Voice of Real Australia: Partnerships can lift all partners

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DEAL: Partnerships should benefit both parties, even if those parties seem like strange bedfellows. Photo: Shutterstock

DEAL: Partnerships should benefit both parties, even if those parties seem like strange bedfellows. Photo: Shutterstock

DRAFT horses know a thing or two about teamwork.

Curiously, few people ever bother to ask them about it.

An old analogy says these amazingly strong animals can pull about 3.6 tonnes each.

But when two horses are coupled together to pull a load, they can pull almost 10 tonnes.

The point is they achieve more when working together than they would individually.

It's not a bad approach to many areas in life, including agricultural product promotions and marketing, even research and extension.

Finding the right partner, however, may allow for some creative thinking.

It may not be the immediate first thought.

Perhaps it's not the university or the major fertiliser brand or equipment manufacturer.

Perhaps it's a group or company totally outside the industry.

This can be beneficial as it brings a new perspective, a third-person perspective to a situation, problem or challenge.

It may even take the product into areas that will find new fans and appreciation once never considered.

Partnerships have become an important tool of progress within Australian agriculture.

This has become pronounced in the age of the "start up" where smaller businesses are looking for leverage or a platform to grow, and larger companies are looking to be seen to be connected with communities.

There have been some good examples related to horticulture over the past few years.

Rabobank got alongside the Network 10 cooking program, Farm to Fork, while Hort Innovation did a similar thing in supporting My Market Kitchen, also a Network 10 cooking program.

One of the most recent, and perhaps one of the cleverest, is the Australian Mushroom Growers Association sponsoring a mushroom pie competition within the Baking Association of Australia's prestigious awards.

By creating an entirely new category, it jags the interest of those who might enter the competition (bakers) and also pushes the minds of readers/viewers as they instantly connect their sense of taste to the idea.

It is easy to become insular when dwelling within one industry so pushing beyond the usual realms of dealings could expand opportunities.

Fruit, vegetables and nuts seem to pop up in so many other industries be it as ingredients or in logos, concepts, artwork, slogans, music and icons.

There must be hundreds of unexplored possibilities to connect with and elevate a brand and produce line for mutual benefit - it might just take some brainstorming.

This isn't signing up a celebrity to give the product a plug every now and then. It's about a rising tide lifting all boats, so each partner benefits.

It might be time to saddle up and ride out, partner.

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