A series of workshops across southern Riverina and the Upper Murray aim to open doors for new revenue streams for agribusiness operations.
Regional Development Australia – Murray and Food Innovation Australia Limited are hosting the two-session practical agribusiness development workshops which begin at Culcairn on June 28 and conclude on July 26.
Other sessions will be held at Corryong (July 25, August 15), Corowa (July 27, August 16), Deniliquin (July 28, August 17), Barham (July 31, August 22) and Wentworth (August 1, 23).
“There’s a lot of opportunities now with new technology and export markets to look at different ways to get revenue from farms,” said Angus Crossan, innovation manager at FIAL.
“The workshops are really about exploring what those opportunities are, what are the case studies, what are other people doing. We’re providing a framework producers can look at and help explore where that might fit with their business.
“And then at the end our role is to help make the connections, so if there’s some skills needed or experts needed to be brought in to make something work that’s what we do.”
Mr Crossan developed the workshop series in conjunction with RDA – Murray executive Gary Saliba and will talk at each event.
FIAL is an industry-led, government funded initiative to accelerate commercially-driven collaboration and innovation in the Australian food and agribusiness industry.
Mr Crossan will present case studies of farming operations which successfully tapped into new markets – two nut producers who formed a co-op to become the largest global supplier and became less dependent on local retail customers; Grain growers who are selling heritage wheat directly to buyers such as noodle manufacturers based on wheat functionality for a product not on protein.
“It’s about moving out of that commodity mindset. No longer being a price taker but starting to explore customers and where you can value add,” he said.
“A lot of innovation is focused on productivity and incremental improvements, and we do that really well.
“But I think the knowledge and the skills about ‘well how do I really find a new niche market?’ or ‘what’s the best approach to take?’ we don’t see in the sector as much.
“It is about the risk and the mindset. You’ve got to manage risk but it’s about knowing how to do it and which options to choose.”
He believed nutraceutical production across the region had big potential.