Forum to discuss opportunities in Agribusiness

Growth and development of the Australian Agribusiness sector is integral to the economic sustainability of South Australia. Centre for Global Food and Resources (GFAR)  has been at the forefront of discussion around creating efficient education pathways for Australian and international students interested in Agribusiness.  Our educational programs in this area have been created through consultation with our Agribusiness Advisory Board that comprises key industry players from South Australia that operate national and international corporations engaged in agricultural production, value addition and trade.

On 29th June 2018, GFAR organised the Agribusiness Advisory Board Forum on ‘Profitable Agribusiness: Key drivers, constraints and the role of University of Adelaide”.

Prof. Wendy Umberger welcoming invitees to the forum

Mr John Crosby introducing invited guests and speakers

Mr John Crosby, Chairman of the Agribusiness Advisory Board introduced the invited guests and members of the board.

The key invited guests for the forum were Hon Tim Whetstone, Minister for Primary Industries and Regions, SA and Prof. Peter Rathjen, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Adelaide.

Prof. Peter Rathjen, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Adelaide

Hon. Tim Whetstone, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, SA

The idea behind the forum was to hear views of key guests on the future of agribusiness and implications for university and government. Industry leaders from South Australia were also invited to speak at the forum. Angelo Kotses from Bickfords  and Richard and Elizabeth Gunner from Richard Gunner’s Fine Meats spoke on the challenges and opportunities for agribusiness in South Australia and Australia and the implications for education providers like the University of Adelaide and GFAR.

Angelo Kotses of Bickfords

Richard and Elizabeth Gunner of Richard Gunner’s Fine Meats

Prof. Christopher Findlay moderating the discussion session

Prof. Christopher Findlay moderated a discussion session as part of the forum.

Some of the key issues discussed in the forum were on challenges relating to the need to constantly reduce operating costs to be viable for small and medium sized agribusinesses. How can research in areas like value chain analyses, affordable mechanisation and lean manufacturing techniques help in dealing with these challenges. The challenge of finding good people with the skills for constantly evolving businesses is always a major one. How can educational programs like the ones offered through GFAR provide the industry with graduates that have skills required by the industry? In addition to these issues, other aspects of continued collaboration with the industry through sustenance and development of comprehensive internship programs and access to university expertise for industry were discussed at the forum.

Hon. Tim Whetstone, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, SA said he was impressed by the faces around the room for the session. The Minister outlined his approach to helping develop agribusiness in South Australia and closed the session.

The Advisory Board will continue conversations and making connections between industry and the university and explore agribusiness technology opportunities.

Prof. Wendy Umberger thanked the attendees for their continued support and collaboration with GFAR . Prof. Sarah Wheeler  ,  Mr. Craig Johns  , Dr. Natasha Caulfield  also attended the forum to engage with industry leaders and board members.

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