Ideas That Generate Results
Organic Agriculture Industry : Vision Australia
Organic/biodynamic production is a system that rests upon a broad range of philosophical and practical action strategies, which directly contribute to a healthy biosphere and people. It does not use synthetic chemicals, artificial high input fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. In fact, it promotes enhanced biological activity through integrated management in its pathway to sustainability.
There is a dramatic global shift towards organic/sustainable agricultural systems and it is a significant emerging agricultural industry in Australia. Currently, Australia has close to 2000 certified organic producers, processors and retailers of organic food and fiber products. They operate in diverse industries, including grains and pulses, horticulture, viticulture, beef and pork, dairy and honey. Collectively these enterprises account for products estimated to be valued at $180 million annually at the farm gate.
Organic markets are emerging worldwide, mainly in response to the increasing consumer concerns about food health and safety, and a community desire for sustainable food production. With an almost unprecedented demand for a commodity in scarce supply, marketing opportunities abound, but an equally serious challenge to the organic industry is shaping a sustainable future and bringing all sectors of the community with it. Challenges of addressing the growing sophistication of an informed consumer, the rapid loss of natural resources, rural viability and terms of trade are big questions for Australia, which in part are now addressed by organic agriculture. Notwithstanding its successes, the research and development needs of the growing organic sector are enormous.
- The number of certified organic farms in Australia and their location.
- Different kinds of agricultural products that are grown or produced on certified organic farms.
- What are the characteristics of the operators of certified organic farms?
- What type of relationships do organic farmers have with these downstream supply chain businesses?
- The type of involvement the farmers have, or wish to have, in collaborative forms of marketing.
- The ongoing growth of the world’s most rapidly expanding food sector.
- How might the marketplace adapt to alternative supply models?
- How does Organic Agriculture best illustrate the many improvements required in natural resource management, particularly in the Australian environment?
- Alternative production and supply chain models that might prove beneficial in breathing life back into rural communities?
- How can policymakers use the shift, so successfully illustrated in organic agriculture, as a model for innovative economic and social changes?
The organic agriculture industry in Australia is certainly more than the sum of its farmers. It is composed of processors, retailers, input providers, certifying organizations, and a range of other individuals and organizations. Yet, sustainable agriculture, both in Australia and globally, originated with the voluntary efforts of like-minded farmers. It was their innovation that provided the base for the vibrant industry evident today. The aim of this report is to provide a profile of the Australian organic industry at the farm level. Chapter 3 sets out to answer the assessment and review of Australian organic sales and production. As you proceed with Chapter 4, the report addresses organic food supply chain and marketing. The sound management of its supply chain relationships. Ensuring that relationships between farmers and other supply chain members are well structured. Providing meaningful feedback on market needs is crucial to establishing and sustaining demand-focused supply chains.
Chapter 5 examines how processors, wholesalers, and distributors (post-farm-gate supply chain participants), view the sustainable agriculture industry and its development. It also examines the role processors, wholesalers and distributors currently play, and how they see the future.
Chapter 6 reports consumer trends and profiles. Chapter 7 discusses organic food exports and import indicators and what certifying organization labels are displayed on organic produce sold in stores in Australia. As the reader goes through chapter 8, the report contains organic food in overseas market. Legislative framework and regulations are discussed in chapter 9 and finally chapter talks about government initiatives and assistance.