|Authors: ||L.R. Brown, M. Cruickshank, D. Johnston|
This paper reports on research conducted by the authors in conjunction with the Commonwealth Department of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture on developing a strategic approach to training Australia’s horticultural groups.
The need for training has arisen because many horticulturalists lack the resources (time, funds, etc) to address broad marketing and managerial issues as well as physically run farms.
As post harvest expenses already can be up 70% of farm costs, and as growers are under increasing cost-pressures such as developing product integrity systems in order to maintain their right to supply, the need for training to cope with such industry changes is apparent.
In conducting this research a series of convergent interviews provided insights into industry training needs from those in horticultural production.
Training materials were developed and tested with Banana, Mango, Tree Crops (Stone fruit and Lychees), Pineapple, Strawberry, vegetables and other marketing groups.
Success of the program has been based on a contextualisation process as well the underpinning concept of working as groups.
As a result, one supply chain has been formed and is successfully exporting to Asia, while other grower groups are poised to follow.
The training has been based on developing competitive advantages in marketing by using integrated supply networks to shorten supply chains and/or build relationships to create value-adding and efficiencies in existing chains.
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