Written by: Colin Rose | Business Manager | 0413 343 888
Planfarm have, for the past 6 years, invested into developing services in the Horticultural industry. We have been working with numerous clients and stakeholders in the horticultural sector developing a series of Benchmarks and our industry specific farm business consulting advice.
Recently Planfarm successfully applied for a national project through Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd (HIA) to develop a National Benchmarking and Consulting project throughout Australia. Through this tendering process we have forged a mutually beneficial partnership with a fellow consultancy, RMCG (environment, agriculture, and community consulting group) to deliver the project to all states of Australia.
So how did Planfarm get to this position, and what are the opportunities for the Broadacre Industry in Western Australia where our footprint largely lies? Firstly, broadly speaking yes, we are all in the same industry,
Agriculture. After recently attending the National Hort Industry conference in Adelaide, attended by over 3,000 people, it was highlighted to me how similar many of the challenges farmers face in broadacre are replicated in horticulture too.
Some examples of common issues witnessed from the conference coupled with our 6 years’ experience with the horticulture industry and 50+ years in the broadacre industry include:
- Finding efficiencies in the way you operate.
- Implementation of new and future technologies that may have an impact on your bottom line of farm operations.
- The efficient use of water. How to find consistent and retained labour required for your farming operations.
- The use of AI (artificial intelligence) in your business now or preparing for the future.
- Carbon Farming, what do we need to account for in our farming operations, what do we need to be aware of for future implications to our farm environment?
- What is the latest machinery technology available and how does it improve our efficiency and effectiveness in our farming operations?
- Understanding your numbers in your business?
- Is my business model sustainable?
The aim of this article is not to expand on the commonalities of issues and explain the learnings from each industry, it is more for you to gain awareness of our involvement in the horticulture industry and what we will be doing in this space in the next 5 years, with the potential of cross transferring the various learnings from both industries.
Some of the reasoning for us being chosen as the national deliverer of this new substantial project in the horticulture industry is our track record over the previous 6 years in horticulture servicing growers here in WA. We have looked at the sector from a different angle to most involved in it, by applying our 50+ years’ experience in the broadacre industry to our introduction to the horticulture industry.
Planfarm have one of the most reputable benchmarks productions annually, the ‘Planfarm Benchmarks’, and have now also joined with three other consulting companies throughout Australia to produce a National Benchmarks for the broadacre industry specifically through a partnership with GRDC.
The National Broadacre Benchmarks didn’t just fall out of interest of farmers contributing data for the good of the industry, they came through a farm business consulting industry that is evident throughout Australia.
Farm business consulting isn’t as prevalent throughout Australia in the horticulture industry as in broadacre and we believe through the implementation of this 5 year national project with HIA, we are in the privileged position of further developing the farm business consulting industry in horticulture throughout Australia. We will partner with growers and industry to ultimately provide valuable data, financial and production analysis and information that can assist in the future development of horticulture business practice change.
The project will commence with 50 grower businesses analysed in year 1, through to 150 businesses being analysed in year 5. We have the privilege of working in partnership with RMCG who have a heavy footprint on the eastern seaboard and a thorough understanding of horticulture through many years of working in the industry.