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Completed project

Opportunities to improve labour use efficiency through automation and improved management practices (RB21003)

Key research provider: The Growth Drivers
Publication date: Friday, April 7, 2023

What was it all about?

This investment, which ran from 2022 to 2023, investigated opportunities to improve labour use efficiency in the rubus industry through automation and improved management practices. Thirteen solutions were identified with strong potential for significant impact in improving on-farm labour effectiveness and productivity.

Of the thirteen solutions identified, five priority solutions emerged. These priority areas were selected as they were rated highly by growers across desirability, feasibility, viability and scalability.

  • Data-empowered resource planning and deployment
  • Advanced recruitment assessment
  • Computer vision quality assessment
  • Autonomous collaborative robots
  • Virtual reality training and assessment.

The research team conducted stakeholder interviews, site visits, producer surveys and a 'time and motion study' to understand current management practices. This assisted them in identifying and prioritising opportunities around labour. Then, a global technology scan was conducted to explore potential solutions that could be implemented in Australia.

Related levy funds

This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Raspberry and Blackberry Fund