Proceedings

On-farm Benchmarking: How To Do It And How To Do It Better

Benchmarking is the practice of establishing the relative performance of a business or enterprise against an appropriate
standard, generally industry standards derived from a survey of farms. The Policy Commission into the Future of
Farming and Food (2002) highlighted a need to spread and improve benchmarking on farms. The requirements of
effective benchmarking are illustrated in a ten step framework. The ten steps illustrate the range of expertise and
resources a manager requires before being able to justify allocating resources to benchmarking. A comparison of
alternative farm surveys and methodologies used to collect, analyse and report industry standards illustrates the
difficulties farmers can have in identifying appropriate, robust and accurate industry standards. It is concluded that there
needs to be a thorough rationalisation of farm surveys and agreement on methodologies to make benchmarking more
effective and more efficient.

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Author(s): Collis, Jimi, Franks, Dr J.R.

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Organizations(s): School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle