Understanding Value Chains

The competitiveness of Tasmania's food products is increasingly dependent on how efficiently and effectively we provide Australian and international consumers with superior value through our value chains.

An agrifood value chain is a system of linked production, processing and marketing activities undertaken by businesses committed to efficiently delivering food products that respond to consumer needs while equitably distributing the benefits of doing so in relation to where consumer value is created in the chain.

Value chain management is a strategic issue and:

  1. The challenges are social rather than technical
  2. Require creativity and innovation
  3. Are based on the conditions or relationships between the firms in the chain.

Hence, TIA will have an explicit focus on value chain related research, development and extension (RD&E) through its Value Chain Program which works with TIA Research Centres to:

  1. Create knowledge of value chain innovation principles and actions
  2. Assist stakeholder agribusinesses to develop more sustainable competitive advantages through implementation of insights gained from value-chain analyses
  3. Build TIA's research capacity and reputation in the value chain field.

The Value Chain Program supports TIA's research Centres and projects by providing an integrated analysis of the whole production and marketing systems – from on-farm production to retailing and consumption.

Agrifood value chain research requires researchers from many different disciplines, so the program involves not only world's best practice in production but an understanding of all components of the value chain: the efficiency of product logistics, communication and the way chains are governed and managed. So while TIA has its own value chain specialists we also collaborate with other UTAS departments through the Australasian Agrifood Value Chain Research Group.

This Group employs integrated research teams from agriculture, food microbiology, aquaculture, economics, marketing, innovation, value chain management and logistics to investigate the complex problems of under-performing or developing new value chains. This enables the Group to draw on over 200 researchers across the University.

The breadth and depth of the Agrifood Value Chain Research Group's capability enables it to provide integrated, multi-disciplinary, entrepreneurial solutions for agrifood production and marketing for whole food and fibre value chain systems.

This makes the Australasian Agrifood Value Chain Research Group unique in Australia and one of very few similar research groups in the world.

For more information on the Understanding Value Chains Program, please contact Laurie Bonney.