By Growcom CEO Stephen Barnard
The fresh produce sector and supply chain in Queensland has today agreed on four key fields of strategic interest to pursue over the first two years of its new industry plan, Future Fields.
Through an extensive grassroots engagement and consultation process, these four fields have risen to the top in terms of the impact and benefits to industry from taking action, and the level of collaboration required to bring that benefit about.
The final four fields are:
- Innovate2Access: Reaching new markets through innovation in food processing, packaging and logistics;
- Working Smarter: Building skills to adopt and apply the new technologies that will reduce reliance on low skilled & labour intensive roles;
- Bio Strong: Managing pests, diseases and biosecurity risks using data intelligence and collaboration; and
- Coordinated Compliance: Making it easier for growers to comply with government regulations and meet market driven requirements through digitization and eliminating duplication.
There is a strong consensus emerging among stakeholders that seizing opportunities in each of these four fields will prove instrumental if Queensland is to remain the preeminent state for horticultural production, supply chain innovation and food processing.
Stakeholders across the sector can take credit for the quality of ideas that had shaped the final four fields, and could also have confidence in the rigorous process used to land on those fields of the highest priority.
The engagement process has been extensive and exciting.
Starting with a summit of over 120 industry leaders at the Brisbane Markets, we have heard also directly from more than 200 growers and supply chain partners at six regional workshops around the state, and a further 90 responses have been fielded through the online survey.
With a broad scope across the supply chain, we’ve received a huge diversity of ideas, challenges and opportunities to potentially address. We have only been able to distil these down by taking an objective approach, and have been led toward fields backed by an overwhelming weight of grassroots interest and support.
There is also a recognition of the value of keeping our attention focused. To ensure success and that we do have the type of impact we’d want, the fresh produce sector must be targeted in those challenges and opportunities it chooses to attack.
From here, a two year program of work will be developed collaboratively detailing actions to be taken in each field, with the strategy to be launched in early June. For more information visit www.futurefields.info
Future Fields is being delivered by Growcom on behalf of the Queensland fresh produce sector and supply chain, and is proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government.