NZL FIS Produce Box

The value of Australia’s horticulture sector grew 4.5 per cent in 2019/20 (12 months to 30 June 2020) despite challenges such as Covid-19 and bushfires, according to Hort Innovation.

The industry body has released its latest Horticulture Statistics Handbook, which showed the value of the sector rose from A$14.4bn (US$11.1bn) in 2018/19 to A$15.1bn (US$11.6bn) in 2019/20, despite a production volume decreasing by 1.5 per cent.

Adam Briggs, head of data and insights of Hort Innovation, said the data showed consumers still chose Australian produce despite price increases. He said nuts and apples were two products that saw significant growth.

“Nuts have performed extremely well again, having grown by A$221m (US$170m), one-third of the total growth in horticulture value. Almonds continued their expansion, with a value growth of 14 per cent, while macadamias bounced back from a tough 2018/19 to experience a value growth of 26 per cent,” said Briggs.

“Apples have had two years of double-digit value growth (10 per cent and 13 per cent), despite two years of slight reductions in volume due to seasonal conditions.”

James Whiteside, chief executive of Ausveg, said the Handbook was an important resource that helped the industry gain a clearer picture of its production value and volume compared to previous years.

“The Horticulture Statistics Handbook has informed our understanding of the performance of the vegetable and potato industries and provided growers and industry bodies with important data for government, researchers and decision-makers to support policy formation and contribute to a greater understanding of the broader industry,” said Whiteside.