Article by: Hari Yellina
Producers have been guaranteed more transparency in the supply chain, with national funding supporting the initiative. The federal government has pledged $1.75 million to help the business boost market openness and bargaining leverage. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences has received funding, as has an industry consortium managed by Fresh Markets Australia. Under the government’s $5.94 million programme to promote market transparency throughout perishable agricultural goods supply chains, FMA will receive a $653,950 award. The funds will go toward the development and implementation of FreshData, a web-based tool that delivers verifiable, regularly updated market data for all fresh fruits and vegetables.
Growers will be able to acquire daily market information on the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as the number of market sales, online within 24 hours. It was a practical example of addressing price transparency in perishable agricultural goods supply chains, according to then-Minister of Agriculture David Littleproud. “The more perishable your commodities are, the weaker your bargaining position becomes,” Mr Littleproud explained. “Australian horticulture produces some of the world’s greatest fruit, and it’s critical that our growers receive a fair market price.” The initiative will study, design, pilot, and execute a verified market price reporting scheme, according to FMA general manager Gail Woods.
FreshData will be available online, overlaying historical weather and other data to allow the horticultural supply chain to measure whether prices received are competitive and to send pricing signals to interpret if there is an under or oversupply of produce, according to Ms Woods. “The project’s goal is to equip growers with information to help them make decisions about future supply capacity investments.” ABARES will undertake a representative survey of apple and pear growers in order to provide a thorough picture of farm performance, with the results being published on the ABARES website. The study will be funded with $1 million from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s existing funds.
“This work will enable a timely disclosure of cost of production, production margins, and overall industry profitability,” Mr Littleproud said, adding that “transparency will assist all sides in striking a fair contract.” “Knowing an industry’s cost of production is critical to determining if growers are compensated fairly in the marketplace.” Jeremy Griffith, head of government relations and advocacy at Apple and Pear Australia Limited, said the organisation was glad the federal government recognised growers were not receiving a fair price for their apples and pears. Mr Griffith added, “It’s been one of the hardest seasons on record, and producers aren’t able to meet their basic expenditures.” “Undertaking a cost of production study, will help buyers and consumers better understand the true cost of production and hopefully assist in ensuring sustainable long-term pricing.”