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Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook 2019/20 Launch Event

Publication date: 29 January 2021

The launch event provided a comprehensive overview of the 6th edition of the Handbook and unpacked the sector’s performance during the 2019/20 year.

Past event (Friday 12 February 2020)


Questions were submitted prior to the webinar and during the webinar. For questions and responses, see below.

Question 1

Do you have anything that has comparative data in reference to the organic industry or is that handled exclusively by the organic sector? Not necessarily as a detailed overview, but more as an overall snapshot.

Response: We do not split out any data on the organic industry. Hort Innovation has invested in projects related to organics in the past (e.g. but do not currently collect any data related to the organic sector. Australian Organic ( would be the best place to source this data.

Question 2 

In previous years a number of commodities had production area (ha). This seems to have ceased?. Also when the handbook had area (ha) was this total area planted per annum (accounting for multiple crops/year) or simply land cropped to that crop?

Response: This data was sourced from the ABS, specifically catalogue 71210 ( This was removed due to not being directly collected from Hort Stats activities and the inclusion of other data such as retail and foodservice volume and value reducing space available. The ABS collects total area planted for each crop they report on, which does not include all horticulture industries, for each year and also regionally down to the NRM and SA4 level.

Questions 3

Looking into the future and Ag2030, where do see the value of Hort?

Response: Hort has been maturing over the past decade, with the main growth driver being exports. Moving forward, export will continue to drive growth in those industries with those products both suitable to export and also demanded by export markets when they are in season. Industries looking to increase their export capabilities include avocados, stonefruit, mangoes and vegetables as a whole. There is still significant domestic growth for industries such as blueberries, rubus berries, lychees and persimmons as they mature, while industries such as garlic, olives and smaller nut industries such as pistachios could potentially grow to satisfy domestic demand, displacing imports. $20 billion is not too far off, and if good seasonal conditions are experienced along with strong demand both domestically and in export markets, it should be possible to reach this by 2026.

Question 4

Are there opportunities to benchmark and compare the data with overseas market/countries performance to see how we rank globally?

Response: Export data is available for many other countries through Hort Innovation’s subscription to the Global Trade Atlas by IHS Markit. This is used by industries to look at the export performance of their competitors. As Australia is a relatively small producer compared to countries such as the US, Chile, Spain and Mexico, benchmarking at these aggregate values is difficult. USDA reports are possibly the best source of global production data across agricultural industries, allowing Australia to see where it ranks in terms of global production and trade (e.g.

What was this webinar about?

The Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook (the Handbook) is the leading resource for Australian horticulture statistics and market information. The Handbook is an analysis that combines all available data on production, international trade, processing volumes and fresh market distribution in order to produce statistics on 75 horticultural categories.

This launch event will provide a comprehensive overview of the 6th edition of the Handbook and will unpack the sector’s performance during the 2019/20 year. Participants will come away from the session with a clear understanding of the performance of the sector during the 2019/20 year and overall trends that have emerged from the Handbook’s data.

This overview will be followed by a panel session with a selection of key Handbook users, exploring how the Handbook data is used in a range of settings and the value it generates for their organisation.


  • How the Handbook data is compiled
  • Key performance metrics for the sector over 2019/20
  • Review of performance trends over the last 8 years of time series Handbook data
  • How the data is being applied to add value for key stakeholder groups.


  • Introduction
  • About the methodology and resource
  • What are the results telling us for the 19/20 period + trend discussion
  • How stakeholders use and value the information - panel discussion
  • Question time 

The host and guest presenters

Adam Briggs, Head of Data & Insights, Hort Innovation

Adam drives Hort Innovation’s Data & Insights function. He leads the management of the industry analysis R&D portfolio and the undertaking of investment analysis and supports the delivery of the Monitoring & Evaluation Framework.

Brendan O'Keeffe, Analyst, Hort Innovation 

Brendan manages the supply-side industry analysis portfolio, which includes production census and industry benchmarking projects, among others. Monitoring and evaluation is also a key part of his role, both to inform investment decisions and to assess the performance of completed investments. Brendan is passionate about using economics in a targeted manner to inform decision making at both a grower level and an industry strategic level.

Martin Kneebone, Managing Director, Freshlogic

Martin has over 25 years’ experience working in fresh food supply chains. He has deep experience in the management, supply and analysis of fresh food categories across fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood and has a strong reputation for his ability to extract useful, commercial applications from his reviews and analysis. Martin has worked at senior management level in supermarket retail and has directed numerous consumer and trade channel studies including developing the first large-scale direct buying links between growers and retailers in Australia. 


About the Hort Innovation Insights webinar series for growers

The Hort Innovation Insights webinar series connects you with the people closest to the research and investments you want to know more about. Each short online session features subject matter experts, project delivery partners and Hort Innovation staff discussing key topics, opportunities and challenges for horticulture growers.

Grab a cuppa and attend a live session to ask questions and discover essential insights and tools to implement in your business today. Webinar recordings are also available after each event if you can’t join us live.

See more here