Describe your implementation:
Cane Changer uses a broad range of activities to implement the 11 strategies, ranging from intensive one-on-one grower engagement to workshops for 50+ growers. We run behavioural skills training workshops to upskill the extension workforce and bring together industry groups to enhance collaboration. Each strategy is tailored to be district specific in consultation with local leadership groups.
To ensure project adoption, we partner with other active projects and organizations to streamline engagement and maximize investment. By partnering with trusted organizations growers are more likely to get involved. Enabling conditions include creating a positive environment that fosters behavior change by unlocking positive social norms and improving the industry's social license. This is primarily driven through a behavior change communication strategy which utilizes a range of behavior change communication tools including; positive messaging to build industry pride, nudging and social norming through sharing stories of industry involvement in BMP. Over 20,000 people have seen our material online over the last 18 months and we regularly publish in the 8 print media outlets that we partner with. A significant success factor is the tagline ‘Setting the Record Straight,’ which acts as a positive social identity building strategy. The slogan has not only become the centerpiece of the Cane Changer project but is now widely used across the industry and frequently observed in materials and communications published by industry bodies and collaborators. Other success factors include valuing the industry for their previous work, linking with active projects, and thorough engagement with all stakeholders. Breaking the cycle of negativity was the largest obstacle encountered, particularly the ‘tit for tat’ between industry and government. This was overcome by asking the Environment State Ministers to sign behavior contracts committing them to positively recognising growers.
Cane Changer has a strong linkage to policy. The project was funded by the Queensland Department of Environment & Science following a recommendation from the GBR Water Quality Science Taskforce to develop a behaviour change program in partnership with the Queensland sugarcane industry. Two Ministers for Environment have signed behavioral contracts to recognize & value the sugarcane industry for its commitment to protecting the reef & the environment. Cane Changer is an official CANEGROWERS organisation initiative. In every district, the CANEGROWERS Board are members of the leadership team & help drive the project in their area. The systems-level approach of the project design ensures thorough engagement with all industry stakeholders, including growers and harvesters, millers, extension officers, government officials, & the public. Cane Changer aims to tie in wherever possible to existing infrastructure & personnel. Throughout the implementation of the project, we have partnered with a number of organizations to host events, run workshops, share learnings & engage growers. This includes the peak research body in the sugarcane industry, Sugar Research Australia, the milling groups, e.g, Tully Sugar Limited & MSF Sugar, & other research organisation such as CSIRO. To disseminate communication materials, we have strong partnerships with media such as the Cairns Post & Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF).