As part of the initial scoping of production considerations market issues should be investigated to provide information on demand, supply, value adding and market locations for the preferred crop or crops to be produced. This page provides links to information on current market issues, supply chains and export markets.

Market issues

The type of economy we live is aptly referred to as the market economy because no matter how many other factors you introduce to a commercial process, the market will always be the final adjudicator. While other factors are critical to economic endeavour, it is the market that provides the motive for all activities. The marketing function is especially critical in allowing new farmers into the main stream, for their success and sustainability will be determined more by their equitable participation in markets rather than by their increasing competence in production.

Supply chains

Within Australia, commercial interactions along the supply chain are central to competitiveness, as are the innovative capacity of technology, impact of skills and expertise and management of the natural resource base. Most food and fibre produced on Australian farms undergoes various levels of transformation before being consumed. This transformation involves a range of activities post farm gate that convert commodities originating from farms into a form readily usable by consumers. For example, milk is converted into a number of products (including pasteurised fresh milk, butter, cheese, milk powder, ice cream and yoghurts); while the processing of livestock into consumable form (carcass, cuts, boneless or packaged meat) is an essential part of the farm to consumer supply chain.

For most commodities produced on Australian farms, post farm gate processing or value adding is becoming more important as producers, wholesalers and retailers endeavour to satisfy consumer demands for more convenience foods and for differently presented and packaged products. For commodities such as fresh horticulture, product may be packaged or branded, especially into high value markets such as Japan. Beef is being marketed increasingly to domestic and export customers as a branded product with quality assurances.

International trading environment

Future growth in Australian agriculture is likely to depend more on export markets than on the comparatively small domestic market. Important trade related factors likely to affect the agriculture and food sector include world market conditions, barriers to trade such as tariffs and import quotas, quarantine and technical requirements such as labelling, maintenance of global competitiveness and market image, and biosecurity related decisions in Australia and elsewhere affecting imports and the disease status of exports.

Key external links for further information

 Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARE) - Crop reports and financial performance by sector

 South Australia Biz - Exporting from South Australia

Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) Food - Market intelligence

 Rural Solutions - Food and wine value chains

 AusTrade - Export information