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Completed project

Understanding the nature, origins, volume and values of vegetable imports (VG12083)

Key research provider: RMCG
Publication date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018

What was it all about?

This investment was established to help vegetable growers and the industry at large understand the nature, origin, volume and value of vegetable imports coming into Australia. In its course, it examined data from a range of sources and produced annual summaries, with fact sheets detailing top imported vegetable products.

Results from the project’s overall analysis showed that the major import volumes are occurring in the frozen sector, followed by the preserved (tinned) sector, with relatively few imports of fresh vegetables. Where they occur, fresh imports reflect a demand by consumers for product throughout the year (counter-seasonal) and for specific products at specific times that may not be available domestically.

Frozen and preserved vegetables made up the majority of vegetable imports due to their low price and availability to meet market demands. Industry analysis found that while consumers and retailers do have a preference for domestically sourced fresh vegetables, they seek low-cost frozen and processed vegetables. The analysis showed frozen and processed goods were typically supplied from countries that are low-cost producers to meet this consumer demand and preference.

In terms of overall volumes, peas were the only crop where the volume of imports exceeded the estimated volume of domestic production, and this was primarily due to a well-established supply chain of frozen peas from New Zealand.


Download fact sheets produced by the final year of the project:

Related levy funds

This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund