New Crops Info

Supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

The Do Our Own Marketing Research short course

(for small groups)


The DOOR Marketing short course has been used throughout Australasia to analyse the basic requirements for successful commercialisation of a new crop;
what will be the major problems with new crop commercialisation and how can they be solved?




Which new crops have a chance of being commercially worthwhile?


There are many relevant issues to be considered, but information is often scant. 
Any available information may be misleading if taken out of its original context, eg experiences from another region or time. 


The drivers for new crop development have often been issues unrelated to the long-term viability of a particular industry,
eg the minimisation of income tax liabilities, the funding of regional development or simple curiosity. 


New crop development therefore has all the challenges of venture capital funding in manufacturing but with the vagaries of plant material and the environment as well.   


Relatively unimportant issues often attract the attention of entrepreneurs, members of the media, politicians, funding agencies and the public. 
At the same time, crucial matters, such as the marketability of a new crop product or the existence of a threatening disease which can render a new crop unprofitable are paid little or no attention as the hype around a new crop builds.


Even if an otherwise comprehensive analysis of a new crop's potential were able to be carried out, the results can often be rendered invalid by seemingly innocuous events, such as:

an unexpected rainstorm which may damage an initial seed crop about to be harvested,

a clerical error which delays an item of mail in quarantine or an application to travel,

a well-meaning media release which attracts attention away from one crop towards another,

an overseas trip by a politician, or

a chance meeting between two influential people, etc.


These difficulties have prompted the recommendations for the commercialisation of new crops which are included in the DOOR Marketing short course.


The DOOR Marketing approach requires members of a potential new crops industry to identify those crops they wish to develop and charges the research agencies with the responsibility of facilitating the process of commercialisation.


The determination of the marketability of the new crops product and the economic viability of the associated industry needs to be determined in collaboration with all stakeholders, prior to widespread field evaluation.


Initially, the choice of new crops of interest should be made by members of the new crops industry who are willing to invest time and money in these crops. 


After appreciating the high risk and long term nature of any new crops project and establishing the ownership of intellectual property, those commercialising a new crop product need to carry out marketing research, which is the reason for the DOOR-Marketing short course.


Marketing research for new crop industries should be viewed as an opportunity to:


reduce or delay investment in industries with no market potential,

prevent over-production in those industries with limited market potential,

devote resources to those industries which have the greatest market potential and

develop successful marketing strategies for new crop industries.




The DOOR-Marketing short course was originally created following requests from the new crops industry, made during the Business Meeting at the First Australian New Crops Conference in July 1996.


The Do Our Own Research (DOOR) concept was initiated by Dr Mal Hunter, formerly the Horticulture Centre Co-ordinator, Redlands Research Station, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Cleveland.  The DOOR approach demonstrated how a vast array of individual problems in the nursery industry could be addressed by individual nursery operators carrying out their own research, in association with trained facilitators.


The DOOR concept was publicised to members of the new crop industry through the Australian New Crops Newsletter in 1995 (Issue #4: 5). 
It was apparent at the time that DOOR principles could provide an approach for carrying out preliminary marketing research in the vast array of potential new crop industries.


Merely growing a new crop, without knowing how its product will be sold, is a hobby and not a business.


The manual developed to accompany the DOOR Marketing short course has been designed as a stand-alone primer in the principles of new crops marketing. 
However, the benefits to individuals of considering these principles in a mutually supportive environment of like-minded people should not be under-estimated.


DOOR-Marketing is not intended to replace the need for a full marketing or business plan for the new crop industry. 
That task has been addressed by the Fresh Field short course and primer (RIRDC Publication 07/147). 
However, it is intended to assist new crop developers in determining whether their selected new crop product warrants investment in such plans.


Short Course Program


1. Introductions

2. The ten points for planning

3. New crops in the farming system

4. What information is required?  Marketing, production, economic or research issues?

5. Solving problems

6. The thirteen steps for commercialising new crops

7. The key issues

8. Strategic marketing management

9. SWOT analyses and decision making


Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC)

RIRDC New and Developing Plant Industries:
(publications and reports)

RIRDC New Crop Industries Handbook
(530 pages pdf download)

RIRDC essential oils, tea tree oil, wildflowers and natives, bioenergy, organic farming

All information is included in good faith but this website does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of any information on these pages, nor does the website accept responsibility for any loss arising from the use of this information.  It is wise to question all things.  Views and opinions are those of the individual authors.  Every effort has been made to respect copyright owners' rights. 

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Latest update 30 June 2014 by: ANCW