Cane Changer

Project Cane Changer is an evidence-based behaviour change program for the Queensland sugar industry. It is an initiative of CANEGROWERS , carried out in partnership with Evidn (formerly Behaviour Innovation). The Cane Changer project draws on principles of psychology and human behaviour to better understand growers and help increase farmers’ adoption of best management farming practices that are known to improve water quality through Smartcane Best Management Practice (BMP) program.

The project officially commenced in the Wet Tropics in early 2016, with funding from the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program . Recent funding from the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has seen Cane Changer continue momentum into 2020 throughout the Wet Tropics whilst expanding further south into the Mackay, Burdekin and Southern sugarcane regions of Queensland.

As signalled by the project’s slogan, ‘Setting the Record Straight’, Cane Changer focuses on activating change within the community by building a positive industry identity and delivering capacity building training across key stakeholders such as growers, millers and extension staff. Since project commencement in 2016, accreditation rates in Smartcane BMP increased across the Wet Tropics region by 440% by the end of 2019. This rate of change is more than double all other regions combined and resulted from the joint effort invested from several projects including Cane Changer.

Growers participating in Cane Changer are tracked across the length of the project through an attitudinal social survey which measures key social indicators and psychological variables predictive of practice change.  As a result of being engaged by the project, growers reported:

  • A higher sense of personal responsibility towards improving water quality running out into the Great Barrier Reef
  • Increased confidence that they can contribute to the success of their industry
  • Increased positive recognition by the general public.
  • Seeing or hearing more positive news stories about their industry.

You can hear more from the growers involved in Cane Changer in the video above, or by visiting the Cane Changer website.