Kernels of truth
The figures reveal that, despite sweet corn production increasing from 70,808 tonnes in 2010-11 to 74,483 tonnes in 2013-14, the gross value of the sweet corn industry has marginally decreased over the same time period.
ABS data has also illustrated that the number of sweet corn growers has decreased by 38 per cent since 2010-11.
“Sweet corn production has increased over the last few years despite the decrease in the number of growers in the sweet corn industry,” said Steve Razdan, AusVeg economist.
“This indicates that the sweet corn industry is following a similar trend to other vegetable commodities and transitioning to a situation where a smaller number of larger growers produce a larger proportion of sweet corn.”
While the overall value of the industry is marginally decreasing, the situation still might be beneficial, as overall profits are being shared between fewer growers.
There is also good news for growers looking to develop markets, with frozen sweet corn exports valued at more than $2.5 million, having grown more than five fold since 2009-10, with Asian markets in particular increasing their demand for Australian vegetables.