line. This will stay the same. And these actually work really well through the website, and we will take customer requests to help pick a mix that works best for the customer.
Individual koi, which for us has been around 20cm and £60 and up; we see these as unique and special, a larger purchase and something that customers are best advised to see first hand before choosing to buy. And we believe this should be the case whether customers are buying from us or elsewhere. It’s about making the right choices about the special koi you put into your pond, and being in the best place to do that - which is at the aquatic centre.
This probably draws from my own experience as a boy buying tropicals from the local aquatics store where I grew up in Leicester. Getting to know the aquatics retailer, seeing the range of aquatics and learning about where they came from and discussing rearing approaches and husbandry is part of the aquatics experience. And this bespoke service is something we believe in here at Byer Koi Farm.
And that is why, up to now, with the odd exception, individual koi have mainly available on site at the farm only.
We will continue to give priority to on site releases, like the jumbo tosai release on 2nd April. For those customers who like to engage with us in that way; we have you covered.
These koi releases represent a lot of hard work coming to fruition and being able to enjoy our product with our customers in those releases is part of what makes Byer Koi Farm special for us, and for our customers. They will continue. And they will continue to be special.
For the customers that want an online shopping experience from Byer Koi Farm for individual koi, we are going to work hard for you too.
To make the online store work well for individual koi sales, we have upgraded the whole website and on the individual koi for sale page, we have brought in some filter options to help you narrow the selection of koi to the ones you are most interested in.
One of the filter categories is called ‘BKF Specialty’. And we will be using this filter to add value to the online koi shopping experience. This is where we will tag individual koi with a special feature relating to their provenance within the spawning.
Let me give you an example of how that’s going to work, by talking through our new range , called Value Tosai.
The idea for Value Tosai has come from the economic reality we are living in, with rising prices. We are not without intense cost pressure here, and passing on price increases is something we want to avoid where possible.
So we took some time to work out what we could do to help our customers , and in short, we will be working harder to bring more choice at the cheaper end of our individual koi offerings.
And that’s basically what our Value Tosai offering is.
In terms of our farming output, they sit between our small koi mix range, and our jumbo tosai offerings in terms of quality and size and price.
So in short, you will be able to access this level of koi, which is cheaper than a koi in our jumbo tosai range, but will have the same level of input from us in terms of how we present the koi to you. That’s us working harder, to provide more choice for you, and making these available online.
In the BKF specialty filter on the individual koi sales page on the website, you will be able to search for Value Tosai.
This means, in a world of rising prices, you can now go online shopping at Byer Koi Farm and be able to choose from a Value Tosai range of individually listed koi. So that’s cheaper koi, but still individually listed online.
It is currently Wednesday evening, and the Value Tosai will go live on the website at 9pm tomorrow; that’s 9pm Thursday evening.
The majority of the Value Tosai release tomorrow evening will be Showa, and Shiro Utsuri. We will include a small number of other varieties initially too, and expect the range to grow over time, and this will happen in part this year more so over the next year or two.
So in summary ->
We will be providing 2 services; for those of you that want to visit, we are still here and always happy to host. And for those that have requested an online shop for individual koi - we now have this too, and this will fall into our continual improvement programme as we refine it and optimize it over time.
Over the course of this koi season, you will see further releases of koi on site at the farm, and a wider range of individual koi make their way onto our online shop too. We will keep you posted through social media and the website about those.
Thank you to all our customers, supplier and everyone in the koi community who take an interest in our koi farm.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send them in, via messenger, email or text message. And, I will endeavor to respond.
We are exciting for you to see the new website. And, this is just the beginning with the website; as new individual koi are loaded in releases through the year and as we mature the site too.
We wish you all the very best for your own koi keeping this year. And we hope to see a good many of you here at the farm this year, online on our new website, and at both the All England koi shows and the BKKS National koi show too.