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Olabisi Oladele – 2018 Nuffield Scholar

Olabisi Oladele from Orrvale in Victoria received a Nuffield Scholarship supported by The William Buckland Foundation. She investigated understanding decision making for automation in pack house and human capital requirement.

Olabisi is a Technical Manager at Geoffrey Thompson Holdings, a vertically integrated apple and pear horticulture business that is expanding and diversifying. Under Olabisi’s guidance, the business has a 20 per cent growth production forecast, with an automated pack house predicted to increase outputs from 85,000 bins per year to 120,000 bins. The business operates across all levels of the supply chain including growing, storing, packaging, transport, sales and marketing.

Through her research, Olabisi investigated concerns that the horticulture industry is ill-equipped in human capital to efficiently perform in an increasingly automated and expanding industry. In addition, she used her scholarship to promote career pathways and raise awareness of opportunities in horticulture to school students, with an objective to recruit, train and retain high quality workers.

“My organisation is expanding to operating a 13 acre packing facility and this got me thinking – what sort of skills will be needed for this next level of operation and how do we maintain them?” Olabisi said.

“As our population continues to grow and open doors into the export market, strategic planning for the future of produce growing and processing is required.”

Olabisi travelled to Italy, France, UK, USA and Canada some of the top apple and pear producing and exporting countries.

Scholarship report: click to download
Verbal presentation: watch video
Media profile: click to view

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