Strengthening the strategic capacity of the rubus industry (RB11002)
What was it all about?
The raspberry and blackberry industry is relatively small but is seeing expansion in most states, both in production and the number of growers entering the industry. This project, which ran between 2011 and 2014, set out to build capacity within the industry.
A part-time industry development manager was employed over the three years of the project to work in the following areas:
- Ensuring effective communication with growers
- Biosecurity planning
- Market access
- Supply chain improvement
- Strategic industry planning
- Research and development to support marketing and promotion.
The industry development manager developed a contact list of growers and other industry stakeholders who were updated on research and development findings and other topics relevant to production by email, e-newsletters and printed material.
The officer also increased content on the industry website, and was involved in arranging the BerryQuest conference in 2013, which included rubus as well as blueberries and strawberries.
The Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Rubus Industry was completed by Plant Health Australia during the project, providing a focus on exotic pest preparedness and prevention for the industry.
Discussions were held on possible solutions to managing Queensland fruit fly, which prevents interstate export of produce to fruit fly free areas. The development of minor use permits for control of pests and diseases were advanced with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority by providing data on chemical effectiveness and residues. Over the life of the project, 23 permits were achieved to address gaps in pest and disease management.
The officer was also closely involved in the development of a new industry strategic investment plan, which was implemented from July 2014.
A supply chain temperature audit from farm to retailer was commissioned. A consultant was engaged to document the critical control points and provide instructions on fruit handling at each stage of the supply chain in order to improve fruit quality at the final destination. The resulting information was documented as a module for the Rubus Integrated Fruit Production Manual, which was updated under the project, while posters were also developed around best practice for picking, packing, transport and wholesaling.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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