Schuster Consulting Group coordinates a major meat industry research and development (R&D) program. As such we are charged with raising the awareness and profile of the industry and implementing the industry's on-farm R&D program.
The program aims to:
Enable learning and adoption of innovation and technology throughout the supply chain.
Increase the supply of livestock.
Improve on-farm productivity and reduce costs of production.
Contribute to natural resource management outcomes from agriculture.
Explore and leverage opportunities for meat and co-products and enable the industry to deliver a safe and wholesome product which meets customer specifications.
The management of the R&D program requires proficiency in areas ranging from government liaison, industry representation and media liaison, project management, budget control, producer engagement and communications, technical writing, general advice and administration.
After two years, the program required a review and a new strategy for R&D priorities to 2011.
As coordinator of the R&D program we undertook the most extensive review of the industry's investment and broader industry issues ever conducted. The objective of this review was to analyse the performance of R&D investment in the industry and to determine areas for future investment.
A rigorously constructed online survey was utilised and elicited more than 500 responses. The most significant finding was that more than 65% of respondents had made changes or intended to make changes to their business practices as a direct result of the R&D program. This now sets the benchmark for future program evaluations.
Based on the findings from the review and extensive stakeholder consultation, we developed the industry's R&D strategic plan to 2011. This plan sets the direction for industry's R&D investment and outlines the key strategic imperatives that will help sustain the industry into the future.