Nuffield scholarship for a horticulturalist from the potato industry (PT18001)
What’s it all about?
This project provides funding to support a Nuffield Scholar in the potato industry, with one Hort Innovation scholarship being awarded in 2019.
Nuffield Scholarships are a chance for Australians in agriculture to grow their practical knowledge and a broad variety of skills, while heading overseas to study a topic related to their industry. The scholar supported by the potato levy will study emerging trends, risks and opportunities, to deliver insights on how the potato industry can prepare itself now for the future.
Application opportunities are advertised in industry channels, and are open between April and mid-June. Visit www.nuffield.com.au for more.
Kerri-Ann Lamb from Wickham Farms in Queensland was selected as the potato industry’s 2019 Scholar. Her research encompasses emerging trends, risks and opportunities in the fresh cut potato, sweet potato, onion and pumpkin market, to determine what the industry should be doing now to prepare itself for the future.
Her research examined potato growers, packers, value-add facilities, and supermarket offerings across Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong and China.
Kerri-Ann observed that the industry is highly competitive and consumer habits and trends evolve quickly. She found there are five key factors driving change within the potato industry:
- Consumer behaviour, including health convenience and social responsibility
- Consumer messaging, and the roles of industry bodies, product promotion and media influence
- Current retail strategies used by supermarkets and smaller innovative businesses
- Current trends
- Future opportunities.
Kerri-Ann concluded that producers need to be aware of market trends and adapt in order to stay competitive, otherwise it is likely that some producers may be left behind.
She is due to present the findings of her study at the 2020 National Conference in Perth, Western Australia in September 2020, subject to COVID-19 travel restrictions.