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Ongoing project

Understanding and managing the impacts of climate change on Australian onion production (VN23001)

Key research provider: thinkstep-anz

What is it all about?

This project will improve onion growers' understanding of the potential environmental impacts of the industry on a total and per kilogram basis and produce critical external communications based on the findings.


Consumers and retailers are demanding increased transparency on sustainability, with some consumers willing to pay a premium for sustainability claims. Growers and supply chain partners are increasingly driven by sustainability-related accountability and assurance programmes extending to environmental and social issues.

While most growers would understand the types of environmental impacts, an industry approach is required so that impacts are measured appropriately and consistently.


The project team is:

  • Working with Australian onion growers to benchmark the environmental performance of onion production. With these benchmarks, including carbon emissions and water usage, growers can compare performance to the industry average and track improvements over time.
  • Identifying the areas of greatest return/feasibility for practice change and the value of progressing alternative approaches.
  • Providing insights to improve input management while maintaining yield and quality in a changing climate.
  • Developing case studies to provide adaptation and risk mitigation options.
  • Providing recommendations for industry to address gaps in knowledge and future R&D requirements (actions, mitigations or future R&D investments) to reduce future climate change risks.


The findings from this project will directly benefit individual onion growers and the industry as a whole by providing a comprehensive understanding of the industry's environmental impact. These findings will also guide future strategic industry investments and support the long-term sustainability of Australian onion producers, enabling them to cater to key domestic and expanded export markets.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Onion Fund