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First findings on the future of horticulture

The Australian horticulture industry has released its first discussion paper from Future Focus: the horticulture industry strategic plan, identifying potential drivers of the future of the horticulture industry.

Future Focus, previously known as the Horticulture Industry Strategic Plan (HISP), is the first strategic plan of its kind for horticulture. It will address future challenges and give the entire horticulture industry a strategic path for future growth. Future Focus is being developed collaboratively with all sectors of industry.

Future Focus is a three stage exercise. The findings from a preliminary macro scan of horticulture has shown the most important factors to be considered by the industry will include developing strong export markets, increasing domestic demand and improving productivity.

The water crisis, supply chain competitiveness and labour costs were also identified as topics to be discussed with industry members before finalising the first phase of the strategic plan.

To assist with industry communication, Future Focus has launched an official website, www.futurefocus.org.au to inform industry on the progress of the plan and invite two way feed back. Members can submit feedback via the website.

Future Focus will also collect industry feedback at upcoming wholesalers and exporters workshops. One-on-one meetings will also be held with the Centre for International Economics, who are assisting the horticulture industry in the development of this plan.

“The real power of Future Focus will be its ability to channel the collective efforts of everyone involved in horticulture into one clear direction,” said John Webster, managing director, Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), which is leading the process.

“Future Focus will balance a long term strategy with immediate industry concerns,” Webster added.

“Individual industries will be able to incorporate the findings of Future Focus into their own strategic plans and achieve greater returns from their investments,” he said.

The Future Focus plan will encompass all members of the horticulture industry, including fruit, vegetables, nuts, nursery and turf. This also includes the entire supply chain.

Future Focus progress reports will be posted on the website, which will be the central location for all communication on the strategic plan. Visitors to the site will have the opportunity to subscribe to e-news updates and submit questions to the Future Focus team.

It will take the horticulture industry 18 months to complete the Future Focus plan. The final report will be released in November 2008 at an industry summit prior to the HAL annual general meeting.



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