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Dear <<First Name>>,

Despite the steps taken by Australia governments – Federal & State – there is still some doubt that the economy (that is currently hibernating) will emerge from the pandemic full of vigour. The ABC reviewed the economic situation as they saw it a month ago: no SNAP BACK.

Just recently, McKinsey overviewed Australia consumer sentiment and reported that 4 trends are now emerging:
  1. Making ends meet: those who were struggling financially pre-COVID-19 and continue to struggle.
  2. Optimistic but cautious: those who worry about health and the economy but are more secure financially.
  3. Stable and consistent: the highest-income segment, which has experienced a small amount of financial impact but remained relatively stable in mindset and behaviour.
  4. Income in jeopardy: those who have had a significant change in household income as a result of COVID-19, with a fear of it worsening.
In closing, the authors expressed their view as follows:

“The coronavirus, still menacing Australian communities, is now fully infecting the Australian economy and consumption. Retailers and B2C companies must adapt now to this new reality. As we’ve seen, waiting for the impact to show in the mainstream news means you have already waited too long.”

Given that we’re going into the next normal, it was never about SNAP BACK, we need to GET AHEAD.

If you want to GET AHEAD, please read this paper:
Australia’s next normal: The cautious consumer
August 13, 2020 | McKinsey Article

In this week's issue:

Policy

Webinars

Innovation

Business

We still need a bit of comedy nowadays... just be careful what you wish for!


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AFPA - Pacific worker program restart to provide certainty to fresh produce industry

The restart of the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme in addition to a new agriculture workers code was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison following a National Cabinet meeting on Friday 21 August.

State and Territory governments must now ‘opt in’ to restarting the Seasonal Worker program, with quarantine requirements in place to ensure the health and safety of program participants and Australians.

Mobilising Tasmanians to help with seasonal worker demand

At our first webinar, The Other Side identified that Seasonal Labour & Workforce planning was a critical issue arising from the impacts of COVID-19. We then fed this – and other issues – into the ACG COVID-19 along with the EY report.

Minister Barnet has announced an Agricultural Workforce Resilience Package. To read the Minister’s announcement go to here.

For full details on the Harvest Jobs program go to here.

The State Government has established a Harvest Jobs purpose-driven page on their website and I encourage businesses to advertise roles here, people seeking work to view job opportunities here.

Webinar #9: Seasonal Workers and Accommodation

7 September 2020

A must event for growers, planners and accommodation providers
 
At our Webinar on 7 September, we will have a number of Key Speakers discussing this issue from a planning and practical perspective.
 
Heidi Goss from Plan Place along with Luke Brown and Justin Midson from Agri Labour Australia will lead the webinar as a forum for farmers to better understand the challenges of meeting the expectations of Councils, SWP, how Agri Labour has collaborated with the trials being undertaken in the NT, explaining grower expectations and responsibilities, and, how best for farmers to navigate the border issues around workers needing to self-isolate for 14-days.
 
TOS participants are automatically invited. Otherwise, register now by contacting Ian Locke.

Demystifying Dumping – A guide for Australian Exporters

26 August 2020, 1-2pm

Both Canada (gluten) and China (wine) have recently commenced dumping investigations against Australian exports. As global trade tensions rise, it is important for Australian exporters to understand what is dumping, when dumping duties can be imposed and what can be done to improve your position.

Russell Wiese is the head of Hunt & Hunt Lawyers' Customs and Global Trade team. He has significant experience in assisting exporters and importers with dumping investigations.

The webinar will cover:
  1. What is dumping
  2. When can dumping duties be imposed
  3. How to respond to the Chinese wine investigation
  4. Managing the risk that dumping duties may be imposed
This webinar is open to all of industry and will be of particular interest to Australian exporters and their logistics service providers. Register here.

Understanding export supply chain logistics, matching production and export aspirations with airfreight capacity

This report – published by Hort Innovation – addresses the topic of restricted access to airfreight and increased airfreight charges through 2020-21 which have potential to impact on horticultural export volumes and divert them to the domestic market — driving down prices. This is especially the case for producers and products with dedicated export supply chains that are reliant on airfreight.
 
The bottom line for this report in terms of profitability or net income for the horticulture sector for 2020-21.
  • The total reduction in profitability on an annual basis across horticulture could be between $250 and $300 million
  • As expected, there is a proportionally larger impact on the fruit category than for vegetables with profitability of fruit growers who are reliant on airfreight falling by a minimum of $263 million or 32.5 per cent.
The total reduction in profitability on an annual basis across horticulture is substantial. As expected, there is a proportionally larger impact on the fruit category than for vegetables especially for those fruit and vegetable growers who are reliant on airfreight to access export markets.

For a copy of the report, contact Ian Locke.

Woolworths announces strategic investment in PFD Food Services

Woolworths Group intends to extend its strategic partnership with PFD Food Services by acquiring a 65% equity interest, with the Smith family retaining 35%. Woolworths Group will also acquire PFD's freehold properties.

Total purchase price for the 65% equity interest and freehold properties of $552 million (excluding net debt). PFD will continue to operate as a standalone business, retain senior leadership team and partner with Woolworths Group to deliver better experiences for customers.

APAL - Seasonal workforce availability: What’s happening in your state

Labour availability is a priority for apple and pear growers nationally, with negotiations to allow Pacific Islands workers entry to the country a key focus of both national and state bodies.

A poll conducted last week by APAL found that 53 per cent of growers are ‘not confident’ of their chances of accessing the labour they require come harvest*.

This week we share APAL updates from southern states (Queensland, Western Australia and NSW updates will be shared in next week).

Australian companies pin survival on disruptive technology

Key Australian findings:
  • The average spend/investment specifically assigned to disruptive technology is about the same as the Global average. The expected growth is slightly higher. 
  • Enterprises in Australia clearly see the importance of technology investment and are spending more than the global average in key areas such AI, blockchain and edge computing.
The biggest issues preventing technology initiatives delivering value in Australia are culture/change issues, the need to build business cases and concerns about the risk of failure.

Introduction to online exporting by Austrade

Selling online — or ‘cross-border e‑commerce’ — presents an ideal opportunity to help your business get started in exporting, grow sales in existing markets, or test products in new markets.

Great retail data here – A must for all Horticulture readers

Harvest to Home is an interactive online dashboard that provides users with up-to-date retail information and consumer trend data on a range of vegetable commodities on a single platform.

All of the data is provided by Nielsen, which collates it through a home scan service, that surveys around 10,000 Australian households.

COVID lays bare financial risks: Financial Consciousness Index

For a third consecutive year, Compare the Market has commissioned its Financial Consciousness Index, which is designed to help us - and others - gain a better understanding of what drives people’s financial behaviours and choices.
 
In particular, it measures whether people are conscious of their ability to alter their financial outcomes, as well as their capability, willingness and ultimately their sophistication to make necessary changes to improve their future financial wellbeing.
 
There has never been a more relevant time to measure people’s belief in their ability to control their financial outcomes, as it is this belief, in conjunction with a person’s financial aptitude that enables them to best cope under difficult economic circumstances.

British horticulture growers prepare for tough harvest

Recently, Fruit Growers Victoria spoke with Jack Ward from the British Growers Association on the challenges of COVID-19, mainly on labour issues that are currently problematic and how it has impacted their harvest season.
 
Full interview with Jack Ward from British Growers Association How did the UK horticulture industry manage harvest labour during COVID-19 in the UK (what were some of the key challenges, how did they get addressed)?

Links to other suggested newsletters

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Tasmanian Fruit & Vegetable Export Facilitation Group acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Country throughout Tasmania and pays respect to their cultures and Elders past, present and emerging.
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