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PROJECT OVERVIEW

Agvet Collaborative Forum

AgVet Collaborative Forum Project

The Improved access to Agvet chemicals for agricultural industries project establishes a forum to develop a sustainable approach for collaboration regarding Agvet chemicals, building on recent cross industry discussions on Agvet chemical access that were supported by industry and government stakeholders. 

The AgVet Collaborative Forum was first convened in June 2015 and identified solutions to key industry challenges in relation to accessing AgVet technologies. It aims to highlight areas of business opportunity for Agvet chemical registrants by providing a priority list of industry needs and a process to identify potential partnerships and co-investment opportunities with industry.  

Through the Forum, industries identify issues requiring AgVet solutions. Industry needs may arise from a new pests or diseases requiring a solution, resistance to existing treatments, or a need to mitigate unwanted effects of existing solutions. 

Commercial registrants, relevant research and development corporations (RDCs) and industries consider these issues to identify any existing solutions and actions required to address the issue. 

Download an infographic that explains why action is needed and is what is being done to meet the challenges being faced

 

Prioritisation

Following identification of all issues, it is necessary to prioritise them to reduce real and perceived commercial barriers to product development. The top five issues are initially ranked by the relevant industry and then considered in further detail at the workshop. 

In assessing priorities the Forum considers a range of issues including whether there is a current solution and if so, whether additional solutions are required to allow producers to effectively manage issues such as resistance and environmental impacts. Registrant support for developing potential solutions into products, or registering existing solutions in Australia, are also considered. 

Issues submitted to the forum are allocated one of the following priorities:

  • 'A-R' Priority means that a registration for this solution is in progress by a registrant
  • 'A-L' – Label priority solution with registrant support for registration or label extension
  • 'A-P' – Permit priority ssolution which has registrant support
  • 'B' priority – an issue with a potential future solution however commercialisation is more than 3 to 5 years away or still under development and no guarantee to make the Australian market
  • 'C' priority – an issue with no known solution 

Outcomes

The AgVet Collaborative Forum has, for the second time in Australia, facilitated a direct, formal discussion between the users of AgVet technologies and those companies which make decisions to invest in producing them.   

Access to a wider range of appropriate AgVet technologies gives Australian producers a broader suite of solutions to assist them in producing clean, healthy food in a sustainable manner. The benefits flow beyond the farm gate to improved environmental, animal welfare and food quality outcomes. 

Click here to view the current project (PRJ-010406) details

Click here to view the previous completed AgVet Collaborative Forum project (PRJ-009454) details



Benefits to industry

Where investment market failure exists in chemical registration, industries such as grains and horticulture have developed ‘minor use’ programs.  Minor use crops and situations have been defined in legislation and regulation.  

This project seeks to enable industry and government to invest into both the minor use and broader investment market failure space without increasing commercial market failure. The aim is to address not only minor use needs, but the broader issue of AgVet investment market failure, delivering broad economic and social benefits across agricultural industries.

Economic justification

Minor use permits are developed in response to urgent industry demand and therefore result in a rapid rate and level of adoption. This has been clearly demonstrated in the Australian grains and horticulture industries.

A study funded by the GRDC and HAL by Woods (2014), analysed economic studies in Australia that indicate benefit:cost ratio of minor use permits from 13:1 to 95:1. In the United States under a total economic impacts model the benefit:cost ratio of minor use permits has been shown to be as high as 462:1.

The benefits derived from the $8.1 million expended by GRDC and HAL for the 3 years 2010-13 delivered total economic impacts of a minimum of $113.5 million and potentially as high as $3.565 billion. The combined benefit of a broader minor use program when applied across all sectors would be significantly higher.

Public benefits from an effective minor use program addressing market failure include:

  • Improving storage or shelf life for food products

  • Meeting consumer expectations for safe residue free food, noting in 2008/09 the majority of MRLs established in Australia arose from minor use permits, highlighting the demand for minor uses.

  • Contributing to protection of the environment

  • Managing Australia’s international reputation for food production

  • Reducing impediments to free trade 

  • Flow on effects to other industries such as the use in fodder and grain products for livestock and dairy product industries.

Environmental benefits

Mass movement of foods and goods with increasing internationalisation of trade results in more complex biosecurity risks in managing industry and environmental pests, weeds and diseases.  A rapid and responsive prioritisation systems is required to manage increasing environmental risks.

Social benefits

Public and social benefits from an effective minor use program with appropriate prioritisation include:

  • Maintaining a diversity of food types for an increasingly multi-cultural society

  • Improving storage or shelf life for food products

  • Meeting consumer expectations for safe residue free food

Market benefits

Market opportunity benefits from an effective minor use program with appropriate prioritisation include: 

  • Managing Australia’s international reputation for food production

  • Reducing impediments to free trade 

  • Flow on effects to other downstream animal industries such as for use in fodder and grain products for livestock and dairy product industries.

Forum outcomes

Achievements so far

The Agvet program actively began in January 2015, establishing contact with key stakeholders and holding meetings that would eventually become the collaborative forum. By 31 January 2015, Agvet had already achieved a number of initial milestones, including: 

  • Development and implementation of a sustainable governance structure for the forum with a focus on management and oversight by the RDCs

  • Established operation and administration processes for system

  • Agreed industry indicators and measures of success in increasing access to minor use and documentation of baseline for indicator measures

  • Facilitation of the first forum, comprising of:
    • Creation of key discussion papers
    • Engaging all agricultural industries, RDC’s and peak industry bodies for research and input of identifying key matters and priorities
    • Building a sustainable system model for the future of the forum 
    • Providing stakeholders with relevant information and proposed structures to establish a functional AgVet investment program 

By 30th September 2015 the Forum had:

  • Demonstrated the potential cost savings from a collaborative AgVet Prioritisation and Investment Program to industry stakeholders and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Focusing not only on affordability and cost savings but also on the prospective program’s functional approach and inclusion of existing national and international minor use programs.

The Forum plans to deliver a functional and sustainable system for growers to effectively share their priorities for chemical access needs with RDCs and chemical companies. This in turn delivers cost savings, reducing current impacts of AgVet chemical market failure and facilitating cross industry prioritisation and investment for improved access to uses of AgVet chemicals. The system was negotiated between the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, state and territory government departments, registrants and industry, and is expected to be managed with oversight by cross-industry RDCs.

The project and the AgVet Forum continues to build traction, establishing a signed agreement of continued participation in the collaborative forum between more than four plant and animal industry RDC’s.

Current investors participating in the AgVet Collaborative Forum include:

Agvet priority list

AgVet Technology Priority List

The outcome from the Forum is the AgVet Technology Priority List which is searchable and gives information on industry demand, existing solutions and registration priorities. The list provides AgVet technology companies, research organisations and industry with an opportunity to search the list to establish industry needs and the potential solutions to these challenges. 

The list currently covers over 400 industry priorities including:

  • Plant Industries - 326 unique crop/pest issues, of which  319 solutions are technically supported by registrants. Of these industry issues, 135 had no identified solution for which 78 new potential solutions have been identified by registrants.  An additional 90 new groups of solutions were identified by registrants adding to existing options proposed by industry. This will improve pesticide resistance management.

  • Animal Industries - 98 unique  animal pest issues , resulting in 68 solutions technically supported by registrants. Four additional groups of solutions to industry issues were identified by registrants.

How to use the list

The AgVet Technology Priority List is searchable by clicking on the top row of the column to be searched and selecting the variables of interest. The list may be filtered according to a range of variables including Industry pest rank; Potential solution type; Potential solution; Chemical MOA group; Proposed timing/use pattern.

Click here to download the AgVet Technology Priority List 2016

Click here to download the AgVet Technology Priority List 2015

 

Outcomes from the initiative

  • The collated AgVet Technology Priority List provides a searchable tool for Australian and international registrants to consider in their business planning. 
  • All ‘A' and ‘P' priorities will be mapped against internal research programs, databases and registrations. This was supplied to relevant RDC’s.  

  • All plant industry crop/pest issues and at least one chemical solution for identified ‘A’ priorities, have been submitted to the OECD global minor use chemical priorities program. 

  • Registrants have been strongly encouraged clarify commitment for support for those projects which currently have no support for product development. 

  • This prioritisation process has created a framework for further discussions over the coming 12 months and creates opportunities for addressing industry needs more effectively and promptly. 

Key contacts & links

External Research Manager

Simon Winter
Ph: 02 6281 5257
Email: simon@swinter.com.au

Principal Researcher

Rohan Rainbow
Crop Protection Australia
Email: r.rainbow@cropprotectionaustralia.com