Latest issue of the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
Introduction to the Special Issue on agricultural supply chains in regional Australia.
Page Number - 209
MODELS OF HORIZONTAL COLLABORATION IN AGRI-FOOD EXPORT SUPPLY CHAIN: THE CASE OF QUEENSLAND’S MANGO INDUSTRY
The horticulture sector in Queensland, Australia, is highly diverse, producing tropical fruits, citrus, vegetables and nuts. However, domestic demand for many horticulture products is saturated in peak seasons, leading to a low farmgate price. Therefore, the export of high-value horticulture products to Asia may offer producers market diversification, which could contribute to the future growth of horticulture industries in Queensland. Yet, in situations where there are large numbers of small- and medium-scale producers, it is unclear how this could be achieved since supply consolidation is needed for product export. Hence, this study aims to assess which entities and links within the export supply chain are considered as important by stakeholders of Queensland’s mango industry and to identify forms of potential horizontal collaborations between mango producers. This study uses a qualitative research approach consisting of a stakeholder workshop which was designed based on a literature review and face-to-face scoping interviews with mango industry stakeholders. The study found that while there are already discrete collaborations existing among mango farmers in some regions of Queensland, cross-regional horizontal collaboration supported by producers, grading and packaging shed owners and wholesalers can improve the export supply chain. Factors identified as affecting the potential success of horizontal collaboration in export include product quality, access to market information, risk-sharing among supply chain actors, leadership, and management skills. However, improved vertical coordination or supply chain integration may also be required to increase the effectiveness of horizontal collaborations.
Delwar Akbar, Azad Rahman, John Rolfe, Susan Kinnear, Peggy Schrobback and Surya Bhattarai
Page Number - 211
RE-THINKING AGRICULTURAL SUPPLY CHAINS IN NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
Realizing the potential for growth and capitalizing on opportunities for Northern Australia requires effective supply chain networks. Agriculture is an important sector in the Northern Australian economy with significant production capabilities and the potential for creating national economic benefits. Northern Australia’s fundamental supply chain deficiency constitutes the key source of comparative disadvantage the region faces, despite its significant resources, people and locational advantages. Drawing on reviews of several previous studies, critical analysis of the current value chain situations and consultations with key stakeholders, this article argues that there is a need to re-thinking agricultural supply chains in Northern Australia. Several issues impeding the connectivity between production and market require systematic consideration, including the priorities for Northern agricultural development, integrated supply chain planning, workforce shortages and skills gaps, supply chain infrastructure, capitalizing on Asian market opportunities, transport and non-freight subsidies, east-west and north-south supply chain hubs and improved coordination and collaboration. Corona Virus Disease-2019 has had serious impacts across the supply chains; therefore, re-thinking supply chains is crucial as the business as usual approach is not sustainable. It is now a critical time to re-think supply chains to address the challenges of developing effective and resilient Northern supply chains to enhance agricultural expansion and boost the national economy.
Hurriyet Babacan and Jennifer McHugh
Page Number - 239
NEW DIRECTIONS FOR FACILITATING QUALITY AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN NORTHERN QUEENSLAND
There are major opportunities for growing the value of agriculture in northern Queensland. The agricultural development industry, agricultural investors and the wider community, however, have communicated their frustration with the processes for the prioritising, planning, assessing and approval of new development. For agricultural developers, a clear and low-risk pipeline of new and sustainable agricultural opportunity progressing towards investment is not readily accessible. Equally, a recent audit and review of the operation of the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act suggests that current regulatory arrangements also might not be adequately protecting environmental values. Both development and community interests have raised specific concerns about impediments to new investment and the achievement of sustainable agricultural development in northern Queensland. This research project explores these known but complex problems, but finds that the overall system of prioritising, planning, assessing, approving and monitoring compliance in northern Queensland can’t be described as fundamentally broken. The research does, however, find that to achieve investment and sustainable agricultural outcomes, significant effort is needed to address key dilemmas. While water development only represents a part of the agricultural development story, the research optimistically suggests that the visionary development of sustainable agriculture in northern Queensland will contribute to national water security. Water security will also be crucial to building economic resilience post-pandemic and in the wake of structural change in the state’s resources sector. With innovative approaches, agricultural, environmental and Indigenous interests in development can be reconciled. Without the resolution of these issues, however, further investment in positive, private sector-led agricultural development will continue to face procedural inefficiencies, conflict and investment uncertainty.
Allan Dale and Amber Marshall
Page Number - 269
BUILDING SUPPLY CHAIN CAPACITY BETWEEN URBAN AND REGIONAL AUSTRALIA THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF INLAND RAIL: LESSONS FROM ABROAD
The primary conduit for agricultural supply chain development throughout the eastern states of Australia has traditionally been via road. The development and delivery of the Inland Rail, due to commence in 2025, will provide a critical new infrastructure that will improve agricultural supply between major ports and regional hubs in those states. It will be a supplementary mode to roads throughout the eastern states, including northern Queensland, an innovative infrastructure approach that is similar to those that have been embraced across Asia and Europe. This paper examines the typical options, rationale, benefits for the development and delivery of Inland Rail infrastructure projects using Hong Kong as a case study, where interviews were conducted with the Mass Transit Rail Corporation (MTRC). This provided the rationale and insights for the framework used in this study to enhance regional development and the development of value capture options. This paper further sets out how value capture may be applied in the context of current Inland Rail development through Parkes in New South Wales and the rationale for potentially expanding the Inland Rail through to Northern Queensland to open regional markets.
Page Number - 293
ASSESSING THE VIABILITY OF DEVELOPING AIR-FREIGHT FACILITY IN REGIONAL QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA FOR EXPORTING PERISHABLE AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES TO THE ASIAN MARKETS
A major challenge in the agricultural supply chain in northern Australia is the lack of adequate air-freight facilities for transporting perishable commodities to both domestic and international markets. This paper examines the viability of developing air-freight facilities in northern Australia for exporting agricultural produce. Central Queensland (CQ), a predominantly agricultural region in northern Australia, is used as an example to investigate the future prospect of developing an air-freight facility to export perishable agriculture commodities. This research utilized a mixed methodology consisting of a literature review, a stakeholder workshop, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis. One of the key findings of the study is that the development of a stand-alone air transport hub is not possible in the CQ region due to some potential issues, including the risk of inconsistent supply, lack of locally based processing and packaging centres, and lack of enabling supply chain infrastructure. However, an air-freight facility supported by cold storage and processing facilities could be a viable option if the system is connected with any major air transport hub. As Queensland is very decentralized, several air-freight facility developments closer to intensive production regions would improve the current supply chain of exporting perishable agricultural commodities from regional Queensland to Asian countries.
Azad Rahman, Delwar Akbar and John Rolfe
Page Number - 323
THE PROSPECT OF DEVELOPING SESAME INDUSTRY IN NORTHERN AUSTRALIA THROUGH ANALYSING MARKET OPPORTUNITY
Sesame is an ancient oilseed crop mainly grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Historically, most sesame production was concentrated to tropical and sub-tropical Asian countries, but recently the production has been shifting from Asia to African countries because of increasing global demand. There is a further possibility of shifting the production in Northern Australia because of land availability and favourable climatic conditions. Australia imports 90 per cent of sesame consumed. There is potential for import substitution and development of export markets by producing sesame in the vast tropical and subtropical regions of Northern Australia. This paper aims to identify the prospect of developing a sesame industry in Northern Australia by analysing global supply and demand and market opportunities. This research utilised a mixed methodology consisting of a quantitative analysis of global demand prediction and a critical review of literature and information to identify potential market opportunities. This study predicted that global production of sesame would be increased by 67 per cent by the year 2040, while the demand could double over the same period leading to a higher price for sesame. This study identified sesame as a high-value crop compared to the crops that are currently grown in Northern Australia. In addition, Northern Australia is close to international markets and has the capability of commercial-scale production and processing of sesame due to the access to suitable land and availability of genetically adapted and drought-tolerant crops for rainfed production. The regional economy of Northern Australia would be better off by commercial production of sesame considering high global demand and high international market price.
Azad Rahman, Delwar Akbar, Tieneke Trotter, Michael Thomson, Sanjaya Timilsina and Surya Bhattarai
Page Number - 347
AN AGRI-FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK: APPLICATION TO QUEENSLAND CASE STUDIES
The purpose of this study is to develop a supply chain assessment framework that can be used to describe and analyse agri-food supply chains at an industry level in a systematic manner. This will facilitate comparison and classification between different supply chains. The framework is developed based on a literature review and is demonstrated with two agri-food supply chains (i.e. beef and grain) in Queensland, Australia. Using the developed framework, description, comparison and classification of two supply chains are undertaken. Issues and opportunities within and across these distribution networks are identified. The framework is an instrument that can assist in deriving information for decision making that aims at improving the efficiency and resilience of food distribution systems on an industry scale. It can help identify the growth prospects of agri-food industries in regional Australia and elsewhere.
Peggy Schrobback, John Rolfe and Megan Star
Page Number - 379