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 likely benefit 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.
Chair of the Future Fields Advisory Committee Angus Ferrier said seizing opportunities in each of these fields would prove instrumental if the Queensland was to remain the preeminent state for horticultural production, supply chain innovation and food processing.
“While COVID-19 has caused enormous pain and disruption, it will also continue to create opportunity for those ready and willing to adapt. So now is a perfect time to be thinking and acting strategically to stay ahead of the game,” said Mr Ferrier.
“With limited time, resources and attention, the fresh produce sector must be targeted in those challenges and opportunities it chooses to attack. Many strategic plans collect dust on the shelf because they attempt too much and try to please too many.
“Very few significant pieces of work can be achieved alone. So putting Future Fields into action will be a collaborative effort, relying on many small contributions from a wide range of interested parties. This strategic plan will succeed where others have failed because we’re only taking action where there’s plenty of skin in the game.”
Growcom Chair Belinda Frentz said stakeholders across the sector could take credit for the quality of ideas that had shaped the final four fields. She said they could also have confidence in the rigorous process used to land on those fields of the highest priority.
“We kicked off consultation with a summit of over 120 industry leaders at the Brisbane Markets, and have heard 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,” said Ms Frentz.
“Future Fields is broad in its scope across the supply chain, and so we’ve obviously received a huge diversity of ideas, challenges and opportunities. We have only been able to distill these down by taking an objective approach, and have been led toward fields backed by an overwhelming weight of grassroots interest and support.”
An Interim Report released today provides all interested parties with a summary of engagement activities, and an overview of the principles and methodology applied in identifying and prioritizing our Future Fields.
Future Fields is being delivered by Growcom and is proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government.
Download a copy of the Future Fields Interim Report.
For all the latest Future Fields news and information, visit the webpage www.futurefields.info, subscribe for email updates, and join the Facebook group.