FBU Nth, central & southern NSW series
Economic outlook – Agriculture and the global supply chains. John Crosbie
What is in store for global commodities in the post COVID-19 world? Who are the important trade partners for Australian grain now? John Crosbie of Deloitte Access Economics outlines global supply chain risks and opportunities and why Ag will be a strong performer in 2020.
- Global changes in food security will impact the demand for bulk commodities and staple food products such as grain. Australia is in a strong position to capitalise on demand with its reputation for food safety and as a reliable supplier.
- The value of the Australian Dollar will affect our competitiveness in the international market.
- The Australian Ag and food industry is highly resilient to the impact of COVID with regards to staple commodities.
- Supply chains for farm inputs have been disrupted but we are seeing stabilisation
- Reduced economic growth (global recession) will see reduced consumption and consumer demand for some agricultural commodities, particularly high value produce.
- Provenance is a key marketing opportunity in the current environment, establishing quality and brand integrity – to meet food safety values and attract premium prices.
Managing your exposure to grain markets and counterparty risk, Josh Gordon
How do you rate your grain marketing plan and risk
management? Josh Gordon, NSW DPI, reviews the outlook for new season crop and examines the risks associated with counterparty failure in the current market. What practical options have you got to manage counterparty risk?
Watch the livestream here
- Market risk – the risk of not being paid is an obvious concern, a delay in payment also has a cost associated with it. Manage historical late payers by targeting a price to compensate.
- Knowing your counterparty is the key to counterparty risk management. Check off their reputation, GTA membership, access to contract documents and experience of others.
- Retention of title clauses add value to contracts, but aim to avoid needing them in the first place. Some have limited marketing options – develop relationships with potential traders, before ‘the pricing conversation’.
- Align marketing as a risk management strategy with your values.
- A resilient marketing plan includes knowing your product/commodity, the logistics of moving it and knowing your price and timing triggers – be prepared to act at short notice.
- Effective marketing contributes to profitability, reduces risk and shifts critical decision making away from time poor periods like harvest.
- Seek specific marketing advice if its not your passion. Define your product and communicate with your marketer as the season progresses to optimise your profit potential.
Management under the microscope – financial outcomes, Chris Minehan, & Simon Fritsch
Setting your business apart from the rest via strong financial performance benchmarks to put your business in a leading position to expand, adapt & survive through the cycles.
Watch the livestream here
- Financial management of a business underpins its success.
- Build budgets from the ground-up using sensible and realistic production plans. Revise through the year via budget to actual comparisons and replan if necessary.
- Use your own 10yr median yields (or if unavailable regional averages) & decile 5 price averages obtained from grain marketers.
- Be realistic with the cost of inputs; match your yield targets with likely input requirements
- Analyse budget to see if it’s going to work financially and if not, go back to production plan to make adjustments so it works. If financial bridging options are required it’s better to know this as early as possible so you can negotiate best options with the lending facility.
- Relationships with financial institutions very important and strong relationships require individuals to articulate their financial needs through cashbook budgets.
- Funding focus has changed from equity leverage based to serviceability to manage debt.
- Different machinery investment loans can provide attractive alternate options and the structure of repayments can have large impacts on cash flow.
- Take the time to also take a strategic (helicopter) view of your business and create long-term goals via a business plan.
- Understand where there are differences/improvement opportunities by utilising benchmarks and then relate back to budget to see where you could possibly make some changes.
- If considering further land purchases, helps to do a partial budget analysis to check whether it increases cash surplus and/or fits strategically. Decision easier if you’ve got an ‘engine’; business that is performing strongly i.e. can afford it.
Managing Workplace Health and Safety to protect you and your employees. Rebecca Fing
Practical steps for providing a safer, more productive
workplace and meeting your WHS obligations from induction throughout the season.
- Agriculture is the biggest contributor to worker fatalities per capita employed in the industry.
- Regarding WHS business operators have one purpose– to ensure people aren’t injured or killed in the workplace. The cost of getting it wrong is the conversations you’ll have to have with family and community. Fines and other penalties are secondary to this cost.
- Professional businesses balance safety and productivity – very well. Working safely and productively is possible by assessing risks and then managing and controlling the risk ‘appropriately’.
- ALL people in the business have roles and responsibilities around WHS.
- Meet your obligations by establishing a safe workplace through assessment of risks, due diligence including induction – set the culture for ‘how we do things’, consult cooperate and coordinate with your workforce.
- Start with the highest risk areas first, such as machinery (guarding, maintenance, operator competence) and focus on induction, training and emergency planning first.
- Establish a business culture designed to keep your business, your workers and visitors safe.
- Align your paperwork with what happens in your business. The regulators are looking for practice and culture (over paperwork). Paperwork provides rigour and repeatability within your business, but is not the focus of WHS.
- Get people on board – establish an open door, encourage genuine communication. Something that is done with genuine intent is better than nothing at all. Get started!
Resetting your mindset to growth and opportunity – Clara McCormack
Moving towards growth opportunities after times of adversity
requires the right mindset. Clara will discuss how the past doesn’t set your future course and how each individual’s capability to manage their mindset and themselves has a great influence on future outcomes.
Watch the livestream here
- Important to push yourself towards a growth mindset where you see challenges as experiences that can help you grow. Try to avoid falling into a fixed mindset where you give up when frustrated.
- Realise that there are different types of resilience and individuals differ in their capability to perform in the different streams. Look at ways to improve your weakest area. Naming your weakness is a powerful step within the improvement process.
- Take notice of your self-talk and work on ways of making it positive because things you accept about yourself lead into your behaviour and what others accept as the truth about you. Therefore, positive self-talk equates to better outcomes.
- Breaking the negative self-talk cycle is achieved by firstly noticing that you do it, stopping it and then having a ‘go to’/positive spin.
- Decision making under stress relies on your ability to recognise what you can and can’t control and focussing your energy on the former.
- Use prioritisation as a process to ‘forward plan’.
- Finally, create a list of what you would like to change about yourself and start with small steps towards creating some new and better habits.
If any of the key messages listed within this newsletter have identified areas for improvements within your business and you would like to learn more, please contact ORM Pty Ltd (convenors of the livestream series and Farm Business Consultants) at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 03 5441 6176