Horticulture

Diverse climate and soils produce quality products

Victoria's fruit industries are diverse, with a wide geographical spread and product range.  The industry has a farm-gate value of nearly A$2.5 billion, and accounts for over 50 per cent of Australia's horticulture exports.1 The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates there are nearly 3,500 businesses in Victoria involved in horticultural activities.2

A range of fruits with a strong export focus

The state produces:

  • pome fruit (e.g. apples and pears)
  • stone fruit (e.g. peaches, apricots, nectarines)
  • berry fruit
  • citrus
  • nuts
  • wine and table grapes with key export varieties, such as Thomson Seedless

horticulture fruits 

There is a strong export focus, especially in the table grape, stone fruit (including cherries), and citrus industries.   The sector also attracts investment from international companies such as Olam with 12 000 hectares of almonds in Victoria, a growing export product.3

Victoria's pome, berry and stone fruit industries predominantly sell their produce into domestic markets, while the almond and citrus industries have a much stronger export focus. Victoria accounts for about 50 per cent of Australia's horticulture exports valued at almost A$900 million in 2013-14, up nearly 50 per cent on the previous year.4 Nuts (fresh or dried) were the highest value commodity, with almonds making up over 40 per cent of the value of total horticulture exports.

Vegetables

Victoria is Australia's second largest vegetable-producing state by value, with around a quarter of the nation's total production value. The gross value of vegetable production for human consumption in Victoria was A$985 million.5 In 2012-13 there were over 800 businesses in Victoria producing vegetables for human consumption.

Victoria is Australia's largest broccoli, asparagus and mushroom producing state. It produces 95 per cent of the national asparagus crop. Half of Victoria's vegetable production occurs in the Melbourne region.6

The Victorian vegetable industry is driven primarily by domestic markets rather than exports. Victoria is the largest vegetable exporting state, contributing 31 per cent of Australia's vegetable exports value in 2013-14. 7

Access to markets and quality food systems

The industry benefits from counter seasonal (northern hemisphere) availability; closeness in proximity to Asia for air and sea freight; clean and safe produce backed by a robust regulatory framework. The increasing application of plant industry property identification codes (for example, for the grape industry) is significantly improving supply chain tracking.8

The Victorian Government continues to invest in world-class regulation, research and development, extension services, transport, and infrastructure.

Government support efforts for this sector

  • The new Horticulture Centre of Excellence with state-of-the art equipment for targeted research into improved fruit quality, more efficient production systems, and pest and disease control
  • AgriBio established a A$288 million biosciences research centre at Latrobe University (2013)
line

Sources

  1. State Government of Victoria – Department of Primary Industries: Food and Fibre Export Performance Report
  2. State Government of Victoria – Dept. Environment and Primary Industries
  3.  Australian Almonds, Olam
  4. State Government of Victoria – Department of Primary Industries: Food and Fibre Export Performance Report
  5. State Government of Victoria – Department of Primary Industries: Food and Fibre Export Performance Report
  6. State Government of Victoria – Department of Primary Industries: Food and Fibre Export Performance Report
  7.  State Government of Victoria – Department of Primary Industries: Food and Fibre Export Performance Report
  8. Dept. Environment and Primary Industries