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Historical document

Organic horticulture - expanded field trials and supply chain data tracking (HG12033)

Key research provider: Dench McClean Carlson Pty Ltd
Publication date: January, 2014

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

The challenge remained for the organic horticulture sector to achieve greater supply consistency, quality and volumes for existing markets domestically.

The initial project “Trialling new production and marketing networks for the organic sector” (HG 10054, 2012) provided a key stepping stone for the industry to achieve a greater level of supply consistency for identified demand.

This expansion in field-trials and grower meetings had built upon this work to assist with producer capacity to enact plans to expand their own operations to meet this ongoing (and growing) gap in supply for in-demand organic fresh produce.

The project’s goal was to work with existing suppliers, and interested non-organic producers, to deliver horticulture supply chain improvements and expansion in the organic sector nationally.

The benefits and outcomes to further the development of the organic horticulture industry included:

  • Building on the findings of the project HG 10054 (2012) “Trialling new production and marketing networks for the organic sector”;
  • Leveraging outcomes from the project “2012 Australian Organic Market Report”;
  • An increased range of organic horticulture products available to the Australian consumer;
  • Increased size in markets, in turn encouraging producers to continue to expand the market;
  • An expansion in the technical knowledge at producer level as well as information exchange with new in-house Woolworths agronomists and buyers liaising directly with producer-suppliers.

More of these outcomes were critical for this industry over the coming years if it was to effectively supply into and meet the rising demand for certified organic product.

Woolworths supply chain gaps reports clearly highlighted both opportunity for interested parties to produce and supply a specific number of organic produce lines into big retail, while also showing how over the previous two years that consistency of supply of some produce lines (carrots and potatoes in particular) had driven sales higher, building confidence in retail buyers and consumers alike, in turn delivering greater certainty for the producer-suppliers of those produce lines.

The challenge now for this industry was to see similar producers step up to the challenge to fill the other clearly identified produce supply gaps. Up until this report's publication, this had not yet been achieved and required further work in field yet, and investment at producer level, to close these supply gaps for good.


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Dench McClean Carlson Pty Ltd.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2014. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).