Power Equipment Australasia

Australian vegetable growers produced 3.59 million tonnes of vegetables in 2022-23 with a production value of $5.83 billion, newly-released data in the Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook reveals. Coinciding with a period marked by severe weather events and major increases in farm input costs, the Handbook shows production volume was down only 3 per cent compared to the previous year. While the $5.83 billion overall production value – an increase of 5.4 per cent compared to the previous year – represents a record high in dollar terms, this was offset by a 6 per cent increase in CPI over the same period. As a further indication of the financial pressures confronting many vegetable growing businesses, the 4 per cent increase in fresh supply wholesale value from $5.91 billion to $6.17 billion represents a decline in real terms. The Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook, released by Hort Innovation, quantifies the value and volume of all major vegetable and fruit crops produced in Australia, including exports, and also includes imports. “This handbook is an important data source that helps growers and other supply chain stakeholders make informed business decisions and better understand the bigger picture in the Australian horticulture sector,” said AUSVEG CEO Michael Coote. “Australian vegetable growers continue to supply more than 98 per cent 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.” “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 vegetable sector is also very diverse, and within this data there are crops which have experienced significant production drops, such as tomatoes, asparagus and fresh peas, contrasted against big growth such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and beetroot.” “Despite the difficult operating environment, the fact the vegetable industry has managed to achieve another year of record overall production value in dollar terms is testament to the vital contributions vegetable growers continue to make to Australia.” “Hort Innovation’s aim in producing the Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook each year is to ensure the entire Australian horticulture industry has access to the data and insights they need to inform their decision-making,” said Hort Innovation CEO Brett Fifield. “This year’s data shows total production value increasing by 2.8 per cent to $16.3 billion, reflecting some of the challenges that industry has faced over the last few years impacting profitability.” “For vegetables, record values were recorded for another year, with overall value reaching an all-time high of $5.83 billion, an increase of 5.4 per cent on 2021/22.” FARMING Leading the way Vegetable growers buffer rising input costs but continue delivering for Australian consumers reports Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook Aussie Pumps Australian Pump Industries 02 8865 3500 aussiepumps.com.au Distributor enquiries welcome MARCH - APRIL 2024 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 27

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