Seafood CRC: setting directions for the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA) - development of a strategic RD&E Plan for the Industry.
Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA)
Chris E. Calogeras
This project is critical for the future of the ABFA. As the industry moves to a self funded RD&E model based on industry contributions, the development of an agreed and strategic approach to investing industry funds must be undertaken to achieve the greatest return on investment to industry. This cannot be achieved unless there is an inclusive and wide ranging canvassing of ABFA RD&E needs across the diverse operations within the industry. The ABFA does not have resources within its reserves to carry out this project and as such it relies solely on its residual CRC funds to undertake the project.
1. Development of a whole of industry Strategic RD&E Plan
2. A process for managing, updating and resourcing the Strategic RD&E Plan
The Australian Barramundi farming industry has seen constant growth in production and price over the last 10 years, but the industry is facing threats from a number of sources. The Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA), which represents the vast majority of producers and over 85% of farm production, has taken a leading role in seeking to address these threats. To maintain viability, and increase growth and profitability, an industry developed, endorsed and resourced, program based, Strategic and RD&E Plan was required to provide the ABFA with clear direction on where to focus resources and investment.
An inclusive face to face interview process was undertaken, liaising with all ABFA members to gather key industry issues across the diverse industry membership (regional and production system). This process allowed all members to equally contribute to the plan’s development. These industry issues were workshopped through a series of Industry meetings, and distilled into priority industry needs. These were developed into seven industry Goals and associated Strategies, and the resourcing required to address those goals across the industry’s regional and production methodology diversity was identified.
As a result, the ABFA has already adopted the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association Strategic and Research, Development and Extension Plan - 2015–2020, which provides clear and formalised guidance on ABFA's activities. The focussed and strategic program based approach means the ABFA is much better positioned to optimise its financial and human resources through a structured RD&E program, complimented by a coordinated extension program.