The project aims to help pastoral businesses and those further along the supply chain to collaborate to better deliver the specific beef and cattle products required by current and emerging markets.
The project has a
number of elements
that are linked to
the diagram here >
1 – Supply chain awareness. Embedded across the project is the intent to build awareness and trust in supply chain partnerships – represented by the triangle that ‘wraps’ all the other activities together. We will provide opportunities for people in existing or new value chains to:
• build awareness of each other’s position and needs;
• identify what makes for longer-term partnerships that benefit all parties;
• develop and share systems and processes for collecting data on cattle performance and feeding that data along the value chain to the benefit of all partners;
• work towards commitments to meet product specifications defined in real-time by the end user.
These are lofty goals, and we know we’ll need that more than this two-year project for people to build and earn trust, and establish long-term shared opportunities. Nevertheless, the intent to build something that helps set us up for the future is very much within the scope of the project.
There is also a more general goal in supply chain awareness, and that relates to the importance of personal and business relationships, building trust, and being clear in what can be shared and what is confidential. We aim to support opportunities and forums to have practical discussions on these key issues.
2A & B. Business analyses. There is a range of market destinations for WA’s central and southern rangeland-reared cattle. The project provides the opportunity for pastoralists and others closer to market to compare different turn-off and off-take strategies; in other words, build a better understanding of the different potential pathways for different animals, and what makes one pathway more suitable than another for a particular set of circumstances.
The intention is for business analyses that work back from specific markets (‘market pull’) line-up with pastoral business analyses (‘product push’) so we can identify where and when pastoral turn-off can match market requirements. We are not trying to identify a single, best-bet option because circumstances differ for every operator and from year-to-year. But we do intend to identify were opportunities exist for greater participation in value chain partnerships, what needs to happen to make them a reliable option and what concrete benefits can flow to all participants from producer to end user.
3. On-station innovations to meet new opportunities. It’s one thing to identify what the optimal turn-off strategies might be, but often quite another thing to convert it into reality. A pastoral manager has to juggle many things, and knowing where they should invest time and money for the biggest return is not always straightforward. Sometimes, the information or demonstration of a new approach is lacking, and that’s where this project can help.
4. Quantifying cattle performance along different value chains.
The project will provide opportunities to obtain real data on central and southern rangeland-reared cattle that move along different marketing pathways. We’ll work collectively to identify where the need and interest is strong so we don’t take on more than we can achieve in this 2-year project. Data acquisition will allow us to benchmark across different systems, and can include comparisons of: age/weight of animals undergoing transition from phases of the value chain to the next; breeds; production systems; management interventions. We expect that the data we collect in this part of the project will build confidence in what’s possible and help identify where improvements can be made.
The project is being led by the Gascoyne Catchments Group and, at this stage, is partnering with the Murchison Fibre and Produce Association; Meekatharra RBA; Goldfields Nullarbor RBA; Rangelands NRM, Harmony Agriculture and Food Company and Hamersley Agriculture. Additional partners are welcome. A number of people representing business along the supply chain were contacted during the preparation of the submission. Their contributions were valuable and they are being informed of the project status and invited to participate.
This grant is administered through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Agricultural Sciences Research and Development Fund.
Phone: 0408 904 948
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