The University of New England has won back-to-back titles at the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association’s case study competition.
Students have proved to be world-class thinkers on the international stage winning this year’s event in Argentina after taking out the event in 2017 at Miami.
Sharing their winning formula, Lucy Collingridge, Emma McCrabb, Mikayla Bruce and Chrissie Stannard were the guest speakers at UNE’s annual Agribusiness Mixer Event in Armidale last Thursday.
Lucy Collingridge, a NSW Local Land Services officer doing her Graduate Certificate in Agriculture externally with UNE (and who trained for IFAMA via Skype), said on the first day, the team was given a case and four hours to deliver a recommendation.
The following day was the finals and they were given a second case based on development of their first idea, and another four hours to deliver an analysis.
The challenge was to consider a possible partnership between Plant Breeders Without Borders in Indonesia and multinational company Bayer.
“In the end, our proposal focused on reducing poverty and increasing welfare in Indonesia through increasing capacity of smallholding farmers and assisting to secure a sustainable income source,” Ms Collingridge said.
“Through SWOT analysis, we decided a vertically integrated cooperative would be the way to go. We proposed the creation of Feeding The Future Cooperative, a system which would benefit the smallholder farmer, plant breeders and Bayer, and give us access to further processing opportunities around the globe.”
The teams’ academic advisor Stuart Mounter said UNE was becoming a university to beat at the prestigious IFAMA events.
“We make big demands of the students during the training and development sessions we run months ahead of the event, but they get maximum value from the sessions because they go into them with total dedication,” Dr Mounter said.
“And once they are thrown into the competition, they start to really understand the benefits of a rigorous preparation, and how the principles they have learned will stand them in good stead through their careers.”
The teams were coached by Dr Mounter and Professor Derek Baker, Director of the Centre for Agribusiness. Lyn Gollan of UNE’s Law School provided instruction in presentation, and Sally Strelitz, Marketing and Communications Officer with the School of Environmental and Rural Science, managed the teams while travelling.