New revenue opportunities for AgriFutures Australia’s rural industries

  • 40 pages

  • Published: 29 May 2024

  • Author(s): Consulting & Implementation Services

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-481-3

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A guiding principle at AgriFutures Australia is that everything we do must be about delivering value for Australian producers and rural industries.

That value is largely delivered through investing in, and delivering outputs from, research in areas such as productivity efficiency and sustainability for Australian plant and animal industries; this is the basic mandate of AgriFutures Australia’s levied and emerging industry programs.

As Australian agriculture’s operating environment evolves amid changing economic, social and environmental considerations, financial returns to producers can be impacted. And as an industry matures and the food, fibre or fodder produced shifts to becoming a commodity product in increasingly competitive markets, producers’ capacity to differentiate and extract value is challenged.

This complex environment is the context in which AgriFutures Australia’s Research and Innovation Strategic Plan 2022-2027 exists. As its core goal, the strategy aims to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries. In developing the strategy, we identified that we needed to maintain a focus on collaboration and leveraging opportunities; this includes investigating opportunities for innovation and agrifood technology development.

To help producers spread the income risk of their enterprises, one of the strategy’s 16 priorities is Identifying new revenue streams. The aim of this priority is to identify at least five new potential revenue streams on farm, post the farm gate or via other traditional or non-traditional activities. This project, the first major piece of work under the priority, was commissioned as a scoping study to help understand where new revenue streams could exist and be developed across AgriFutures Australia’s levied and emerging industries, and other rural industries.

The key findings include: (1) the identified opportunities align to six common themes that are drivers or enablers, and that are complementary and not mutually exclusive; (2) the different life cycle stages of the industries offer different opportunities; (3) producers have different approaches and barriers to adopting new revenue opportunities; and (4) a skilled and capable workforce is a critical enabling power to assess, adopt and implement opportunities. Additionally, the project elucidated that new revenue streams could be on an all-of-agriculture, sector, region or individual business basis.

Work will continue in this area to ensure Australian producers have the reach and foresight to sustain their farming businesses and that the agriculture industry thrives into the future.