Thursday, July 25, 2024

‘Mixed fortunes’ for Australian horticulture

Hort Innovation says new data shows “mixed fortunes” for an Australian horticulture sector facing numerous challenges.

The long-term outlook, however, remains strong with total production value increasing by 2.8% to $16.3 billion.

The latest edition of the ‘Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook’, developed by Freshlogic on behalf of Hort Innovation, was released this week and includes information on 75 different horticulture categories across fruit, vegetables, nuts, and greenlife.

Hort Innovation CEO Brett Fifield says the value of the horticulture sector grew by $434.3 million over the past year, demonstrating the hard work and passion that the industry has for growing high-quality fresh produce that feeds not only Australians but consumers across the world.

“Growers have faced a myriad of challenges the past few years, including adverse weather events, higher production costs and labour shortages, that have affected profitability,” he says.

“Hort Innovation continues to support the horticulture sector by investing in research and development, marketing and trade to build a prosperous and sustainable future for growers.”

Commenting on vegetables, AUSVEG CEO Michael Coote says Australian vegetable growers continue to supply more than 98% of the fresh vegetables sold domestically and employ tens of thousands of people.

“This data again demonstrates the critical role the nation’s vegetable growers play, not only in providing the nation with produce, but also in terms of its major contributions to the national economy,” he says.

“These contributions have occurred despite the severe weather events, labour shortages and supply chain issues that have affected production volumes of many vegetables. These challenges have also impacted growers’ profitability, with both the overall and fresh wholesale production values of many common commodities down on the previous year, both in year-on-year and actual terms.”

The ‘Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook’ is released by Hort Innovation each February and captures the previous financial year’s data. The guide includes figures on national and state-level production values and volumes, exports and imports, processing volumes, fresh supply, retail and foodservice distribution.

The latest edition is available here.

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