Here are two frozen fish packages. Both use a large section of negative white in the background and both use red as a dominant colour. The packaging of the Ocean Royale Salmon Portions make it easy to freeze and take out a serve easily as they are all individually vacuum packed. They are a good meal size and the package comes in a kilogram size.It's quite cost efficient. The Ferguson Whiting packaging has a window where you can actually see the meat which may be enticing to some consumers. The packaging is slick and gives a feel of a more premium product.
These sultanas are marketed in two very different ways. One uses a more bulk buy concept while the other is mini packaged. The Australian sultanas focuses on the local content and is pretty straight forward, while the Frozen sultanas uses merchandising from a kids movie to entice kids to pester their parents to buy a product that uses more packaging than necessary and gives you less sultanas for dollar spent. But what can I say, they showed up in my pantry due to the insistence of my daughter! The Frozen sultanas give little indication of where they have come from or their health benifits, they simply are Frozen Sultanas and that's good enough. The Australian Sultanas have all of the necessary information, and have a zip lock back, which by the way is one of the greatest inventions along with the cable tie.
What is interesting about these two cheese packages is the similarity in colours. Red, yellow, blue. Dairylea focuses on the size of the pack, with a big yellow band on the left side with large red writing "36 slices..". Coon is using their brand recognition, stamping their name in bold white writing in the middle of the packaging. The style of the dairylea cheese packaging is individually wrapped slices much like the Kraft Singles. Coon on the other hand use a solid square container that holds the sliced cheese and seals the cheese in once closed. It uses only a single wrapping of plastic for all of its slices, unlike dairylea's packaging.
Here again are two different approaches to packaging marketed at two different sets of consumers. The Brooklea family pack comes with 12 small sized servings of individually packaged yoghurt, while the Greek Style Yoghurt is 1kg. Brooklea is focusing on the family who no doubt need to pack lunches. The Dairy Dream Greek Yoghurt comes in a very sturdy container, rounded at the edges. The shape of the cursive fonts used are also echoed in the wispiness of the background banners and in the Dairy Dream logo. Brooklea follows suit with a cursive font and tear drop shaped blobs.
Two different salamis, the Primo has a very standard common style of packaging for this product, a plastic tray with a rip off seal, while Barossa Fine Foods have opted for a card packaging with a window. The use of a large area of negative white does make the product stand out from others as a lot of the other brands on the shelf do have cluttered imagery in comparison and the primo salami is an example of this. Barossa fine foods uses a small illustration to give the idea that this is a family business with a face that has run for decades, whereas Primo is simply a company with little story present on their packaging apart from the necessary writing and imagery.
For a bit of extra reading check out this interesting article on colours in food packaging : hartdesign.com/industry-news/food-packaging-color-influences-consumer-behavior/.
Landcare's philosophy is about stewardship and fostering our land and resources. In relation to the management of a farm enterprise, managers need to treasure and protect the environment they work in and also that of their neighbours and the greater ecosystem. A manager has to be aware of how waste is managed, how pests and disease are dealt with, how the soil is nourished and not depleted and as a result must make important purchasing decisions (eg. organic fertiliser, not overstocking, crops that suit the land) set up appropriate processes and lead their team of workers in a way that will either maintain or better the land.
The physical aspects of the farm need to be taken into account, in that soil should be monitored and improved (composting, pH testing, appropriate till strategies, crop rotation, green manure). Avoiding soil compaction, erosion or degradation through poor management is a priority and keeping an eye on what is succeeding and what isn't, for instance monitoring crops and choosing a better strain that is better suited. Caring for the farm requires constant effort and observation. Diversity is also important. Ideally following some organic and permaculture principles would line up nicely with the objectives of landcare.
Read more about the origins of the Landcare initiative here https://landcareaustralia.org.au/about/the-landcare-story/
The agriculture industry is subject to extremely dangerous work hazards which are compounded by the fact that that there so many work practices that are of risk. The weather, the environment, working with chemicals, the machinery required, manual handling and animal handling are just a few of the risks that make the job dangerous. As a result there are many laws, legislations, regulations, acts, initiatives, codes of conduct and licenses that have arisen because of these dangers.
Where do we start? Well firstly state governments manage a range of permits that govern how you will dispose of waste, handle livestock, manage fire safety, erect fencing, handle and store chemicals which all take into account both the workers and the public. There are requirements for workplace noise management, standards for protective clothing, standards for signage, manual handling and the use of quad bikes. There are electrical safety practices, biosecurity measures and even practices for safety with hay bales.
As is the case in any industry, farm managers are obliged to protect their workers from these hazards, hence the legislations. But also remember that they are obliged to protect any visitors and also the general public. A farm manager needs to be proactive by eliminating hazards and if that is not possible then the manager must minimise the risk as best they can. They must choose the safest equipment for the farm and have a maintenance schedule that ensures all equipment is kept in a way that will reduce any potential injuries. A manager must attempt to purchase the safest chemicals for the job and ensure that old chemicals are disposed of appropriately. All workers must be well versed in the application of the chemicals and employ correct protective equipment on all occasions. It is the manager’s duty to observe their workers and ensure they are correctly protected. As a general rule should be practice for any new workers to remain under a period of supervision as they build their experience.
Quad bikes and tractors come with their own set of safety regulations and rightly so. They are the cause of many serious accidents and fatalities on the farm. Tractors must be fitted with roll bars, anything new will have this but old tractors need to be adjusted in this respect. For both vehicles, driving on slopes is a potential hazard and anything too steep should be avoided. Wear protective equipment, for example helmets for quad bikes, ear muffs for tractors. Don’t force a vehicle to carry out a procedure it is not meant to do and always be well aware of your surroundings, both for environmental hazards and for people. Whenever I saw anyone approaching when running a rotary hoe or slasher for example I would always turn off the PTO and lower the attachment.
Animals on the farm carry their own set of risks. A farmer mate of mine still wears the scar on his face wear he was kicked by a horse! Anyone handling livestock should have knowledge of handling practices. They should understand how to restrain the animal, where to stand safely when around animals and be aware of the dangers of working along around animals. Farm managers should ensure that all pens and fencing are adequate and well maintained and should have a first aid kit on hand.
Remember that each state has a safe work body that puts forward regulations and are very helpful in providing information. For South Australia, check out www.safework.sa.gov.au and hunt down the page for Agriculture and Horticulture.
There's plenty of laws and legislation put forth by various bodies that an agriculturalist must adhere to. They cover such things as bio-security, environmental hazards, safe working procedures, animal rights and what can or cannot be farmed.
Most of it is all standard stuff that you would already guess due to it's obvious nature, let's take gun laws for example, your gun must be locked up when not in use and it must be registered. That's fair enough.
There's other legislations that are there to protect properties, avoid disputes and protect the public. Consider the laws relating fencing. They must be up to standard and maintained to protect travelling motorists from stray animals.
Fuel, chemicals and fertilisers are to be correctly used, disposed of and stored along with relevant SOPS and MSDS's. We can't be in a situation where chemicals are allowed to contaminate the environment nor become a threat to workers on the farm or poison food earmarked for consumption.
Your vehicles must be roadworthy and registered, again fair enough. You can purchase a partial registration for vehicles that only do a small amount of travel by the way. Also, tractors must have a roll bar if they don't have a cab.
Be aware of children on the farm, remember they can't read warning signs or chemical labels for example so Safework SA has some great guidelines that will keep the little ones safe.
Bushfire regulations are a big one. I made contact with the CFS who directed me to a range of resources on their website. In particular I was interested in regulations regarding on farm fire units for which the CFS has created a handbook. Some of the basics here are in respect to ensuring the unit is correctly and safely attached to the vehicle. If you consider the weight of the tank full of water and the dangers if the tank isn't properly restrained. I also asked what requirements were in place for setting up your property to make it more fire safe and in this respect I was directed to council regulations as this is the councils domain. So things like burn offs and wind breaks are not regulated by the CFS but each council area.
The RSPCA deals with a range of standards that must be adhered to. Assessors will come to the farm to ensure standards are being met. They range from such things as adequate shelter, food and water, stocking levels and that handlers are correctly trained.
The main thing to be aware of is that there are a large range of bodies and associations that set standards as well as the government. It is important to take the time to be aware of them all for the better of your farm and the industry.
Here's one of the work plans I've made up for a summer period set of crops on an online tool called "Dapulse". Dapulse.com can export to your google calendar so could be a useful tool to those that like to work to a rigid timeline.
Controlling a production plan occurs through a management chain where a plan is set out and dispersed downwards to workers and subcontractors. Often an intense period of management is required initially to assign/assist/direct employees. Management must focus on co ordination and administration.
Throughout the process monitoring is essential. Contractor safety, ensuring the property is protected from pests, disease, weeds and environmental hazards, maintenance of irrigation systems, fertilising regimes and livestock health are all aspects that require constant monitoring. Using a log book or checklist to regularly observe changes or foresee potential hazards is imperative. When years of production have previously occurred a comparison can be made between the years to pre empt likely problems.
Evaluating occurs as a part of the supply and demand chain where as a manager you consider what can be sold and what has sold, what is popular and how will you keep up with supply, deciding on amounts for future years and also trialling other methods that may improve output or income. Getting feedback from customers is important of course and, along with networking helps you judge the future outlook and allows you to lock in contracts ahead of time.
I spoke to Brian who runs a cattle stud to get an idea about the legal requirements he must observe in order to run his agricultural enterprise. Brian began on the topic of restraining the farm's animals and the importance of good fencing and gates. There is an interesting article here also discussing the matter.
He also spoke of the requirements to control noxious weeds and responsibly stop their spread. This involves a duty to ensure contractors and their vehicles do not come on to the property and spread weeds. More info on the legislation regarding weeds is here. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/government/legislation.html
We discussed the need to report pest and disease outbreaks such as foot and mouth. For more info on reportable diseases look here.
In particular respect to Brian's cattle stud he discussed the requirements related to identification and tagging of cattle. Meat and Livestock Australia has good info on their website.
To finish we discussed the obligations set down by the RSPCA for animal welfare and it's implementation on farms. More info here.
I recently met with a few blokes to devise flow charts for various production schedules. I spoke to Craig who is an agriculturalist, Paul who is a horticulturalist and Brian who runs a cattle stud. These flow charts show the stages of production for 4 production programs. 1) A broad acre program. 2) A cattle breeding stud 3) A horticultural crop 4) A feedlot.
Running a successful enterprise isn't a set and forget situation. A manager needs to constantly assess the business and use that assessment to modify and adjust as necessary. Below are two business checklists I've written to help in such circumstances. One is for an on farm enterprise, the other an off farm enterprise. They share similarities with some differences to suit each.
Farm Enterprise Assessment Checklist
Staffing, induction, OHS, welfare, work/life balance
Off Farm Enterprise Assessment Checklist
Staffing, induction, OHS, welfare, work/life balance
Tools / machinery
Product / stock
Web presence / social media
Any plan needs a little tweaking while being implemented. A manager can never foresee every possibility that will impact an enterprise. Discoveries in technology, changes in the weather, advances in process and the whim of the consumer all change the way a farm plan can be enacted.
Farm plans need to be modified and updated to maximise profit as produce can fall in and out of favour and prices fluctuate. In response new business ventures may need to be explored and diversification or value adding may be required to boost profit. One particular family owned dairy farm switched to olive production just over a decade ago and now creates a range of value added products successfully selling directly to restaurants. The dairy farm simply wasn't as profitable or enjoyable for that matter.
New machinery, products or advances in process may become available and are too good not to invest wither money or time in. I spoke to a farmer who made the choice to invest in drone technology which gave the ability to take thermal readings to help manage irrigation on their land. While it wasn't in their original plan to take on such technology, the time it took to research the equipment and learn to operate it was well worth the adjustment to their overall business plan.
Fluctuations in pests and diseases, weed outbreaks and weather impact on how cycle in the farm plan is enacted. It may need to be adjusted to return a piece of land to a better state after unseen circumstances. One particular grower in the Virginia farmlands spoke of the effort placed into building their soil, adding nutrients, organic matter and micro-organisms to the top soil and how it was all washed away, literally, in the 2016 floods require major adjustments to their farm plan.
Employee skill level was also raised by one farm manager I spoke to. There were many "dreams" in his farm plan that he could not enact because he currently could not find workers with the required skill or initiative.
Any plan big or small should allow for adjustment. There will always be unforeseen variables that need to be monitored and reacted to. A farm plan should be flexible and organic.