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Exports, local markets to push vegetable industry to new heights

Mid section of worker showing vegetables in supermarketThe Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) projects the value of the country’s vegetable industry to grow to $4.2 billion by 2020-2021, on the back of exports and domestic markets.

In the next five years, the 2013-2014 gross value of vegetable production of $3.6 billion will expand, said the report.

Exports in the Australian vegetable industry are projected to contribute to its increased value, with the gross value set to rise to a nominal value of $396 million by 2020-2021, up from $270 million in 2013-2014.

“Australia’s vegetables are highly sought after, with growing middle class populations in Asia and projected growth in the food sector in the UAE stimulating increased demand for a greater variety of Australian vegetables,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Shaun Lindhe.

“Australia has a reputation as a world-leading producer of vegetables, and local growers can use this reputation to access international markets to sell their produce and increase the value of the entire industry.”

Lindhe added that recently signed Free Trade Agreements with South Korea and Japan will likely assist Australian growers to increase vegetable exports over time.

“The projected growth of the vegetable industry is good news for the national economy, as the vegetable industry is a significant contributor to Australian agriculture,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Shaun Lindhe.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing over 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.“The projected increase in the gross value of the vegetable industry is a positive indicator for growers, so long as this increased value translates to greater returns at the farm-gate,” said Lindhe.

The projected growth is partly based on the assumption that the Australian dollar will remain relatively weak, which is expected to support a projected rise in the value of horticultural exports over the medium term.

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