The gross value of Australian vegetable production has climbed steadily over the past 10 years and today is estimated to be well in excess of $3 billion, this production coming from less than 5000 vegetable growing units.
While production figures are impacted by seasonal conditions, the value of production has risen in most vegetable categories over the last four years. Despite a number of challenges facing the industry, beyond the farm gate the industry continues to benefit from longterm trends in vegetable consumption. Fifty years ago, the average Australian consumed around 130 kilograms of vegetables annually. Today per capita consumption has risen to approximately 160 kilograms, representing a 25 percent increase. If vegetable consumption continues to grow at the same rate, then per capita consumption could approach around 190 kilograms by 2050.
The judicious use of selective pesticides to control insect pests, weeds and diseases plays an important role in increasing vegetable production, improving the quality of Australia’s vegetable crops and enabling growers to earn reasonable returns on their investments.