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Local growers to learn Tricks of the Trade

Tricks of the Trade Wide Bay growers
Wide Bay horticultural growers are invited to attend the ‘Tricks of the Trade – Negotiation Tactics Masterclass' coming to Bundaberg in July.

Wide Bay horticultural growers are encouraged to gear up for the Tricks of the Trade – Negotiation Tactics Masterclass coming to Bundaberg in July.

This free, two-day masterclass aims to support Queensland growers and their staff to build commercial skills with a focus on retailer and agent conversations; ensuring they are better positioned to negotiate more effectively with customers and suppliers to maximise their bottom line.

The in-person events form part of the new Geared Up Growers pilot program being delivered by Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers (QFVG) with support from the Queensland Government, recognising that the long-term sustainability of Queensland producers is vital for all Queenslanders.

Running until September 2024, this state-wide program aims to build the knowledge, skills and confidence of Queensland growers to be the most equipped negotiators in Australia, armed with the best data and cost of production information.

QFVG CEO Rachel Chambers said Queensland growers were facing increasing pressure from both ends of their business and that margin squeeze was the number one issue all growers were grappling with.

“While some factors remain outside of our control, skilling up Queensland growers to be the most equipped and empowered negotiators in a highly competitive supply and demand market is well within our control,” Ms Chambers said.

“They know their business better than anyone – now we are just arming them with the knowledge they’ve needed to level the playing field – whether that playing field is with an agent, retailer, energy, fertiliser or any other provider of goods or services.

“We know there is a significant power imbalance when it comes to price negotiations for fresh produce.

“So, we’ve brought in people who used to work for the other side, those who have been trained in negotiating with growers.

“We are going to use insiders to teach our growers the tricks of the trade and can almost guarantee each grower will find something in this course that allows them to save a dollar and earn a dollar, because right now this is what Queensland growers need.

“Whether you’re a seasoned industry professional or a newcomer looking to sharpen your negotiation skills, this Masterclass is a must-attend event.

“Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from industry experts, network with peers (rest assured there’s no ‘actual’ information sharing) and gain insights that will empower you to thrive in the competitive retail landscape.”

Supporting local growers

Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers (BFVG) CEO, Bree Watson strongly encouraged growers to register for one of the two masterclasses planned.

“In an increasingly competitive landscape, effective negotiation skills are more critical than ever for growers striving to maximise their profitability and sustainability,” Ms Watson said.

“This masterclass will support growers to build stronger relationships with their suppliers, buyers and staff, help them to navigate difficult conversations and increase their confidence to negotiate assertively and fairly.

“We are dedicated to supporting farmers in achieving these outcomes and look forward to seeing a strong response to the masterclass series.”

Under the program, QFVG has partnered with negotiation training masters NextGen Group.

The practical workshops and the follow-up support provided will help growers understand how retailers, agents and suppliers think and how to leverage the Grocery Code and Horticulture Code to create a commercial advantage in negotiations.

As part of ongoing support, growers who attend the Negotiation Tactics Masterclass in their area will also have access to the NextGen Groups online members-only portal hosting key materials, recordings and templates.

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