AUSVEG support to Vegetable Industry Development Knowledge Management Sub Program
The Vegetable Industry Development Program (VIDP) was created to help vegetable growers build their businesses and remain competitive in an increasingly market-driven and globalised industry. The main sub programs of the VIDP related to: generation of insightful reports on consumer behaviour and market trends, fostering people development within the industry, increasing understanding of economic issues impacting upon businesses, targeted delivery of R&D outcomes, and development of an e-based system for effectively delivering R&D outcomes, information and insights to industry. AUSVEG was contracted in August 2009 to provide national communications support to the Knowledge Management (KM) sub program of the Vegetable Industry Development Program (VIDP), in order to raise awareness of the VIDP within the industry. The KM sub program’s objective was to ensure that findings and outputs from research were being increasingly applied by industry stakeholders in decision making. Its main product was a national R&D database; an e-based system which indexed HAL R&D reports completed on behalf of the vegetables sector. The search engine and database was integrated within the new AUSVEG website when it was launched in May 2010 and there are now over 600 HAL final reports accessible online. The objectives of the AUSVEG communications sub program were to: – Keep the industry up-to-date with VIDP outputs, particularly those relating to the KM sub program. – Highlight the opportunities that VIDP provides to industry and raise awareness about how to access program outputs. – Promote utilisation of the KM system by growers and industry stakeholders. – Increase participation in VIDP activities and uptake of outputs. – Demonstrate the program’s value to industry. – In order to achieve these objectives, AUSVEG successfully conducted a range of communications related activities. A combination of: – Media releases to raise awareness within the industry and the community; – Articles in industry publications such as Vegetables Australia magazine; – Briefings with leading members of the supply chain to increase visibility and adoption of the KM platform by the primary advisors to levy payers; were used to increase awareness of the program and its outputs, whilst promoting the program’s value to industry. AUSVEG also provided additional communications support to other sub programs where linkages into the KM system were required. For example, by publishing articles in its weekly newsletter, including inserts with its magazine and providing general feedback on other communications activities, such as the development of website content and fact sheets. AUSVEG’s target of two media stories per month was easily exceeded over the course of the project, with AUSVEG generating in excess of 800 media mentions, highlighting a range of VIDP products including the Veginsights market reports, new economic findings and the national R&D database.