Getting involved in the

Building Horticulture
Business Capacity Program.

There is currently a great opportunity for horticulture businesses owners across WA to participate in the 4-year funded Building Horticulture Business Capacity Program that is directly focused on supporting them to increase their business profitability, resilience and longer-term sustainability.

The opportunity

Participants will have access to work closely with an expert farm consultant during the program who will help you to take your business and financial management to the next level and measure the progress along the way.

This will assist you to make more informed decisions where it counts and remove some of the unnecessary stress while building a more resilient business.

The Scale of Results the Program is Helping Growers Achieve

  • Removed $80k/year from the business cost structure by supporting the business owner to negotiate a market appropriate interest rate with the bank.
  • Assessed a strong business operating efficiency, conducted lease analysis to support an opportunity to increase scale and deliver a $95k/year profit.
  • Identified and removed a $40k/year cost in the vegetable sales process.
  • Potential to quantify and justify the appropriate price increase to cover the rising inputs costs and return the business to a profitable status.
  • Provided independently verified data to attract investment and more favourable interest rates on loans.

About the Program

“Connecting horticultural businesses with farm business consultants. We work with you to improve profitability and business resilience into the future.”

The Building Horticulture Business Capacity (BHBC) project provides an opportunity for horticultural producers to partner with Planfarm business consultants to analyse the business on an independent basis – a fresh set of eyes.

The goal of the project is to build your business’s capacity to understand the complex components that drive farm business profitability. Working with the members of your business, we’ll analyse these components and provide insights to enhance the business’s resilience and success.

Participation in the project would see you work with a farm business consultant to improve your understanding of the financial elements of the business and target areas to increase profitability.

This service is valued at up to 10K per annum (if paying the industry market price), and it runs annually for three years. This is a 30K saving as Planfarm and vegetablesWA will provide this service to participating businesses for free.

The Planfarm Process

1. Business Analysis
We analyse your business with a focus on production and profit for the year of effort (your production year). This allows key performance indicators and financial ratios to be generated. 

2. Providing Insight
We provide insight into your business – identifying opportunities for improvement and focus by analysing links between production, management and financial data.

3. Measuring Success
Let’s measure success. This ongoing process is conducted via annual and in season reviews. This process will deepen your financial business management capability.

What to Expect Annually for 3 Years

Farm Visit
An on farm meeting with your business to gather the required data and run through any questions you may have.

Annual Review
An in person review of the past season with a focus on production, cashflow, profit and balance sheet.

All Year Services
Unlimited phone/consultancy access, benchmarking and Planfarm publication access.

Cost and Eligibility
No cost – thanks to funding from DPIRD, Hort Innovation and Agricultural Produce Commission. Currently the project is open to all vegetable and pome producers. However, we’re open to talking to all stonefruit, berry, citrus and turf growers.

Everything you need to know

Why would I want to participate?

The environment in which growers operate is one marked with increasing complexity, competition and rapid pace of execution and change. Most growers are challenged by:

  • Suppliers raising input prices to a point that the market can bear
  • Rise of influence of supermarket chains on the access to consumers and the increased demands they place on their grower suppliers in terms of price and administration
  • Variability and lack of transparency of market prices
  • Impacts of COVID on labour supply
  • Greater levels of bureaucracy and restriction to access finance since the Royal Commission
  • Increased levels of compliance administration
  • Increased competition from interstate and overseas
  • Changes to water allocations

All of these have occurred and increased incrementally over time – bit by bit – which continually challenge and stress margins and profits.

Also, suppliers, supermarket chains, market agents and financial institutions have all advanced their business management practices and have access to greater levels of detailed information and data that put the majority of individual horticulture business owners at a significant disadvantage in transactions.

This program will help you meet these challenges and close this gap.

the process

So what actually happens?

To start with we will sit down and talk with you about your business and financial management practises and understand where you’re currently at.

Then we will conduct a detailed business performance analysis to understand how your business is performing. This will show you how your business is tracking against key profitability and asset growth metrics, pinpointing focus areas for greater revenue and margins. It will also give you an idea of how your business is performing against industry benchmarks.

Then we will sit down together again with you to understand the findings of the business analysis that are contained in your final report. From this we will identify what changes you can make within your business to increase your profitability and grow your assets. We will look strategically into the future as well as tactically at the here and now.

There will also be further opportunities to participate in other development and networking events with like minded growers throughout the program.

This process will be repeated over the 3-year period so you can track the progress of the changes you make to your business and financial management practices and see the progress within your business – this about building sustainable practise change towards resilience not a one off.

By participating in the program, you provide yourself with a rare opportunity of taking an honest and thorough look at your business with the assistance of an independent 3rd party expert.

This service is provided free of charge for the 3-years of the program and confidentiality is of paramount importance throughout.

the commitment

Is this for me?

This program will suit those Hort business owners who are motivated to drive more profitability and shape their business to better face the future ahead.

Participating business owners will need to be open to new perspectives, willing to acknowledge where there are emerging issues, be motivated about solving those issues and committed to following through with action based on what they have learnt and decided.

There will be an expectation of commitment to participate for the full program lifecycle.

This program ‘won’t do it all for you’ but it will widen the scope of understanding of your business owner from accepting many aspects as ‘just the way it is’ to something they can investigate, interrogate and manage – therefore putting you more in the driving seat of the destiny of your business.

The program is about reducing the amount of ‘unknowns’ and providing you with the information and insight so you are better equipped to meet and respond to the demands of the current and future environment.

have questions?


How much does it cost to participate?

Participation is at no cost to the grower.


Yes – If you are the business owner, or major decision maker, of a Horticulture business in Western Australia.


WA based farm consultancy Planfarm have over 40+ years experience of providing financial and business advice across all agricultural industries including broadacre, livestock, horticulture and permanent crops. Along with farm business management advice, Planfarm provide specialist advisors in agronomy and grain marketing servicing over 480 farming businesses throughout Western Australia. These services have been in response to increasing sophistication and scale of farm businesses and changes in the grain marketing environment in Australia. Planfarm advisors continue to assist clients to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the Western Australian agricultural sector.


Typical data required from business owners includes:

  • Profit and loss, cash book from financial management software systems
  • Balance sheet
  • Specific Production data – including area, volumes, etc.
  • Labour Information
  • Water licence and usage information


Recognising the numerous demands on our time, we’ve streamlined the process so that the bulk of the work is done by the program team and that we only call on you when it’s necessary.

We estimate that in total that this will take up 6 to 8 hours of your time each year.


The Building Horticulture Business Capacity Program is a collaboration between Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Hort Innovation, APC Vegetable Producers’ Committee, APC Pome Producers’ Committee and will be delivered by vegetablesWA in partnership with expert Farm Management Consultants Planfarm.


Great efforts go towards ensuring all data shared with the program remains securely stored and all confidentiality  maintained.

Before you participate, both parties sign a strict Data Agreement form which clearly lays out how your data will be handled and managed. After that all data shared with the program are kept on secure Planfarm servers with access restricted to only the analysts performing the analysis.

In terms of your final report, only you and the farm consultant you are working with will ever see this.


Get in touch

Contact Bryn Edwards


vegetablesWA Building Business Capability Project Lead
0417 409 821

Contact Paul Omodei


Planfarm Director
0427 728 566

Funding Partners