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LBS Innovation Series: Data analytics for food and agribusiness

In 2017, The Economist published an article titled “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. Hence, during the 2018 Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum, Dr Kok-Leong Ong, Associate Professor in Business Analytics at LBS and a researcher at our Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition (CDAC), discussed how digital technologies like internet of things (IoT) devices and the digital supply chain can create opportunities to utilise data to help drive the food and agribusiness industry.

The use of technology in farming

Data processing

Advances in digital technology bring new capabilities. Think about real-time data streams, large scale data storage and management, advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to power new analytical solutions. On top of that, companies keep designing new and better processing systems for all that data. For example, Apple´s A12 Bionic iPhone Chip includes dedicated neural network hardware, has eight cores and can perform up to 5 trillion 8-bit operations per second. All that computing power in a small form factor means we can expect smart-farming to be more sophisticated than it is now in the coming years.

Smart farming

Smart farming and IoT for agriculture are shaping the future of agriculture. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines smart farming as “a farming management concept using modern technology to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural products” (FAO, 2017). Nowadays, farmers have access to radio-frequency identification (RFID), GPS, soil scanning, data management, and IoT technologies. They can precisely measure variations within a field and adapting their strategy accordingly and with that increasing the effectiveness of pesticides and fertilizers, but also using them more selectively. It also allows farmers to better monitor the needs of individual animals and adjust their nutrition, preventing disease and enhancing herd health.

The context around this need for smart farming is further driven by multiple factors. For example, global warming and changing environmental conditions are placing a lot of stress on farmers. While yield in the crops are impacted by drought or floods, the global population is growing and demand out of China and India means farmers need ways to increase yield in a less nurturing environment in order to meet these demands. Smart farming thus becomes an important proposition for farmers. Collectively with the different sensors, powerful computers and new advances in data analytics, farmers can look into better yield management and automation to replace slow and costly labour.

Australia

Research in this space within Australia is already growing, with researchers in Analytics working with mechanical engineers to develop weeding machines, or robotic fruit pickers. The weeding machine uses vision and AI to autonomously move around the field killing weeds without hurting the crops. Similarly, the robotic fruit picker will consistently pick fruits without damaging its surface thus ensuring that farmers get the most out of their harvest. However, smart farming and digital agriculture in Australia is still in an immature state (Trindall, Rainbow & Leonard, 2018). Adoption of digital and analytics technologies among food and agriculture businesses are either low or patchy.

AgriNous

An example of a company that is doing really well in this space is AgriNous. Based in Bendigo and founded in 2016, AgriNous is a transnational platform that facilitates real-time processing of livestock sales. Their application is a mix of technology, customer service and industry insights. AgriNous won the 2018 Inventor of the Year at the Bendigo Inventor Awards and took part in the La Trobe Accelerator Program (LTAP).

Smart farming challenges

While smart farming is promising many benefits to farmers, there are challenges as with other technologies. With the growing adoption of equipment and services that collect and analyse farm data, the agricultural industry could face increased cyber targeting. This could include theft, but data may also be vulnerable to ransomware and data destruction. Farmers need to be aware of and understand the associated cyber risks to their data and ensure that companies entrusted to manage their data, develop adequate cybersecurity and breach response plans (FBI Cyber Bulletin, 2016). In addition, according to an article by Trindall, Rainbow and Leonard (2018) Australian producers and agricultural stakeholders lack trust in data management systems and require improved digital knowledge. Other challenges are access to finance, telecommunications connectivity shortfalls, impartial advice, and interoperability and reliability. Therefore, the journey to a smart farm is still an on-going one, but research in this space will address these issues, as with any innovation that involves technologies.

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School. 
 
More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems
- LBS Innovation Series: Innovation and the Agribusiness Taskforce
- LBS Innovation Series: Supply challenges and consumer expectations
- LBS Innovation Series: Robotics and AI are coming your way
- LBS Innovation Series: Consumer trends and future foods
- LBS Innovation Series: The future of agricultural production systems
- LBS Innovation Series: Cities that feed our planet
- LBS Innovation Series: Is big data the answer for the future of agribusiness?
- LBS Innovation Series: Lean business model design for food and agribusiness

SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 12

SDG 12 - Responsible consumption and production

More people globally are expected to join the middle class over the next two decades. These socio-economic and demographic changes are good for individual prosperity but will increase demand for already constrained natural resources. Societies need to find just and equitable ways to meet individual needs and aspirations within the ecological limits of the planet.

The facts

According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2019), 2 billion people are overweight or obese, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year, while another 2 billion people go hungry or undernourished. When it comes to water, only 3% of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable) and humans are using it faster than nature can replenish it. Consumption is not just about food and drinks, it is the use of any good or service. Energy consumption for example – if people everywhere switched to energy efficient light bulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually. In addition, only one-fifth of the world’s final energy consumption in 2013 was from renewable sources.

Looking at production, the food sector accounts for around 22% of total greenhouse gas emissions, largely from the conversion of forests into farmland. Also, agriculture is the biggest user of water worldwide, and irrigation now claims close to 70% of all freshwater for human use.

The focus of SDG 12

Sustainable development goal twelve (SDG 12) aims at decoupling economic growth from environmental damage and natural resource exploitation. Responsible consumption and production are about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Their implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty (UN Sustainable Development Goals, 2019).

Australia and SDG 12

Below are some examples of Australia’s best practice in addressing SDG 12.

  • At the systems level, supply chain logistics group Brambles, deploys a circular share and reuse system through its vast network. This model supports greater collaboration opportunities, reduces costs, carbon emissions, waste, and demand on natural resources.
  • In 2018, Sydney hosted the first Australian Circular Fashion Conference, focused on responsible fashion practice and supporting economic growth.
  • The Australian Government and the Australian Water Partnership fund the Alliance for Water Stewardship (Indo-Pacific) to work with the Council of Textile and Fashion and member companies to improve water stewardship through their supply chains to achieve sustainable and responsible production of clothes for the Australian and international market.
  • Yarra Valley Water’s Waste to Energy facility (ReWaste), in Victoria (opened in 2017), has the capacity to convert the equivalent of 33,000 tonnes of commercial food waste into energy that powers a neighbouring sewerage treatment plant, with excess electricity returned to the electricity grid.
  • The Australian Packaging Covenant encourages industry to take responsibility for improving the sustainability of its packaging and aims to change the culture of business to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates and reduce packaging litter.
  • The Government has developed a National Food Waste Strategy in close consultation with industry, business, academia, other levels of government and civil society. It will support collective action towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030 through the adoption of circular economy approaches and raising consumer awareness.
  • The states of Victoria and New South Wales, and the City of Brisbane, have introduced the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign that aims to raise awareness of avoidable food waste.
  • Australia is the largest donor to the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative and the Extractives Global Programmatic Support multi-donor trust fund in the World Bank, helping resource-rich developing nations use their oil, gas and mineral resources sustainably and transparently, including with a consideration to gender equality.

LBS and SDG 12

LBS has several initiatives that link to SDG 12 as well. In November 2018, LBS organised the highly successful Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum in collaboration with NORTHLink. The forum explored what it takes to build innovative and sustainable global food production systems and agribusinesses (read more about the forum here).

We also offer a Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness). Besides developing skills to develop, finance, market and manage agricultural businesses, our degree develops responsible, engaged, innovative and work-ready graduates equipped to help farmers improve their food production sustainably and reduce the impact on declining resources (learn more about the degree here).

SDG Video

The video on SDG 12 is produced by LBS and shows Donna Burnett and Dr Leeora Black. Donna introduces the SDG and its targets for 2030. There are eight targets and include implementation of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on responsible consumption and production, efficient management and use of natural resources, cutting various types of waste, and responsible management of wastes and chemicals. It also calls for adoption of sustainable practices in companies and in public procurement. In the second part of the video Leeora, a Principal in the Sustainability Services team at Deloitte Australia, talks about the Australian Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act and how the act encourages business to use their influence to eliminate modern slavery in operations and supply chains.

Please enjoy the presentation.

If you would like access to the full video to use in your teaching, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

This blog is part of the SDG Series, a series that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, in the lead up to the CR3+ Conference in October 2019.

More blogs in the SDG Series:

- An introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 1
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 2
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 3
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 4
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 5
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 6
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 7
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 8
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 9
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 10
- SDG Series: Sustainable Development Goal 11

LBS Innovation Series: Lean business model design for food and agribusiness

During the 2018 Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum (IFAF) Professor of Entrepreneurship Alex Maritz provided insights into disruptive innovation and technology, using entrepreneurship tools to facilitate commercialisation and transformation.

Alex Maritz presenting during IFAF

2030 Roadmap

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) wants to grow agriculture to $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030. Reaching that goal requires new ideas to accelerate the industry’s growth. The NFF identified five pillars to focus on:

  1. Customers and the value chain
  2. Growing sustainability
  3. Unlocking innovation
  4. People and communities
  5. Capital and risk management

Unlocking innovation means that by 2030, Australia is a world leader in innovation efficiency, cutting edge science and technology that improves the quality of products and reduces their cost of production. Digital technology, and particularly the internet of things (IoT) will have transformed farming, unlocking significant on-farm revenue and savings. Hence, every Australian farm will have access to infrastructure and skills to connect to the Internet of Things.

Disruptive technology

The NFF also lists some 2030 megatrends, with one being disruptive technology: “Digital and genetic technologies promise to unlock new waves of productivity growth across the sector. Automation will continue to improve quality of life for farmers, while reshaping the sector’s skills needs” (2030 Roadmap, 2018, p.9).

Recent years already have seen a rapid increase in development of technology in agribusiness, often referred to as agtech. The technologies create solutions for many common problems for farmers such as yield information, reduction of waste or spoilage and forecasting. According to Forbes (2018), agtech funding through investment or acquisition increased 32% to $2.6 billion, and half of the top 20 deals in the space exceeded $50 million in 2017 alone.

Using entrepreneurship tools

In his workshop, Alex discussed how entrepreneurship tools, such as the lean start-up, design thinking and the business model canvas, could facilitate the transformation required by agribusinesses because of disruptive innovation and technology. These tools are not only suitable for start-ups, but as Alex points out, the tools work for any dynamic organisation wishing to transform methods of operation, create customer solutions and value propositions to achieve high growth imperatives.

Lean start-up

A lean start-up is a business strategy that strives to eliminate wasteful practices and increase value-producing practices during the earliest phases of a business so that it has a better chance of success without requiring large amounts of outside funding, an elaborate business plan, or a perfect product (Ries, 2011). Important lean start-up principles include eliminating uncertainty, working smarter (not harder), validating learning and developing a minimum viable product. Prototyping while developing customers is a way that entrepreneurs fail successfully – success arises from the learning that happens while interacting with prospective customers who are experiencing use of the product.

An example of a company who used the lean methodology is Blue River technology, a weeding robot manufacturer. They started off with a robotic lawn mower, but through the lean start-up process pivoted to the agricultural sector, raised over US$30 million and have developed successfully smart farm machines such as the Lettuce Bot and See & Spray that aim to make farming more sustainable through robotics and computer vision (Trice, 2016).

Business model canvas

The business model canvas is a strategic management tool that was first proposed in 2004 by Alexander Osterwalder in his dissertation “The Business Model Ontology: A Proposition in a Design Science Approach”. The business model canvas is a visual chart, outlining nine segments which form the building blocks for start-ups and allows the business to test hypotheses about their business idea. There are four segments that focus on the customer (customer segments, customer relationships, channels, and revenue streams) and four segments that focus supply side of the business (key activities, key resources, key partners and cost structure). Completion of the customer blocks and the supply side blocks lead to the formation of a value proposition for the business – “the bundle of benefits the company offers its customers” (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2010, p.22).

The business model canvas (Osterwalder & Pigneur)
The business model canvas (by Osterwalder & Pigneur, taken from Brown, Mugge & Grainger, 2017)

Farms are not usually start-ups, but disruptive technologies mean that acting like a start-up is a meaningful way to model the business (Brown, Mugge & Grainger, 2017). An example of a company that used the business model canvas is Freight Farms, who saw a need for urban agriculture and is now the world leading manufacturer of container farming technology. Their system is a complete hydroponic growing system that sits entirely inside a shipping container. The vertical farming delivers fresh and local food 365 days a year, while using no soil and using 98% less water than traditional farming.

Alex Maritz and Alexander Osterwalder
Alex Maritz and Alexander Osterwalder
This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School. 
 
More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems
- LBS Innovation Series: Innovation and the Agribusiness Taskforce
- LBS Innovation Series: Supply challenges and consumer expectations
- LBS Innovation Series: Robotics and AI are coming your way
- LBS Innovation Series: Consumer trends and future foods
- LBS Innovation Series: The future of agricultural production systems
- LBS Innovation Series: Cities that feed our planet
- LBS Innovation Series: Is big data the answer for the future of agribusiness?

LBS Innovation Series: Cities that feed our planet

Serena Lee and Geert Hendrix from Farmwall gave a presentation during the 2018 Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum (IFAF) showing how their aquaponic vertical garden is turning cities into food producing ecosystems that positively impact the environment and inspire others to do the same.

About Farmwall

Farmwall is an agrifood-tech start-up that designs urban farming technology and experiences to enhance fresh produce accessibility in the city. The company’s flagship product is the Farmwall – a small-scale indoor farm the size of a bookcase that grows and stores microgreens, herbs and leafy greens in a nicely designed natural ecosystem, eliminating packaging waste and food miles. Every Farmwall has a gut made of clay balls, which keeps all the good bacteria in balance and allows the food to grow naturally, without enclosing or sterilising it. There are fish at the bottom of the Farmwall, creating a colourless gas called ammonia. The good bacteria transform this gas into nitrates for the plants. Farmwall leases the infrastructure on an end-to-end service model, based on a monthly subscription.

The Farmwall (Photo by Goodsmiths)
The Farmwall (Photo by Goodsmiths)

Cities that feed our planet

The delivery of sustainability is shifting through the rise of the experience economy, the push for health and wellness within our urban landscape, and innovations in AgTech. In their presentation, Farmwall showcases how a combination of technology and customer service can bring meaningful experiences through food, with positive social and environmental outcomes. The mindset of staying agile and embracing a disruptive business model has brought the start-up one step closer to their vision of creating “cities that feed our planet”.

Please enjoy Farmwall´s presentation.

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School. 
 
More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems
- LBS Innovation Series: Innovation and the Agribusiness Taskforce
- LBS Innovation Series: Supply challenges and consumer expectations
- LBS Innovation Series: Robotics and AI are coming your way
- LBS Innovation Series: Consumer trends and future foods
- LBS Innovation Series: The future of agricultural production systems

LBS Innovation Series: The future of agricultural production systems

At the 2018 Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum, Professor Tony Bacic, Director of the La Trobe Institute of Agriculture & Food, provided an overview of Australia’s agriculture sector, its research, production and institutional challenges, and global opportunities.

About Tony

Tony is internationally recognised as a leader in plant biotechnology. His research is focused on the structure, function and biosynthesis of plant cell walls and their biotechnological application as well as the application of functional genomics tools in biological systems.
From 1996 to 2017, Professor Bacic held a Personal Chair in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne, was Leader of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls team at the University of Melbourne (2011-2017), and also spent time as Deputy Director of that Centre, and Director of the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre at the School of BioSciences. Tony is a current Board Member of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Tony is a James Cook University Outstanding Alumnus (2010) and a La Trobe University Distinguished Alumnus (2013).

La Trobe Institute of Agriculture & Food

Besides the future of agricultural production and science systems, Tony talks about the La Trobe Institute of Agriculture & Food (LIAF). The LIAF’s aim is to tackle the issues of growing enough food to meet future world demand and exploring the benefits of medicinal agriculture. This includes a focus on crop diversification and changing diets and research that considers the crop plant environment (e.g. Golden Soil), identifies innovative methods for improved production of specialty grains (e.g. Fit-for-Purpose Seeds) and develops enhanced nutritional quality and medicinal benefits (e.g. Quality Dietary Fibre and medical marijuana).

Please enjoy Tony’s presentation.



This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School. 

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems
- LBS Innovation Series: Innovation and the Agribusiness Taskforce
- LBS Innovation Series: Supply challenges and consumer expectations
- LBS Innovation Series: Robotics and AI are coming your way
- LBS Innovation Series: Consumer trends and future foods

LBS Innovation Series: Consumer trends and future foods

During the 2018 Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum, Professor Harsharn Gill gave a very insightful presentation on global consumer food and dietary trends and the opportunities and challenges that this presents for the Australian food industry.

About Harsharn

Professor Harsharn Gill is Head of the Food Research & Innovation Centre at RMIT University. He has over 25 years’ experience in leading and managing food, nutrition and health R&D in private and public sectors. Prior to joining RMIT, he held senior R&D leadership roles in Australia and New Zealand, including Research Director at the Department of Primary Industries Victoria; Chair of Functional Foods & Human Health at Massey University, and Director of Milk & Health Research Centre at Fonterra, New Zealand. Harsharn has published widely and his research contributions have been recognised nationally and internationally with several awards and appointments to international expert panels, including World Health Organisation (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF).

Developments and trends

By 2050 the world’s population will be 10 billion and we will need to increase food calorie production by 69% to meet demand. Population growth is not the only reason more food is needed, there is also a spread of prosperity across the world, especially in China and India, which increases demand for meat, eggs, and dairy, and boosts pressure to grow more corn and soybeans to feed more livestock. So, how can we increase the availability of food while simultaneously reducing pressure on the environment? There is currently a trend toward more plant-based products and Harsharn sees great opportunity in Australia for developing and marketing plant-derived protein products.

Please enjoy Harsharn’s presentation.



This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School. 

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems
- LBS Innovation Series: Innovation and the Victorian Chamber’s Agribusiness Taskforce
- LBS Innovation Series: Supply challenges and consumer expectations
- LBS Innovation Series: Robotics and AI are coming your way

LBS Innovation Series: Robotics and AI are coming your way

Watch Professor Peter Corke give a presentation about robotics, AI and computer vision technologies with examples of what they mean for food production, and how they are changing the business environment.

About Peter

Peter Corke is Professor of Robotic Vision at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision. His research is concerned with enabling robots to see, and the application of robots to mining, agriculture and environmental monitoring. He is well known for his robotics toolbox software for MATLAB, the best-selling textbook “Robotics, Vision, and Control”, massive open online courses (MOOC) and the online Robot Academy. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Peter also has held several editorial board positions and held various visiting positions.

Agbots

Robotics technology is almost 60 years old. Artificial intelligence, particularly computer vision, has dramatically increased the fields into which robots can be employed. Peter’s talk covers examples of recent work, at QUT and elsewhere, will be used to illustrate what the near future entails. For example, pointing out that farm machinery control is largely a visual task, Peter suggests that with vison assisted robotics there can be an alternative future where multiple small (low land pressure) unmanned ground ‘agbots’ take the place of very large manned farm machinery (high land pressure).

Please enjoy Peter’s presentation.

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems
- Innovation Series: Innovation and the Victorian Chamber’s Agribusiness Taskforce
- LBS Innovation Series: Supply challenges and consumer expectations

LBS Innovation Series: Supply challenges and consumer expectations

In this presentation, Joe Manariti, General Manager Melbourne and Avocado Category at LaManna Premier Group (LPG), discusses the challenges of managing consumer expectations and the quality of farm management across the agribusiness value chain.

About Joe

Prior to joining LPG, Joe completed his Economics and Finance Degree at RMIT University, managed his family’s fresh produce retail business at the Queen Victoria Market and worked 3 years in financial planning. Joe joined LPG in 2011 in the role of Market Sales Manager at the Footscray Market, has progressed through the organisation, and now manages the Melbourne business. He is responsible for market sales and operations as well as two distribution centres in Footscray and Yarraville.  Joe is also responsible for LPG’s national avocado supply and sales program, national service provision, ripening and supply services. In March 2016, Joe was elected Advisory Board Member of the Melbourne Market Authority.

Search for efficiency

Joe’s presentation offers insights to innovation and research into diseases for different fruit and vegetable varieties from LPG experience. LPG is one of Australia’s largest fresh produce supply-chain companies and invests heavily in research and development, funding new frontiers in horticulture, packaging and cold transport and distribution. In his presentation, Joe emphasises the need to continue to search for efficiencies, which get products to consumers in the shortest possible time and in the best condition. In addition, Joe stresses the importance of gathering and analysing data to understand how the growing and harvest processes, transportation and retailers experiences affect consumer choices.

Please enjoy Joe’s presentation.



This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems
- LBS Innovation Series: Innovation and the Victorian Chamber’s Agribusiness Taskforce

LBS Innovation Series: Innovation and the Agribusiness Taskforce

Mark Stone AM is Chief Executive Officer at Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and led the VCCI Agribusiness Taskforce, comprising of agribusiness representatives, academics and industry experts. In 2017, the VCCI Agribusiness Taskforce spent six months investigating the issues and opportunities facing the agribusiness sector in Victoria.

About Mark

As Chief Executive of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mark leads Victoria’s most influential business organisation. He is also a director on the Board of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), an Australia Day Ambassador and Fellow of the Williamson Leadership program. Prior to his role at VCCI, Mark spent 12 years as the Chief Executive of Tourism Victoria. Prior to that role he enjoyed a 12-year stint as Chief Executive of Parks Victoria, which employs 1200 staff and has a $4 billion asset base. In 2016, Mark was awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Taskforce – findings

In his presentation, Mark discusses why innovation in food and agriculture is important, where there is room for improvement but also industry challenges including technology adoption, understanding international consumer preferences and public funding of research and development. One of the findings of the VCCI Agribusiness Taskforce is the need for a stronger focus on innovation and quality. This includes early adoption of new technologies, stronger networks, clusters and services to support collaboration and commercialising innovation and research.

 Please enjoy Mark’s presentation.

Please access the full report here:

VCCI agribusiness taskforce report – Harvesting growth for Victoria

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School. 

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:
- LBS Innovation Series: Gaps to perfection
- LBS Innovation Series: Building a global business in a period of disruption
- LBS Innovation Series: Is the Australian agriculture sector ready to grow?
- LBS Innovation Series: Agtech – Agriculture’s Disrupter or Saviour?
- LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems

LBS Innovation Series: Crossing the Chasm – Agtech & innovation ecosystems

Over the last years, the agtech sector has taken off with a proliferation of agtech and foodtech accelerators and incubators across the country. Agtech will become increasingly important in driving Australia’s agricultural innovation but is the sector ready? Andrea Koch discusses how Australia can grow its own agriculture innovation ecosystem.

About Andrea

Andrea Koch is the Principal of Andrea Koch Agtech, an agricultural technology strategy, marketing and product development consultancy. Andrea is also a director with the National Farmers Federation Board and SproutX, Austalia’s first agtech accelerator.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and a Master of Sustainable Development and is from a fifth-generation Australian farming family. Her family background and varied career allow her to bring together farming and digital technology. She sees a future where digital technology underpins our farming sector being the most competitive and innovative in the world.

The rural versus the urban world

Australia has a unique agricultural research, development and extension system and Andrea sees a divide between what she describes as the ‘rural world’ and the ‘urban world’. On the one side there are users of on-farm technology – that is the farmers and the ‘ecosystem’ of rural suppliers, advisors and consultants. On the other side, are the investment and finance community, tech developers, urban based research institutions and the agri-political groups. These worlds are somewhat disconnected, and Andrea presents some of the changes that are required.

Please enjoy Andrea’s presentation.



This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics at La Trobe Business School.

More blogs in the 2019 LBS Innovation Series:

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