Vegetable Industry Development – Bridging Project
The objective of the Bridging Project was to investigate the most effective future structure and model of delivery for industry development activities within the vegetable industry. The Bridging Project enabled AUSVEG to coordinate an evaluation of industry development needs, taking into account previous reviews of industry development programs, namely the Consulting and Implementation Services (CIS) review of the VIDP setup by HAL in late 2011. As part of the Bridging Project, AUSVEG’s main objective was to develop a three-year project proposal, working closely with HAL, for a revamped and more cost-effective vegetable industry development project, whilst at the same time conducting a number of scoping studies that would be used to inform future ‘Drive Train’ R&D under the new Vegetable Industry Strategic Investment Plan 2012-17. The new project was to build upon those elements of the previous project that were deemed worth continuing, but via a consolidated and more cost-effective structure. The main output of the Bridging Project was the three-year project proposal for the new industry development project. The Bridging Project has enabled AUSVEG and HAL to review the recommendations from the independent review of the VIDP conducted by CIS, but more importantly it has also allowed time for AUSVEG and HAL to determine the optimal structure for industry development services in the vegetable industry, based around the key criteria of value and effectiveness. This optimal structure is explained in detail in the new three-year project proposal. The new three-year project was designed in the knowledge that any new industry development project would need to deliver tangible and relevant outcomes for Australian vegetable levy payers, but under a different framework to that which had been utilised previously. During the Bridging Project, AUSVEG worked hand-in-hand with HAL in developing components for the new three-year project to ensure that the project would meet these criteria. The Knowledge Management component of the previous industry development program was trialled within AUSVEG during the Bridging Project and by enlisting appropriate expertise AUSVEG was able to make significant improvements to the existing Knowledge Management framework, making it more user-friendly and accessible for growers. During the Bridging Project, AUSVEG also coordinated significant scoping studies into two key areas: the skills and training needs of vegetable growers and data requirements for the vegetable industry. Tender processes to create a project to monitor consumer behaviour / provide market insights to growers and to trial a 1800 Agronomist service (as discussed by the Vegetable IAC) were also undertaken. The new structure suggested in the three-year proposal takes into account the previous recommendations made in relation to the VIDP by CIS, as well as the findings from the investigations undertaken during the Bridging Project itself. Final reports on the two scoping studies that were conducted in the Bridging Project (the National Skills and Training Scoping Study and the Review of data requirements for the vegetable industry) are included in this report as Appendices 1 and 2 respectively.