The Fearne Report: Sustainable Food and Wine Value Chains – Opportunity or Imperative for Australian Agrifood and Wine?
Released in September 2009, Sustainable Food and Wine Value Chains is the final report of a 12 month residency in South Australia by Adelaide’s 14th Thinker in Residence, Professor Andrew Fearne. The paper overviews the residency journey and its outcomes, including a value chain research report, Vine to Dine; local food and wine enterprise/chain case studies, and the final report and its recommendations. Supply chains and value chains are differentiated as a basis for building value chain capacity; the attributes of some local case studies of businesses in the value chain paradigm are discussed and reference is made to the private and public benefits of value chain research. The case for state and national agri-food and wine industry development, strategic planning and policy to more fully embrace value chain principles is presented. Impediments to implementation of a national lamb industry chain project exemplify that change is needed, even for an investigation of the benefits of whole-of- chain focus on food by industry and government to occur. The gap between the Federal Minister for Agriculture’s views about food policy and the chain demarcation policies of farmer levy contributed research and development corporations suggests that these are issues which need to be addressed in the Minister’s initiation of a Productivity Commission inquiry into Rural Research and Development Corporations.