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Land and Environment : Agribusiness Assoc. of Australia

Agribusiness Perspectives Papers 2003

Franklins Ltd: The development of value chain relationships in a fresh produce category

Anthony J. Dunne
Reader in Agribusiness, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland and Michael O'Keeffe, (at the time of writing the National Manager Fresh Produce at Franklins)
Paper 55, February 12th, 2003
PDF Version 56 Kb


This case describes the opportunities and dilemmas faced by managers of agribusiness firms as they contemplate forming a strategic alliance in a fresh produce category. It challenges each of the managers to evaluate their own 'readiness to partner' and to define their expectations of their prospective partners.

The case highlights that the success of strategy alliances is closely linked to how complementary the firms are in terms of culture strategy and structure. Although Franklins supermarkets no longer exist in Australia, the principles of supply chain partnerships outlined in this case are still valid. In 2002, The Mulgowie Farming Company was named Woolworths Supply of the Year

Collaborative Groups: Themes for Success and the Role of Universities

David Trechter, Agricultural Economics and Regional Development Institute, University of Wisconsin--River Falls, River Falls, WI, US & Roy Murray-Prior, Muresk Institute of Agriculture, Curtin University of Technology, Northam, WA, 6401, Australia
Paper 56, February 28th, 2003
PDF Version 83 Kb


The development of supply chains in agriculture has resulted in improved efficiencies and greater returns but the distribution of benefits within the chain is just beginning to be considered. Farmers, because they are perfectly competitive firms, face particular challenges in dealing with supply chains, which are otherwise composed of oligopolistic firms. In order to secure an equitable distribution of benefits from a supply chain, farmers will have to form some sort of group (e.g. a cooperative). Cooperatives, however, have a number of well-documented shortcomings as an institutional form. This paper identifies factors associated with the successful formation of collaborative groups drawing on experiences in Australia and the United States. Key success factors common to both countries include strong leadership, planning, the development of effective standard operating procedures, the creation and sustenance of social capital, and the availability of outside assistance. An agenda for research and outreach by universities and others is proposed.

The Policy Slide

David Trebeck
ACIL Consulting, Managing Director, Canberra office, ACIL House, 103-105 Northbourne Ave, Canberra, ACT 2601 Email:
Paper 57, April 10th, 2003
PDF Version 45 Kb


Earlier this month (March 2003) in Canberra, the head of the Agricultural Directorate of the OECD, Dr Stefan Tangermann, listened to an extraordinary debate. So much so that he thought he was either suffering from acute jet lag, or was on another planet. The occasion was a private luncheon during the Outlook Conference.
In a free-wheeling discussion, those present were giving their views on what everyone hoped would be post-drought recovery and what was needed to hasten it. There was a range of opinion about how rapid the recovery might be, but virtual unanimity that recovery would be facilitated the more governments got out of the way. To a European, such attitudes were breathtaking; later Dr Tangermann told me he found the discussion inspiring. This is one of world agriculture’s leading advocates for sensible policy and freer trade — a valuable ally of Australia. I think we can safely say that the cost of his invitation was well and truly recouped.

Pathways to Profitability for Small and Medium Wineries

David Trebeck
ACIL Consulting, Managing Director, Canberra office, ACIL House, 103-105 Northbourne Ave, Canberra, ACT 2601
Paper 58, April 10th, 2003
PDF Version 43 Kb


In this speech I will outline some of the findings of ACIL’s recent review of small and medium wineries, which has just been launched by the Minister. In doing so, I will try to avoid the topics of later papers today — especially financial performance and supply issues — although both

What Price Animal Health - And Whose Problem is it Anyway?

Bill Malcolm
Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne
Paper 59, May 2nd, 2003
PDF Version 75 Kb


The existence of diseases of agricultural animals impose costs on communities, either as costs of the disease or as costs of avoiding the costs of the disease. In this paper, the focus is on economic ways of thinking about the health of agricultural animals. In part one, the essence of economic approaches to analysis of problems is outlined. Then in part two a common method of analysing the costs and benefits of reducing or preventing agricultural animal disease is shown, and the flaws highlighted. In part three useful economic ways of thinking about the costs and benefits associated with animal disease and its prevention and reduction are explained.

Managing Herbicide Resistance: The Role of Extension

Christos A. Damalas
Research Agronomist, Laboratory of Agronomy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki 541 24, Thessaloniki, Greece -
Paper 60, May 26th, 2003
PDF Version 42 Kb


The rapid evolution of herbicide resistance poses a significant threat for conventional agricultural practices. In practice, herbicide resistance seems to be a very complicated problem to deal with. Extension can play a significant role in managing herbicide resistance educating farmers on the main advantages and disadvantages of the available methods aiming to control and minimize herbicide resistance.
This could be achieved by redirecting the educational efforts more towards the principles of weed biology and integrated weed management, teaching farmers how to learn, paying attention to the basic prerequisites for the new control methods and providing precise information about the economic usefulness of each proposed method.

The internationalisation of agricultural co-operatives: critical factors in development

Ignacio Donoso, Romuald Rudzki, Nicola Shadbolt and William Bailey
Massey University, New Zealand
Paper 61, July 16th, 2003
PDF Version 83 Kb


Internationalisation of agricultural co-operatives is a worldwide trend and has been identified by several studies as one of the key challenges co-operatives are currently facing. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review of the internationalisation of agricultural co-operatives globally, including the identification of the critical factors in their development. Starting with a review of the traditional definition of co-operatives and their unique characteristics, the paper explores the emergence of new co-operative models, reasons for internationalisation as well as the barriers to it, forms of internationalisation adopted by co-operatives, and potential conflicts that can arise. The paper goes on with a new descriptive model for determining internationalisation of co-operatives. Finally, using the mentioned model, the paper includes case studies of two New Zealand co-operatives: Fonterra, a pure co-operative in the dairy industry and Zespri, a co-operative hybrid in the kiwifruit industry, and their internationalisation situation.

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