Farm production data in Australia and how to improve future estimates

Overall cost:$15,000

Grant sought:$10,000

Grant awarded:$0

Why this project:
In Australia reliable data have always been difficult to obtain, as no agency (government or otherwise) has regularly and systematically collected and published full sets of data. A market report has been published biannually from 2008, but grave problems were perceived with at least some of the reports.

Project goals:
Reliable data are important for decision making in any industry, including organic agriculture. Good data show, for example, production and prices in the past, which can help producers decide what to grow in the future. Good data can aid input suppliers in decisions about investment in all kinds of goods such as feed for the dairy and poultry industries and services such as marketing, insurance and finance. In addition, public policy requires good data about the size and nature of the industry so that, for example, funding for research and development can be directed to where it is most effective.

Project outcome:
The conclusion of this report was that it is unlikely that the reports examined in this study provide an accurate picture of the organic world in Australia, with implications for calculated growth rates, and with consequences for sensible decision-making.

People involved:
Dr Els Wynen, Eco Landuse Systems, Canberra.

Project completed:
July 2016