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Australian Agribusiness Review

Volume 3 - Number 2 - 1995

ISSN 1442-6951

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Paper 1

Challenges in food retailing: the Woolworths perspective

Reg Clairs

The main focus of this paper is on how Woolworths has successfully met the challenges to food retailing resulting from changing consumer preferences in Australia.

Paper 2

Raw material supply for McDonald's expanding South-East Asian market: Have we the capacity?

Steven Jermyn

In the time it will take you to read this paper, more than one million people around the world will have eaten at McDonalds. It would take one whole day for that many people to eat at McDonald's in Australia.
Driven by the key strategies of quality, service, cleanliness, and value, McDonald's has achieved international success and growth, with more than 15 000 restaurants operating around the world in 80 countries, including nearly 500 stores in Australia.
McDonald's growth is fuelled by a number of factors including marketing, store development, convenience, customer service, value and more.

Paper 3

Developing advanced seed potato technology: the case of Technico P\L

Ben Dowling

Examined in this article are the issues affecting the development of advanced seed potato technology. Potatoes are the world's fourth largest crop after wheat, rice and maize with annual production valued at US$1 Go billion. The potato is a staple food commodity in many countries, providing valuable nutritional benefits. Processed potato products, such as chips and crisps, are widely used as 'fast food' and snack foods', respectively.
The potato is prone to more than one hundred diseases caused either by bacteria, fungi, viruses or microplasmas. Since potatoes are usually grown from tubers rather than botanical seed, the seed tuber often provides the major source of disease infection. Therefore, the disease status of a crop often reflects the spectrum of diseases carried by the seed tubers to produce it.
The seed potato industry is by far the world's largest seed industry in terms of value and volume of seed produced annually. There is a worldwide shortage of quality seed potatoes, leading to reduced crop yields and poor tuber quality in many countries. The subsequent potato production limitations are hindering fresh and processed potato industry expansion in many countries.

Paper 4

Agribusiness education: where is the learning?

Jock Fletcher

Education, learning, knowledge and process are topics of regular and substantial debates. As a continuation of some of these themes, the eighth annual conference of the Agribusiness Association of Australia and New Zealand met in Orange, in the Central West of New South Wales, from the 17-20 September 1995. The conference included an Agribusiness Education Workshop and an agribusiness education hypothetical, which raised a number of questions about learning. Both the Workshop and the hypothetical became devices for highlighting the need for deeper understanding, rather than defending the status quo. In other words, some enlightenment about agribusiness education is considered necessary and possible.

Paper 5

Business risks from food poisoning in food processing: the Garibaldi case

Sylvia Kriven

Workers at the Garibaldi Smallgoods factory had seen it before. Company director and man-in-charge of production, Mr Luciano Marchi, was on the rampage. Through the factory floor, checking boning bins and equipment, chiding workers if they were unhygienic or wasteful; he was feared but he was respected and in some cases, liked.
He had plenty to do. The place was humming. Not as much as in previous years when workers had plenty of overtime and the economy was moving; or when his co-founding partner Mr Mario Vallorani worked regularly, before he became ill. But there were plenty of orders from supermarket chains, pizza franchises and small, continental delicatessens, stocking up on metwursts and salamis and smallgoods for Christmas last year.

Paper 6

Wintulichs Pty. Ltd. and marketing environmental disturbance: The 'Garibaldi effect'

David Pointon

One child died and many children and some adults were admitted to hospital as a result of the presence of escherichia Coli (E. Coli) in some small goods products produced in South Australia, allegedly by Garibaldi Smallgoods Pty. Ltd., a company not related to Wintulichs Pty. Ltd., but competing in the same market. Although Wintulichs Pty. Ltd. adopts a quality raw material purchasing and production process, this incident had a devastating impact on the company and the industry as a whole. Metwurst sales had fallen to less than ten per cent of the level achieved before the E. Coli incident. This incident illustrates that irrespective of how a company structures its marketing plan, how well established it is, or how well it complies with public health regulations, changing, uncertain and unpredictable environmental factors can profoundly affect a company's performance. This paper reviews the effect of this marketing environmental disturbance on Wintulichs Pty. Ltd.

Paper 7

Prospects for the commercial use of trans genic plants: attitudes of crop protection professionals

John Foster and Sue Ghonim

Several biotechnological products will provide near- term opportunities for Australian agribusiness. These include transgenic plants, which have been genetically modified to confer insect resistance or herbicide tolerance. A survey of crop protection professionals showed that personal communication, usually with colleagues and researchers, is the most important source of information about transgenics. Results suggested that attitudes towards the use of herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant transgenic plants are mostly, but not uniformly, positive. A key finding is that both herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant plants are seen to be highly compatible with integrated pest management There is clearly a challenge for agribusiness and other stakeholders to promote the wise and integrated use of transgenics. Further use of favoured interpersonal communication channels (perhaps through participatory workshops) will be needed in order to develop, achieve, and sustain such an integrated approach.

Paper 8

The propensity to export among food processing firms in southern New South Wales and north-eastern Victoria: An exploratory study

Norman Philp and Rumintha Wickramasekera

This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study, conducted in 1993, designed to investigate discriminators in the propensity of firms involved in agricultural processing, and located in rural areas of southern New South Wales and north eastern Victoria, to engage in export activity. It focuses on a number of factors, both internal and external to the firm, as they are perceived and evaluated by the senior management of the various firms involved and on various characteristics of the managers themselves. The findings of this study are reasonably consistent with those of similar studies based on univariate analyses conducted overseas. They confirm the importance for exporting of firm size and of committed senior managers with experience and skills in export matters. The paper concludes by identifying appropriate techniques for the analysis of a substantially larger number of firms from a more general sample.

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