The gross value of production for the Australian vegetable industry is expected to reach an all-time high of over $3.7 billion in 2013-14, according to new forecast data released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
“The latest ABARES figures demonstrate the growth of the Australian vegetable industry overall and the strong and increasing contribution the industry is making to regional economies around Australia, despite challenges such as rising input costs,” said AUSVEG spokesperson, Andrew White.
“Vegetable prices received are projected to increase by just 2% in 2013-14, with inflation currently hovering at a similar level. While the value of the industry overall is growing, the returns for growers are not necessarily increasing, particularly for smaller enterprises,” said Mr White.
“The report also indicates that prices of imported goods have risen, as they have progressively responded to a depreciation of the Australian dollar in 2013. This means that prices of a range of goods used by growers that are imported from overseas may have also increased and placed further pressure on businesses.”
AUSVEG is the leading voice in horticulture representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“What we are seeing is an industry that has increased its gross value of production. The next challenge is to maintain production while increasing profits to growers,” said Mr White.
“By tapping into new markets such as those in Asia, Australian vegetable and potato growers may be able to maximise the dollar value they receive for their premium, world-class produce, whilst ensuring diversification of their businesses given the highly competitive domestic market.
“Given that many growers are struggling with viability issues associated with imported produce and the downturn in the processing sector, as well as rising input costs, it is vital that the industry embraces the opportunities that may be available through the effective marketing of quality premium Australian produce, particularly in Asia.”
“With a free trade agreement soon to be signed off with South Korea, and others on the cards with countries such as China and Japan, 2014 could be the year the Australian vegetable and potato industries make their mark on the world stage,” said Mr White.
11 December 2013