Through Project Pioneer, producers learnt about key business indicators and processes, such as cashflow planning and budgeting skills to improve financial literacy and increase profitability.

A cohort comparison of average key business indicators for Project Pioneer businesses who completed ProfitProbe™ in FY1920. The pattern of key indicators becoming stronger as length of time since first receiving support through the project increases was echoed across the board.

*Statistics reflect participants that completed ProfitProbe, not reflective of all Project participants.


participants increased their financial management systems (eg. budgets)


improvement in gross margin ratio over the life of Project*


reduction in overhead ratio (initial Project Pioneer participants)*

$1 billion+



producers improved their business management processes (eg. decision making)

Benchmarked second and fifth year Project Pioneer participants Return on Assets (ROA) compared with the average for all businesses benchmarked via ProfitProbe™. The data demonstrates that fifth year participants, with at least four years of education and support, performed better than the average, who had not necessarily had that education and support. Second year participants improved their ROA to be closer to the average after being involved in the project for just 12 months.

Gross margin ratio indicates how much gross product (cash and non-cash income) remains after paying direct costs. The comparison between groups reflects the trend for ROA, where those businesses involved in the project for longer performed better than those businesses new to the project. The gross margin ratio for the most recent cohort of project participants was considerably better in their second year, indicating a better knowledge and management of their relationship between productivity and direct costs.

Project Pioneer is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The project is delivered by RCS with support from WWF, Maia Technology, Farm Map 4D and CQUniversity.

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