The Plan - Vegetable Growers Association of Victoria

The Plan - Vegetable Growers Association of Victoria

Victorian Vegetable IndustryStrategicPlan2009–2012A profitable, united Victorian Vegetable Industryrecognised for providing the health food of the nation

01A Strategic Plan for theVegetable Industry of VictoriaThe Victorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan hasbeen developed by the industry to identify the desiredstrategic imperatives of the industry and to map outthe actions and responsibilities to achieve these. It isintended for use by the industry and key stakeholders.This plan aligns with the National Vegetable Industry’sStrategic Plan, VegVision 2020. It incorporates specificVictorian industry applications, of the national planactions and deviations. The plan sets out: a Vision forthe industry, Strategic imperatives, Goals, Strategiesand Actions.Victorian vegetables are grown and available 12 monthsof the year providing a clean and green product to theconsumer.For the purpose of this plan, ‘Victorian vegetables’ referto those crops produced by members of the VegetableGrowers Association of Victoria (VGA Vic). This excludespotatoes, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, rock melons,watermelons and cantaloupe.VGA Vic acknowledge the financial and humanresources provided by DPI Victoria Farm Services forthis Strategic Plan Project.Development of the PlanThe development of this plan was guided by a steeringcommittee. GHD Hassall provided the VegetableGrowersAssociation of Victoria with faciltiation andassistance in the preparation of this plan.An industry workshop was held in Melbourne on27 February to identify key issues for the industry andplan actions.Grower IdentificationGrower identification is necessary to ensure thatall growers selling vegetables are known within theindustry to ensure product traceability and food safety.This will enable the faster communication within ourindustry.reviewThe key actions in this strategic plan are proposed to bereviewed in twelve months.During the development of this strategic plan it wasidentified that a number of initiatives have beenundertaken at the national level which contributeto some of the key priorities raised by the Victorianindustry. As a result, it was agreed that the first stepis to review the national activities in order to identifyhow these can be applied in Victoria and identify anygaps that exist. Following this, the key actions of thisstrategic plan can be revised.Victorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Planning Steering CommitteeLuis GazzolaTony ImesonDavid WallacePeter CochraneEuan LairdJohn RoachKatie FisherPresident, VGA VictoriaExecutive Officer, VGA VictoriaVegetables Growers Association of VictoriaPresident, Victorian Farmers Federation Horticulture GroupProgram Manager Horticulture, Victorian Department of Primary IndustriesCEO Fresh State VictoriaVegetable Industry Development Officer Victoria (IDO VGA Vic)2 Victorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan

02The Victorian Vegetable Industryindustry snapshot◗◗◗◗◗The Victorian vegetable industry generated over$704 million of total value in 2006-07 (ABS 2008).The industry is recognised for producing high qualityand varied produce in a clean environment.Vegetables are produced primarily for freshdomestic market consumption.The industry is highly depended on irrigation andis affected by water availability, especially duringperiods of drought. Climate change, water scarcityand the cost of water, raise major challenges for thefuture of the vegetable industry.Consolidation in the industry is ongoing to meetgrowing domestic demand whilst striving tomaximise efficiency and raise productivity.◗In 2006-07, the largest Victorian vegetable industriesby gross value were lettuce $87 million, broccoli$49 million, celery $30 million and cabbages $27million.Victorian Vegetable IndustryStakeholdersThe Victorian Vegetable industry involves a range ofstakeholders, including:◗◗The full vegetable supply chain: growers, packers,wholesalers, agents, retailers and consumers.Industry bodies and support agencies including:VGA Vic, Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL),AUSVEG, the Victorian Farmers FederationHorticulture Group and the Victorian Department ofPrimary Industries (DPI).◗◗◗◗Niche markets for consumer-ready fresh andprocessed vegetables, such as meals and juiceshave been growing and are providing opportunitiesfor value adding to the industry.Many crops remain highly dependent on labour,which in some regions can be difficult to find.There are fewer younger new entrants to theindustry due to perceived financial risks.The volume and value of imported vegetables (fresh,frozen and processed) is rising and has added toexisting domestic competition.VGA Vic represent small crop specialists, generalgrowers and large producers and are positioned tolobby relevant organisations and maintain contact withGovernment and Industry as rural policies are developed.VGA Vic is a member of AUSVEG and the VFF.Most commonly grown vegetables in VictoriaArtichokeCabbage – SavoyCorianderLettuce – COSPeasSilverbeetAsian BrassicasCapsicumCucumberLettuce – IcebergPotatoSpinachAsparagusCarrotEggplantLettuce – FancyPumpkinSwedeBeansCarrot – DutchEndiveOnion – BrownRadicchioSweet CornBeetrootCauliflowerFennelOnion – SaladRadish – longTomatoBroccoliCeleriacHerbs – variousOnion – SpringRadish – roundTurnipBrocoliniCeleryKaleParsleyRhubarbWitlofBrussels sproutsChilliesKohl RabiParsnipsSalad MixesZucchiniCabbage – RedChivesLeekPea – SnowShallotsVictorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan 3

04StrategiesStrategies have been developed specifically for the Victorian industry for each of the fivestrategic imperatives. Actions for each strategy are provided in the following pages.Strategic imperatives 1 to 4 align with VegVision 2020 while 5 is additional.1. Consumers& Markets2. Competitiveness 3. Information 4. Leadership &Management5. Resources1.1 To monitorand respondto consumerlifestyle needs2.1 Develop afocused andconsolidatedindustry R&Dview3.1 To build industrycommunication4.1 Strengthenrelationshipswith industryleaders5.1 Managing waterresources1.2 To marketand promoteVictorianvegetables toconsumers2.2 Create acompetitivesupply chain3.2 Enhanceinformationuse within theindustry4.2 Growerinvolvement andcapacity building5.2 Understandand adapt to achangingclimate1.3 Education toencouragevegetableconsumption aspart of healthyeating3.3 Advisorycapacity4.3 VGA Vic berecognised as astate vegetableindustry group1.4 Victorianindustry reviewand implementmarket strategyand informationgathering4.4 Developstronger,integratedsupply chainleadershipVictorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan 7

04Strategic Imperative 1: Consumers & MarketsgoalTo be a leader in positioningand driving demand forVictorian vegetables leadingto consumers eating morefresh vegetablesRationaleConsumers are placing increasing value on fresh,locally produced, healthy food. There is potential for thevegetable industry in Victoria to meet and growthis demand.Per capita consumption of vegetables is increasingslowly however competition from other food segmentsis fierce. Food purchases represent approximately17% of total consumption by Australian households.Vegetable consumption represents a mere 1.2% of totalfood purchases and fruit and nuts represent 1.1% ofpurchases (Future Focus 2007). There has been somesuccess with the introduction of new products (varieties)and value added products, which appear to have grownthe total market size.A high percentage of Victorian vegetable productionis sold fresh on the domestic market ( Melbournemarket, Sydney Market and some to Adelaide).Price setting is driven by supply volumesand reflects commodity trading principles.The domestic retail market is dominated byconcentration of purchasing power in two majorchains. However there is some evidence of thegrowing strength of independent retailers andother smaller chain stores.The main competition is from interstate trade andsome imports, predominantly most processed fromChina and New Zealand. Import volumes have grownstrongly over the past 6 years especially in processedvegetables while average nominal prices have declinedsomewhat. With good growing seasons and R&D drivenproductivity increases there is potential for domesticmarket oversupply, even without any imported product.Limited funding is available for whole of industry orgeneric promotion of vegetables.Overall, much better, timely and regular data is requiredon the structure, performance of and trends in theindustry’s supply chains and analysis of consumersdemand by demographic segments.8 Victorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan

Strategy 1.1.Action 1.1.1.To monitor and respond to consumer lifestyle needsUndertake targeted research of Victorian consumers to understand tastes and preferencesStrategy 1.2.Action 1.2.1.Action 1.2.2.Action 1.2.3.Action 1.2.4.Action 1.2.5.To market and promote Victorian vegetables to consumersIdentify and implement opportunities for Victoria to work locally in alignment with nationalinitiativesShift consumers from price to other priorities (eg seasonality and local and regional produce)Investigate and allocate funds for education and promotionUndertake a marketing and promotion campaign – ‘eat more vegetables’Encourage demand for locally produced vegetablesStrategy 1.3.Action 1.3.1.Action 1.3.2.Action 1.3.3.Action 1.3.4.Education to encourage vegetable consumption as part of healthy eatingEducate consumers about the health benefits of vegetablesPromote healthy eating in schools Melbourne Market Authority: Kids in Schools PartnershipPartner with Victorian Department of Health nutrition, health promotion and food educationinitiatives – provide information and linkagesEducate consumers as to the preparation and cooking of vegetablesStrategy 1.4.Action 1.4.1.Action 1.4.2.Victorian industry review and implement market strategy and information gatheringProvide retailers with information to lead marketing campaigns (eg seasonal and Victorianregional supplied fresh vegetables)Victorian industry to review existing market research and be adequately represented inongoing national market workVictorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan 9

04Strategic Imperative 2: CompetitivenessgoalEnhance competitivenessof the industryRationaleThere are about 1,100 vegetable, potato, tomato andgreenhouse businesses in Victoria, mostly familyowned and operated (ABS, 2008). Around 400 Victorianvegetable growers supply over 60 vegetable lines tolocal and interstate markets.The gross value of Victorian vegetable crops isestimated at $320 million and Victorian growers areeither the dominant or major suppliers of these crops innational markets.Victorian vegetable growers recorded the highestaverage farm business profit compared with otherstates, estimated to have been around $138,000 perfarm in 2005-06 (ABARE 2007). However, around halfof all Australian vegetable growers reported a farmbusiness loss in 2005-06.Vegetable growers have adopted many of the recentadvances in agronomy, irrigation, pest management,cultivars, mechanisation, supply logistics and qualityassurance. Key skill gaps on-farm are in the areasof plant physiology, business management, marketdevelopment and people management.10 Victorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan

Strategy 2.1.Action 2.1.1.Action 2.1.2.Action 2.1.3.Develop a focused and consolidated industry R&D viewStock take R&D initiatives throughout the industry and use existing R&D resources moreeffectively.Assist in the development of the National Vegetable Industry’s R&D priorities.Benchmark initiatives against industries that work wellStrategy 2.2. Create a competitive supply chainAction 2.2.1.Action 2.2.2.Identify options to integrate supply chain segments within the industryInvestigate the formation of grower alliancesVictorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan 11

04Strategic Imperative 3: InformationgoalFor growers to be aware of,have access to and act on thelatest industry informationRationaleThis Strategic Imperative has two parts: 1) the gatheringof information about the industry and 2) the distributionand uptake of information by the industry.Incomplete and insufficient, planting, production andmarketing information hampers industry analysis anddecision-making. Lack of understanding and ownershipof the need for industry information and the context inwhich it is provided might be used to influence policyand inform relevant stakeholders.Information uptake can be slow. While growers have astrong reliance on individual advice, the availability ofthis advice is restricted.12 Victorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan

Strategy 3.1.Action 3.1.1.Action 3.1.2.Develop a focused and consolidated industry R&D viewUnderstand the best ways for industry to communicate to enable improvement of informationflow and knowledge sharingImprove the timely flow of information to all sectors of the industryBenchmark initiatives against industries that work wellStrategy 3.2.Action 3.2.1.Action 3.2.2.Action 3.2.3.Action 3.2.4.Enhance information use within the industryInfluence the culture of information use within the industryEnsure research and development findings are relevant to and effectively communicatedwithin the industryDevelop multiple avenues and forums for (effective) information transfer to enable adoption ofnew knowledge and technologyBenchmark against industries that work wellStrategy 3.3.Action 3.3.1.Action 3.3.2.Advisory CapacityGood on-farm advice available (individual communication with advisors/brokers)Create an information portal (one stop information shop) for the industry to accessVictorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan 13

04Strategic Imperative 4: Leadership & ManagementgoalFor the Victorian vegetableindustry to have leadership andmanagement that is capable,willing, skilled, engaged,productive and recognisedRationaleThe industry is fragmented and it is felt that growersdo not take sufficient responsibility individually or forindustry actions. Linkages between the national effortand state effort could be enhanced.An undercurrent perception of ‘no viable future’ inthe industry leads to a loss of young people in theproduction sector and lack of new young entrants. Thisis linked to the limited level of financial return in theproduction sector.There is a gradual and continuing loss of specialistexpertise in the government research sector as theyare downsized and/or attention is diverted toother crops and opportunities.14 Victorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan

04Strategic Imperative 5: ResourcesgoalProactive managementof natural resources andawareness of climate changeRationaleVegetable production is reliant on the supply of goodquality, reliable irrigation water, good soils andfavourable weather conditions. Growing competition forwater, variable quality of recycled water and the effectsof climate change may impact on the future viability ofthe industry.Strategy 5.1.Action 5.1.1.Action 5.1.2.Managing water resourcesSecure an affordable, fit for purpose water supplyEfficiently manage limited water supplies (recycled, storage and water use efficiency)Strategy 5.2.Action 5.2.1.Action 5.2.2.Action 5.2.3.Understand and adapt to a changing climateIdentify potential impact of climate change on businesses and develop adaptation strategiesInvestigate energy efficiency options within the industryInvestigate carbon labelling for Victorian vegetables16 Victorian Vegetable Industry Strategic Plan

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