FUTURE FOCUS OF AUSTRALIAN HORTICULTURE INDUSTRY BRIGHT, BUT INNOVATION NEEDED
With horticulture trade growing faster than agriculture globally, the Australian horticulture industry is set to capitalise on innovations pinpointed by Future Focus, the Australian horticultural plan. “Current projections show that the Australian horticultural industry will be producing enough to feed another city the size of Melbourne by 2020,” says John Webster, managing director of Horticulture Australia Limited which is leading the Future Focus project. However, Future Focus indicates that expansion could be even more significant if the industry innovates its practices Future Focus is the Australian horticulture industry’s strategic plan, which is being developed to improve
increased competition from horticulture imports. In developed countries the import share of consumption increased 3.7 per cent a year. Australia’s imports increased 4.6 per cent per year. “Industry will need to provide high quality products and keep costs down if it wants to compete with imports of fresh and processed produce,” says Webster. Commencing in February, the second phase of Future Focus will develop action plans for each of the strategic areas identified in phase one. “By concentrating on those actions where the expected payoff is highest, overall return for effort in the industry will be maximised,” says Webster. “Future Future Focus will develop these plans in consultation with industry by hosting a series of workshops. Participants will refine the action items, seek ways to capitalise on industry’s strengths and address constraints. The areas identified by Future Focus as the key to the industry’s success and continued growth are: Making supply more effective; Improving industry’s competitive advantage in all markets; Making effective use of scarce resources, such as water; Maximising the contribution of technology; Providing a well functioning commercial environment; and Promoting structural change in industry. As part of the development of Future Focus, comments are sought from all interested parties. Comments can be submitted via the website, www . f u t u r e f o c u s . o r g . a u o r b y ema i l , FutureFocus@TheCIE.com.au . For all media enquiries, contact: Allison Lee/ Tori Chalke, IMPACT Communications 02 9519 5411 / 0413 047 414, Tori@impactcommunications.com.au Focus will concentrate on separating what can be done privately from that best done collectively.”
the profitability of Australian horticulture. It will map the ‘next steps’ for the industry and set the strategic path for growth. Australian horticulture inc ludes nurser y, f ruit, vegetables, cut flowers, nuts, turf and extractive crops. According to Webster, Future Focus will identify both opportunities and challenges for the horticulture sector.
ABA CEO Julie Haslett is a member of the leadership group formed to help steer Australia’s $7 billion horticulture sector toward a strategic vision for its future.
“Fresh fruit and vegetables account for 13.3 per cent of household expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages. There is a clear opportunity to increase Australia’s export market, particularly to Northern Hemisphere markets, and improve profitability” he says. “Future Focus has found that an increase in export demand would result in the largest increase in industry income. “Some industries, such as nuts, are expanding significantly, but access to export markets needs to addressed, particularly for those industries which face government trade barriers,” he says. “By 2020, the gross value of production of horticulture has the potential to be $10 billion or around 28 per cent higher than 2005-06,” says Webster. “To achieve and exceed this growth, strong domestic population growth, steady and strong income growth, strong export demand and relatively limited import growth are necessary.” Future Focus First Phase report also showed