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Strategy consultation workshops – updates

The Hort Innovation strategy consultation workshops are proving to be a big hit with growers and industry stakeholders

Five workshops, 70 participants and hundreds of insights

We are five workshops down and so far and have travelled through NSW landing in:

  • Orange
  • Griffith
  • Western Sydney
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Lismore.

Common themes

With ideas and insights being collected from almost 70 workshop participants, common themes (see below) are emerging on how Hort Innovation can support better alignment between the needs of the sector as a whole and the strategic direction of the company.

More communications and more interactions

Themes on targeted, segmented industry-focused communications continue to have a strong voice, with some suggestions being around the use of different mediums for messaging (more digital and more social media). But the feeling is that digital communication should be matched with a healthy level of dialogue facilitated through face-to-face meetings and events. This relates to Hort Innovation's leadership team and staff, as well as the research community and each other [growers].

Simpler, easier, accessible systems and processes

Participants saw opportunities for the company to make processes simpler and organise the business towards streamlined approaches that allow investments to be contracted quickly, especially where there is an imperative, such as biosecurity. This spoke to a separate theme around ensuring the business doesn't just have a 'one-size-fits-all' approach, recognising that different industries have different needs and at different times, and the investment process would need to reflect this.

How the company invests

Another strong theme has been on how Hort Innovation can provide more leadership on supporting cross-sectoral investments and collaboration between industries with like investment priorities. Participants wanted to see greater leadership around access to international markets and understanding the wants and needs of global consumers, in turn supporting investment opportunities that would help to capitalise on world markets.

There were some suggestions that Hort Innovation needed to cast the net wider in terms of seeking advice from industry and to supplement the Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) advice and the longer-term Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for each industry with broader input, helping ensure the investment portfolio was balanced and in line with industry expectations.

Environmental factors

External factors that have a big impact on productivity are a priority for industry including access to water, biosecurity preparedness and response, sustainability (from an environmental perspective), labour and building the workforce of the future. Participants also commented on increasing leadership around traceability and food safety.

Meet Tom Silver

Tom is an avocado and macadamia grower – watch him speak about the Lismore workshop he attended.


Coming up

More ideas and insights will be shared after the next five sessions as we continue to ask growers and industry stakeholders:

  • What are the most important priorities for Hort Innovation?
  • What are the top goals for Hort Innovation?
  • What are Hort Innovation's strengths?
  • What are Hort Innovation's obstacles?

Share your ideas at our online portal

If you would like to attend a workshop but can't make it in person, that’s OK! You can share your ideas online here at the online portal.