Primary producers joined other links in the agribusiness supply chain in July to learn more about export opportunities during the 2019 'From Paddock to Ports Tour'.
Participants in the tour were supported by the GRDC's Grower Advisory Study Tour program.
This was the second tour through north Queensland ports and was brought together through a collaboration between the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) and the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC).
CHDC agribusiness coordinator Liz Alexander says this year's tour aimed to build on the success of last year.
That tour saw a grower group formed in the Dysart region. This group now directly liaises with GrainCorp Mackay Port to ensure ease of access for grain.
"GrainCorp works closely with the group to plan ahead for deliveries from that region, reducing the turnaround time for road freight," Ms Alexander says.
She says that while learning about exports is a key part of the tour, it was also valuable for participants to identify 'pinch points' in the supply chain.
This includes road infrastructure into the ports, which can be remediated to save significant costs for grower freight.
GrainCorp works closely with the group to plan ahead for deliveries from that region, reducing the turnaround time for road freight.
A mix of skills
It is why the group also included representatives from the logistics and freight sector, the agribusiness sector, the university sector, local government and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
They joined producers from as far south as Roma and attendees from Rolleston, Springsure, Emerald, Duaringa and Biloela to visit the Port of Townsville, Port of Mackay and Gladstone Port Corporation.
The tour's overall goal was for participants to gain insights from key supply chain personnel, expand networks and connect with people growing, processing, freighting and exporting products from this region.
Participants heard updates on grains and vegetable exports and gained insights into freight and logistics benefits and challenges.
At each of the three ports, local producers and agribusinesses were invited to join a day tour component.
Growers and advisers seeking to undertake study tours, or related travel with a clear learning objective to gain new knowledge, learn new skills, build relationships and leverage GRDC's research investments are encouraged to apply for support at www.grdc.com.au/about/scholarships-sponsorships-awards/grower-and-adviser-development