Part A: Build farm profitability and sustainability through innovation guidance
Queensland horticulture needs to double its production output by 2030 to meet domestic and export demands. This offers growers many long term expansion options increased production, new products and markets. Plus It seems every day we learn about some new technology that might improve growers’ profits and sustainability. But where do you find out about this technology? Do you need it? How do you integrate it into the business?
Innovation counts for little without a purpose and clear goals can’t be achieved by changing just one part of the business. A holistic approach is needed to build expertise in other areas such as business, production, finance, marketing, technology, data, understanding risk and implementation. We appreciate growers are busy just running their farms and would like help to seize current growth and sustainability opportunities.
Innovation Coach provides an independent person to help guide and mentor growers and employees along the innovation journey. Coach works one-on-one to understand the grower’s needs and vision. Coach then provides the resources to advise, identify, and apply for grants and improvement programs. A number of industry specialists will then deliver a range of on-farm advice, training or research. Finally an action plan will be agreed upon to help and mentor growers with implementation and changing practices.
ADOPT APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY
PROVIDE INDEPENDENT GUIDANCE
Part B: Five-step Program
While every farm is different, the following is a sample of a five-step program that can work around your annual schedule. It takes around 12 – 24 months to complete.
Undertake Hort 360 Best Management Program and a diagnostic on your current business performance that will help identify risk across the business.
Validate your ideas through market research and enable the business to identify and capitalise on growth opportunities.
Coach is not about duplicating existing Research and Development (R&D) or innovation but is there to assist the holistic connection of economic, production and business functions of selecting and implementing new ideas or technology based on sound planning. This includes:
– identifying critical and strategic research needs and opportunities for the business;
– supporting the business to connect with sources of expertise, technology and advice;
providing pathways to engage and collaborate with the industry sector; and
– paddock to plate: a process mapping study of your value chain and identifying where simply refining your current processes could potentially save you thousands.
At the end of step three, a strategy and business plan will emerge with clear milestones and goals.
Having identified your growth path or technology needs, you may need a higher skilled workforce. Government and industry realise this and have a range of programs to help you plan, train and retain your workforce and build your Human Resources systems for the future.
After 6-12 months working through steps one to four, Innovation Coach now moves to a mentoring role to help growers adopt and integrate the agreed changes. Step five is critical as adoption of recommendations and managing change is a challenge in any enterprise. This phase encourages agreed changes are implemented across the farm.
Part C: What can you achieve?
BUILD YOUR BRAND
Build your brand, reputation, social license and sustainability through industry best practice within domestic and export markets
Expand business and finance knowledge, improve profitability and provide a low risk for loans or new investment
Design a business growth transformation model with the best possible advice and guidance from industry experts
Improve marketing and communication skills and integrate your brand within the current value chain in and the emerging agri-food sector
Improve on-farm decision making and confidence by having a long running strategy for the selection and adoption of labour saving technology backed by a cost benefit analysis of investment decisions
Multiply your business improvement and research dollars by accessing free or co-contribution industry and government funding and tax offsets incentives
Convert and protect your idea or invention through structured and proven Agri-prenuership & Agtech research development and commercialisation systems
Build a future workforce that is capable of the digital and data future as more mechanisation and labour saving equipment and system become viable.
Since starting our innovation program we have developed a clear strategy, secured an independent chairperson to improve corporate governance, rationalised business systems and capital purchases.
Improved process mapping, reducing wastage and the reorganisation of production systems have seen a $150,000 reduction of packing costs.