Posted: Aug 18, 2017 5 min. read

No Agro, All Agri

Let’s get this future started

When it comes to painting a powerful picture of tomorrow, there is no room for doubt. Collaboration will be a key determinant of success for a positive future that is bright and filled with more opportunities than you ever realised were possible. So let’s lift our gaze to the future…

It’s 2027 and Queensland’s agribusiness sector is thriving, delivering billions in incremental gross state product compared to a decade ago. Queensland agribusinesses have justifiable confidence and an enviable (and leading) position as the provider of choice in preferred markets by delivering high quality nutrition and product solutions – fast and efficiently.

The industry remains resilient and competitive in growing international markets and uses innovative techniques – including big data and agtech – to realise opportunities to use all available resources for their highest and best use. Big or small, focus on the end consumer is underpinned by integrated value chains such that we can seamlessly track the provenance of Queensland produce.

It’s 2027: ten timely takeaways as we look back

This success and continued confidence in Queensland putting its best foot forward is not just down to luck, a run of good seasons or the dining boom across Asia Pacific. It has been deliberate as it has been strategic. And so if we stay in the mindset of being in the year 2027 and look back at how this success has been achieved, here are ten key insights into how we collectively – across business, government and community – were able to unleash Queensland’s agribusiness potential:

#1 Transformation

Research and development (R&D) activities, and increasingly effective extension programs, have delivered key step-changes in the way that Queensland agribusinesses operate end-to-end. Drones are common place, being used for everyday activities such as monitoring crop growth, checking for pests and diseases, ensuring fence lines are intact and making sure that watering points are operational.

#2 Technology

Ready for robots? Well, robotics have also come a long way and have replaced repetitive, lower-skill and manual tasks such as harvesting, tractor driving, spraying, mustering and drafting. Robots have have become the mainstay in abattoirs and fruit packing sheds, making way for round the clock operations to meet urgent shipping deadlines and ensure produce has maximum shelf-life once it leaves the shed.

#3 Analysis

Big data is used in a diversity of ways that deliver more robust farm management decisions and on a real-time basis. Extensive and insightful dashboards monitor key metrics from the natural environment and measure the impact on farm production systems – contributing overall to more informed decision making. Objective Carcase Measurement (OCM) is the norm and has allowed for greater transparency for all supply chain participants to improve our product.

#4 Simplicity

Technology has been used to rapidly evolve processes and functionality – providing key solutions to difficult questions. For example: Are liveweight targets going to be reached in light of pasture conditions and an expected heatwave? What options does the grazier have to increase water availability or provide short-term shade solutions to cattle? It’s all done at the touch of a button.

#5 Immediacy

The R&D cycle is faster and when an idea shows great potential, it is fast-tracked as a research priority. When R&D projects show early success, uptake by industry follows expeditiously. Every farm participates in their own unique research projects, or in larger-scale industry projects. Change is normal, take up of new ideas is pervasive and widespread. The diffusion curve is steeper and the agribusiness atmosphere is one that is full of potential!

#6 Integration

Queensland produce flows through dedicated supply chains designed to deliver fresh, high quality products. There has been great industry leadership, making bold decisions and delivering on strategic investment priorities. This has carved out integrated channels for produce to flow from farm to port and beyond. Supply chains are not only efficient at moving a volume of product, but are also efficient in terms of minimising waste and utilising renewable and waste products as energy sources.

#7 Quality

Produce is moving front and centre stage. Farmers are intrinsically linked into their supply chains – with product volume, quality and timing managed effectively to maximise pricing opportunities and consumer demand. Embedding farmers into the supply chain has also given rise to increased consumer confidence in where their produce has come from, so they come back for more and ask for Queensland produce by name.

#8 Opportunity

The pathway to Asia was identified as an opportunity well before free trade agreements were signed. But the opportunity became substantially real once supply chain connections meant produce could physically flow, in volumes. This Asia-bound produce is high quality and fit for purpose. For some products, Queensland’s ability to deliver off-season produce is maximised by co-operating and co-ordinating supply with other southern hemisphere producers including other Australian states and territories, South America, India and Africa.

#9 Connectivity

The pathways are transparent, delivering fresh food to the highest safety standards. Asian consumers know this because they are digitally connected, through e-commerce and other technology solutions to the source and provenance of their Queensland produce purchases. The produce pathway to Asia has upgraded, from a bush track to a superhighway.

#10 Prosperity

The result? Well, the physical transformation of Queensland’s agribusiness sector, from farm to port, has been amazing. But it’s also paid an amazing dividend to Queensland’s economy.

Download Confidently Queensland to find out just how big the economic payday is overall.

More about the author

Rob McConnel

Rob McConnel

National Lead Partner, M&A Valuations

Rob is a senior M&A partner within Deloitte Financial Advisory with more than 20 years’ experience and currently leads the National M&A Valuations team as well as the Financial Advisory team in Queens