Accreditation scheme to separate wheat from chaff in KI agriculture

2018 CROP: Kangaroo Island farmers produced a bumper crop of barley in 2018. File photo
2018 CROP: Kangaroo Island farmers produced a bumper crop of barley in 2018. File photo

Exploring accreditation and stewardship schemes from the Future Proofing Agriculture on KI Project could give KI’s agriculture producers an edge when it comes to meeting changing consumer demands.

The Future Proofing Agriculture on Kangaroo Island Project, supported by the KI NRM Board through funding from the Federal Government’s National Landcare Program, aims to help farmers adapt to changing consumer preferences and deal with a changing climate.

This new element, accreditation and stewardships, seeks to recognise the exemplary practises of many agricultural producers on KI and draw together best practices to market KI produce to the World.

Agriculture KI chairman Rick Morris said producers on Kangaroo Island had an opportunity to build on their good work.

“Farmers on KI have a long history of managing their properties well as soil carbon levels and other indicators show, this project aims to highlight that existing good stewardship and look at ways to promote and verify them to consumers," Mr Morris said.

“There is an increasing trend among consumers; particularly in premium markets to require independent proof when substantiating claims on products and this is becoming more prevalent as more and more brands and products make these claims.

“Increasing demand from international markets for open and transparent production systems means significant opportunities for a variety of producers on KI looking to promote premium brands or access new premium markets.”

Senior Land Management Consultant at Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA), Lyn Dohle said promotions around paddock to plate or sustainable farming were increasing and were often associated with those premium markets.

“Consumers who feel a connection to production systems and have confidence in those systems are more likely to pay higher prices," Ms Dohle said.

“KI already has some top quality premium market products and must continually seek to improve on the promotion and validation process to maintain consumer confidence and stay ahead of competitors seeking to access those markets.”

Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator at Natural Resources Kangaroo Island (NRKI), Damon Cusack said that if agricultural producers on KI want to remain at the fore of consumer markets we need to continue to build on our core branding.

“We are exploring potential schemes for accreditation and stewardships in order to increase uptake from farmers to the Authentic Kangaroo Island Brand to build and broaden a solid brand for the island," Mr Cusack said.

“This is an opportunity for KI producers to get ahead of the curve and rise to meet changing consumer demand before it affects their back pocket.”

If you want to find out more about the options available make sure to attend the workshop at the NRM Boardroom, 35 Dauncey Street on Tuesday, April 2.

Contact damon.cusack@sa.gov.au for more information and to register.

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