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Masterclass in Horticultural Business

10 months (8 modules each of 5 weeks)

Flexible online delivery

February 2019

Become a leader in the Australian Horticulture industry

Take your career to the next level with our Masterclass in Horticultural Business.

Offered through flexible online delivery, you’ll gain practical management and leadership skills that you can apply to your business from day one.

There are industry-supported scholarships up for grabs, each worth $10,000.

About the Masterclass

This Masterclass is specifically designed for the upcoming leaders in the horticulture industry. You will gain leadership and management skills that will enable you to take your career to the next level.

You will interact with people who understand your business and who face the same challenges. Enrolments will be limited, which means students can build high quality networks that will continue after the Masterclass is completed.

What you’ll learn today, will add value to your company tomorrow
During the program you will develop a strategic plan for your own company. By doing this, you will not only gain the latest academic insights, but you will immediately translate these into practical actions can be applied to your business.

Learn from global leaders
The Masterclass in Horticultural Business is the first of its kind in Australia for the horticulture industry.

The Masterclass has been developed in partnership with international leaders in Horticulture – Horticulture Innovation Australia, Wageningen Academy and Lincoln University, to ensure it best meets industry needs.

Who is the Masterclass for?

The Masterclass in Horticultural Business is specifically designed for upcoming leaders in the horticulture industry. The Masterclass would suit you if:

  • You have experience in the sector and want to take your career to the next level.
  • You recognise the urgency for change and growth in the sector and want to contribute to this by developing your own knowledge and practical skills.
  • You want practical knowledge that will help you further develop your business or the horticulture industry.
  • You are willing to reflect critically on your own company and/or on sector developments.

What to expect

The Masterclass has been designed so that participants not only gain knowledge, but also gain business skills that can immediately be put into practice.

Through the variety of different learning methods, the Masterclass has the value of a supervised consultancy project.

The course is offered through flexible online delivery, with three face to face intensives. There will be eight modules:

In this unit you will be introduced to a range of Australian horticultural systems, including products, regions, business models and markets. You will also be introduced to key management techniques and, through practical exercises, apply these to the management of human and physical resource needs and to financial resources and budget planning. There will be a focus on budgeting for improved decision-making through use of gross margin analysis techniques which would apply to your particular business.

You will develop plans that enable you to set goals and implement actions for self-development.

Human capital is regarded as the most important component of successful businesses. Managing and leading staff and other stakeholders requires good communication and interpersonal skills. A key challenge in horticulture is the seasonality of labour and a multicultural workforce. Laws and statutes govern farm labour in Australia and knowledge of these regulations is required.

In this module we explore the organisation of labour in horticulture, including planning farm labour requirements, sourcing labour, laws and statutes affecting labour in Australia and factors affecting labour productivity. We also cover managing human capital, including recruitment, performance management of the team, conflict resolution and change management.

A company’s success today depends not only on its own excellence in its core activities, but to a huge extent also on how it is embedded in the wider value chain. Understanding the structure and processes within value chains is the first step to value generation. Facilitating collaboration and co-innovation through communication and enabling technologies is key to value chain management.

Value chains are global. This module introduces the concept of value chains and management in practice. Through the use of case studies, this module demonstrates how focussing on value can benefit all stakeholders in a producer-to-consumer chain and explores the enablers of, and barriers to, successful supply and value chain management. It includes an understanding of logistics and the physical distribution of goods from one link in the value chain to another to lead to a smaller carbon footprint, less waste and lower costs.

This module focusses on sound financial management, including compliance with legal requirements of horticultural businesses. This incorporates an understanding of performance indicators, and how to identify potential business risks and strategically planning for growth.

Some of the topics covered include business structure, managerial and financial reporting as well as taxation and off-farm investment. Legal Issues in Horticulture are also explored including the Horticultural Code of Conduct, company law, contract law, Trade Practices Act, food safety, quarantine standards and succession planning.

This module provides an introduction to strategic use of contemporary marketing and communication tools, such as social media, in horticulture. This includes an understanding of the trends in customer and consumer preferences, market segmentation, branding and portfolios.

Topics include: Marketing, exchange and value, market and customer orientation, segmentation, marketing in practice, planning and research strategy and price determination for horticultural products in Australia.

Topics include: Personal communication, communicating effectively in meetings, pros and cons of communication technologies, developing a simple communication plan, working with the media, writing media releases, issue management and social media.

In this module the international trends in the political, cultural and regulatory environment and their impact on horticultural businesses will be explored. The importance of trade agreements and how they affect export opportunities and how to mitigate risks when engaging with international markets in horticulture will be considered.

Innovation is essential in business – not only radical, disruptive innovations, but also incremental innovations that improve your business processes. This module will outline the characteristics of entrepreneurship that can be adopted to recognise and act on business opportunities. It incorporates an understanding of how to protect and capitalise on intellectual property.

This module will provide insights into understanding internal and external evaluations for positioning a horticultural enterprise. Tools such as PESTEL and SWOT analyses will be used to analyse and monitor the external marketing environment that impact on an enterprise. The benefits of a clear mission, vision and strategic plan in business and how to effectively develop and communicate these will be considered.

Study Period Date
Term 1 Starts (Modules 1 and 2) 11 February 2019
Term 1 Ends 14 April 2019
Term 2 Starts (Modules 3 and 4) 29 April 2019
Term 2 Ends 30 June 2019
Term 3 Starts (Modules 5 and 6) 15 July 2019
Term 3 Ends  15 September 2019
Term 4 Starts (Modules 7 and 8) 30 September 2019
Term 4 Ends 1  December 2019

The Face to face intensives will be held at the start, middle and end of the course in February, June/July and late November/early December (dates to be announced).

How to apply

Applications for 2019 open in June 2018. Scholarship opportunities for 2019 will be advertised on this website and externally as they become know. Expressions of interest are taken at any time. Please contact to find out more.

More information

Want to know more? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact us at

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