Economic Research Services for the Vegetable Industry
The project aimed improve the range of economic data available; research and analyze that data and provide a range of economic information and to apply economic expertise on issues relating to the industry and to broaden growers’ horizons from farm production issues to post farm gate issues. This project was multi faceted in both areas covered and methods of delivery. Major components of the project were: Data collection and analysis Research papers Weekly economic commentary Magazine articles Presentations and speeches Commodity spotlights Support for industry participants Work on market access issues Industry representation in economic forums Input into the industry’s development and strategic plan. As a result of this project; Data on the domestic operations and finances of Australian vegetable growers is publicly available on the AUSVEG website Extensive trade data has been collected and analyzed and has played a key role in highlighting the loss of trade competitiveness of the Australian industry A number of specialized commodity reports have been produced and published to the website Researchers, industry bodies and policy makers have received strong economic support from this project Economic rigour has occurred in areas where none was previously available Research papers and magazine articles have been written analysing key issues for the industry Vegetable growers’ horizons have been extended beyond the farm gate Emphasis has been placed on rates of return rather than production Growers have enhanced economic knowledge and are more aware of the fact that they are businesses rather than growers. Further development of economics based work is essential for the industry’s future well being. Ongoing development work is required on data collection and to utilize more fully information on growers’ financial conditions. Further in depth analysis of trends in trade is required as the industry is facing stagnant export markets and increasing import penetration. Benchmarking studies and analysis is required to encourage best practice in the industry and to identify the areas where cost competitiveness and/or quality have been lost. Supply chain issues need economic analysis to enhance the returns to growers and identify areas for cost reduction.