Real world internship on value chain improvement at Harvest Moon to prepare MGFAB students be career-ready

Harvestmoon facility

Our Master of Global Food and Agricultural Business Sovan Vith recently completed his internship at Harvest Moon. Sovan was supervised by Mr Simon Drum, Chief Operating Officer of Harvest Moon, Mrs Lisa Breaden, Quality Assurance Manager of Harvest Moon and Global Food Studies Deputy Director and researcher Mr Craig Johns.

According the company’s website, Harvest Moon was founded in 1981 by current Managing Director, Neil Armstrong. Harvest Moon began by trading fresh potatoes to interstate markets and supplying local greengrocers in Tasmania. Whilst it still has many of those original customers, Harvest Moon now supplies into major supermarkets both in Australia and overseas and has grown to be one of Australia’s larger fresh vegetable companies.

Harvest Moon’s capacity now exceeds 60,000 tonnes per year with its more than 400 employees during the peak season. The company has a quite wide range of products including celery, green beans, carrots, broccoli, swedes, onions, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, red beet, pumpkin, etc.

Craig Johns opened the internship presentation

Sovan Vith presented his internship outcomes

Sovan Vith had received this internship opportunity based on a competitive selection. There has been increased demand from our students for getting hands on experience working at agribusiness companies such as Harvest Moon as well as internship at research institutions such as CSIRO.

Sovan used the eight-week internship experience to better understand how value chains can be improved by examining the chains from the farming site (harvesting) to consumer site with particular focus on the farm and the factory. In delivering the analysis, Sovan applied relevant methods including the main principle of action research, root cause analysis and value chain mapping. He collected information from various participants including the company’s chief operating officer, farm manager, farm supervisor, farm operators, factory manager, factory supervisor, line operators, logistic manger, logistic officer, marketing manager, marketing officer, quality control manager, and field officers.

Closely working with and getting support from the Harvest Moon’s team, Sovan has been able to identify ways to improve efficiency and quality of products by observing process that can be eliminated, optimising handling procedures (that can lead to at least 40% reduction in unit cost), washing procedures and development of standard operating procedures to better follow standard and regulatory requirements.

Harvest Moon’s CEO Mr Simon Drum explained that

“Harvest Moon have found working with the University of Adelaide to facilitate internships straight forward and professional. Interns provide our business with a very capable resource to tackle priority projects with a fresh set of eyes.”

whilst our student Sovan Vith viewed that:

“I had an amazing experience with a globally orientated vegetable agribusiness in Tasmania called Harvest Moon. The internship gave me the opportunity to apply what I had learned in class in a very practical way. I learnt a great deal during my time in Tasmania and the value chain improvements and efficiency gains as part of the project were valued highly by the company. Finally I’d like to express my appreciation to Global Food Studies for arranging this internship.”

Such internship opportunities not only have strengthened Global Food Studies’ relationship with agribusiness sector in Australia but also assisted our students prepare themselves to be career-ready.

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