The gross value of Australia’s vegetable production grew 13 per cent to A$3.8 in the year ending 30 June 2013, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics report, released Friday.
Potatoes’ gross value grew 10 per cent to A$690m thanks largely to an increase in prices, while tomatoes’ gross value grew 25 per cent to A$439m. Onions and carrots didn’t shape up so well, with a 6 per cent and 10 per cent decrease in gross value respectively.
Leading industry body Ausveg welcomed the news, saying the vegetable industry has proved an important role in contributing to the national economy.
“This increase in growth is significant, especially considering that the gross value of Australia’s vegetable industry from the previous year was approximately A$3.3bn. That’s around a half-a-billion dollar increase in one year,” said Ausveg economist Shaun Muscat in a media release.
“Continued growth is essential, particularly since, despite the best efforts of industry, rising production costs such as electricity, fuel, fertiliser and labour, mean many growers are being squeezed,” added Muscat. “The vegetable industry must remain resilient and continuously explore opportunities to improve returns, by reducing operating costs and improving productivity levels.”
The gross value of Australia crops grew 10 per cent to A$28bn, with demand for canola, wheat and oranges driving the increase.