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Highlighting opportunities for organic in future R&D programs

The IBISWorld ‘Organic Farming in Australia 2020’ Industry Report showed the organic industry was expected to have annualised growth of 14.6%. This growth is a testament to organic producers across Australia but it has also highlighted some areas of concern that need to be addressed as the industry begins to mature. In particular, the industry is facing a lack of clear data for organics, which is affecting how operators can plan, and what data is available for organic operators looking to explore new commercial opportunities.

Horticulture is the largest Australian industry within organics, representing 33% of operations. However, this is not always reflected within R&D industry research projects, with conventional agricultural objectives taking priority.

Australian Organic Limited (AOL) is working towards changing this through engaging with Hort Innovations, a grower-owned NGO working in the research and development sector of the Horticultural Industry.

Hort Innovations released ‘Strategic Investment Plans’ (SIPs) for the future R&D industry priorities in over 20+ different areas of horticulture. These SIPs outline the key priorities for investment in each levy industry.

AOL has reviewed all SIPs and provided comment to Hort Innovations highlighting the need for R&D programs to also be accessible to organic growers; evaluating organic opportunities in the domestic and international market, as well as increased application of organic principles within farm sustainability and soil health, which the organic industry is based on.

SIPs represent an opportunity to develop a clear strategy for investment in organics, and its future growth and establishment as a key industry in Australian agriculture.

Learn more about Hort Innovations Strategic Investment Plans on their website here.