Consultations indicated that the industry leadership should proceed quickly to implement a new properly constituted peak body—so the industry can make progress on a multitude of policy and commercial opportunities.
It would be possible to establish a new peak body by 30 June 2018, but this would require a strong commitment from all industry leaders, seed funding and tight project management.
In addition to progressing the formation of a new peak body, the roadmap takes account of the review of arrangements under the Export Control Act and the delivery of the export market access project.
Consultations indicated that the industry leadership should proceed quickly to implement a new properly constituted peak body, so that the industry can make progress on a multitude of policy and commercial opportunities.
It would be possible to establish a new peak body by 30 June 2018, but this would require a strong commitment from all industry leaders and sufficient seed funding.
The project was tasked with designing a process for engaging the organic industry in further stages, including possible consultations, intended to conceptually design a peak body. This included consideration of an industry summit. There may be merit in considering an industry wide, open invitation summit sometime during 2018, depending on how this report is received by key actors and the rate of progress in the various steps proposed after this current project.
Planning for the establishment of a peak body can be defined as a process of organisational design involving numerous sequential steps that would provide clarity for those involved. This project has provided an opportunity for testing support and thinking about key directions that will be critical to sorting through the specific issues between now and forming the new body.
Regardless of the timing of the formation we propose the following as the necessary steps to achieve the necessary agreement and constitute the entity:
Step 1—Agree the model
- AOIWG to endorse an option
- appoint project manager
Step 2—Communicate the model to all operators
- multiple communication channels / regional information sessions
- seek nominations for members and the members’ council
- seek seed funding
Step 3—Formulate a formal proposal
- finalise constitution
- agree functions and resourcing
- agree financial model / threshold for proceeding
Step 4— Seek support for the model
- ask for financial pledges / membership
- elect a member council
- legal steps to establish the peak body
- member council appoints a Board
- Board / member council considers key staff appointments
Step 6—Inaugural industry summit
Regulation Impact Statement—Review of organic export arrangements
The Australian Government is implementing a separate regulation impact assessment of export arrangements for the organic industry. The consultant undertaking that process will need to engage with the organic industry and will likely seek to do that through the AOIWG.
In addition, there will be an expectation that the industry (as represented by the AOIWG) will make a submission to the review. Indeed, it would be extraordinary if the AOIWG did not make a submission. It’s likely the industry submission will need to be submitted by April and, as it may well take some time to develop and agree, so the process should commence before the end of 2017.
Export market project
The industry’s application to the Australian Government to fund a range of export market access activities was partly successful. To take advantage of that offer of funding, the AOIWG will need to develop a project plan for:
- development of a Market Knowledge Report on premium markets for Australian commodities
- delivery of a Market Guide for how the organic industry can differentiate their products in competitive export markets
- analysis of the Market Readiness needs specific to Australian farmers, training and up skilling required and most cost-effective delivery options
These activities must be undertaken in 2017‑18 and will need a consultant to be selected and appointed to undertake that project in a rather compressed timeframe.
The role of the project manager would include:
- managing the peak body process
- developing and analysing options
- conducting information sessions
- developing the constitution and engaging legal advice
- developing detailed functions and staffing requirements
- financial modelling and development of membership fee structure
- managing the recruitment of a CEO
- managing the RIS engagement and developing an industry submission
- secretariat services for the working group
- managing the export market project