Preparing for extreme disruptions: A boom-and-bust planning guide for the Australian agricultural sector

  • 36 pages

  • Published: 13 Nov 2023

  • Author(s): Boris Lam, Tim Fisher, Katie McRobert, Teresa Fox

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-422-6

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This project was conceived to help levied, small and emerging industry enterprises better understand the drivers of boom and bust cycles, and find pathways through the vulnerabilities and opportunities these cycles present.

In addition to an increased focus on market development, capacity building and broader opportunities and impediments relating to advancement of the agricultural sector, the challenge of building resilience to drought, flooding and bushfires has come to the fore. More recently, the effects of COVID-19 and other factors on market demand, global supply and global value chains have also emerged as sources of both risk and opportunity.

These industries may also have less access to industry-specific knowledge and well-tested production systems than established businesses. However, they can be nimble, take advantage of new market opportunities and consumer needs, and more readily explore new ways of doing things, including value-adding and bespoke brand creation. Enterprises that emerge in new or smaller industries are often small in scale, but what they may lack in knowledge, skills and capital is often made up for by a combination of passion, drive, innovation and vision for their products.

This document is a planning guide to manage boom-and-bust cycles, and has been developed alongside a self-assessment tool. Together, producers can use the two components to assess these facets of their enterprise.

As part of the project, seven interviews were conducted with owners of enterprises identified as adopting leading practices. Their experiences have been written up as case studies that can be found throughout this guide. The case studies show how producers respond to the unique drivers they face, with each including a graphic highlighting the strategies they have used to navigate these drivers. It is important to note not all drivers and strategies identified in this report were relevant to the case studies included here.

Check out the self-assessment tool to see how you can manage boom and bust cycles in your enterprise