Primary Producers Prepare For Bumpy Road To Recovery

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND - While the improving global economy is expected to have a positive impact on most agricultural sectors, primary producers will need to manage their operations in a potentially volatile marketplace, according to Rabobank‘s group executive country banking Neil Dobbin.
calendar icon 1 March 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Speaking at the opening of applications for this year‘s Rabobank Executive Development Programme (EDP), Mr Dobbin said while the global economy is in recovery, it is expected to be a bumpy road, which will bring with it a period of commodity price volatility.

A key focus for this year‘s Rabobank Executive Development Programme (EDP) will be to equip producers with a range of commercial management tools to help them cope with the increasingly unpredictable nature of agriculture.

"Leading producers understand, more than most, that they need to implement strategies to drive their business forward in this complex and competitive environment," Mr Dobbin said.

Now in its 11th year, the Rabobank Executive Development Programme brings together leading farmers from across New Zealand and Australia and from a range of agricultural sectors to develop and enhance their business management skills.

"Going forward, this commodity price volatility is expected to lead to opportunities and challenges for agriculture in New Zealand and Australia. When it comes to taking advantage of these opportunities, it is important that producers are up-to-date with all the current practices, whether it be for markets, finances, business strategy or human resources," Mr Dobbin said.

EDP manager Skye Ward says that this year, more than ever, the programME is focused on ensuring that attendees are exposed to the very latest in business management theories—as they apply to agriculture—that can assist them with taking their business to the next level.

"The producers that attend the EDP are at the forefront of their industries and already have extensive management experience, so we have to ensure that the program exposes them to new information and innovative skills that most people would not have access to," she says.

"With the EDP likened to a mini MBA but focussed directly at agricultural producers, it is ideal for men and women who want to enhance their farm business performance, but are unable to devote months on end to study."

The programme runs across two intensive week-long residential modules held approximately ten months apart and introduces participants to the latest practices in business management, leadership, strategy, finance, human resources, value chain management and marketing, and how these can be directly applied to their farm businesses.

Mr Dobbin says there are plenty of great examples of producers who have used the EDP to look take an overall view of how their business compares and where they sit on a national and international scale.

"Just taking that little bit of time out of the day-to-day running of the business to look at the bigger picture and the direction you would like to take, can have a huge impact on producers, sometimes in ways they did not expect," he says.

"The face of agriculture is rapidly changing and attending the Executive Development Programme is one way to ensure that you remain in front of that change, and able to take advantage of the effect it might have on your business."

Applications for Rabobank‘s 2010 Executive Development Programme are open until 28 May 2010 and only 36 applicants will be accepted from across a range of commodities and geographical locations in Australia and New Zealand. The first module runs from 22-27 August in Sydney, with the second module taking place in July of next year.

Producers that would like an application form or any further information on the Rabobank EDP are encouraged to contact Skye Ward. Phone: +61 2 8115 4139 Email: [email protected] or Visit:  

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