Following the announcement of the Australian Government $1.5 million grant to promote the crucial role the honey bee plays in food production, AgriFutures Australia has been working with the honey bee industry through AHBIC to understand the scope of funding investment.
In 2020 an extensive industry stakeholder mapping exercise resulted in the development of a communication plan, offering a pathway to unify and engage the Australian honey bee industry.
From the initial scoping survey, of particular interest were the results from a public survey of almost 1,000 Australians which revealed an overwhelmingly positive sentiment towards the role of bees in Australian agriculture, yet it found understanding of industry and the value of honey bees to the agricultural sector was limited.
The findings reinforce the industry’s challenge when it comes to collaboration. The communication plan aims to ensure alignment within the industry, creating a common vision and structuring activities around unity, professionalisation and premium offerings. This presents an opportunity to influence public perception and in turn increase the value, and awareness of, the entire industry.
In the context of the drought and summer bushfires, raising awareness of the crucial role of bees will be vital in the recovery of the industry, natural environment and help future proof the industry for years to come.
Following the stakeholder mapping exercise, a communication agency has been engaged to deliver on a honey bee industry communication program. The extension role will work closely with the communication agency and AHBIC to deliver on the project needs.