INCREASED GROWER confidence and consumer demand for greenlife resulted in the sale of around 1.9 billion plants last year, according to the latest Nursery Industry Statistics 2017-18 survey report.
Funded by Hort Innovation and conducted by Nursery and Garden Industry Association (NGIA), Down To Earth Research and ACIL Allen, the report assessed data from more than 290 nursery growers across Australia.
NGIA Chief Executive Officer Peter Vaughan said the total value of the nursery industry grew by approximately five per cent to $2.4 billion from 2015-16 to 2017-18.
“This is a very positive result for the industry and reflects widespread sentiment that interest in, and demand for, greenlife continues to grow here in Australia,” Mr Vaughan said.
“Importantly, more than 80 per cent of growers surveyed said they were optimistic about the future of their industry and anticipated that product demand would increase over the next five years.
“Business investment was also up this year, with six out of ten growers investing in infrastructure, new technology or education and training,” he said.
Mr Vaughan said the survey found that the nursery industry employed approximately 25,000 people across 1,651 production businesses.
“Similar to the previous survey, businesses with a turnover greater than $2 million represented 21 per cent of the industry, but accounted for 72 per cent of total national turnover,” he said.
“However, it also found that a number of micro businesses had experienced increased growth in the past year, enabling them to move into the next turnover bracket.
“While a large percentage of national turnover is generated by larger businesses, it’s great to see smaller family owned and operated businesses diversifying their operations and expanding,” he said.
Mr Vaughan said the decision to incorporate key greenlife customers such as landscape businesses and independent retailers in the 2017-18 survey had helped to validate the findings.
“Now in its second year, the survey continues to go from strength to strength. Grower participation was up 32 per cent providing a more accurate snapshot of the supply chain,” he said.
“The results confirm the important role that the nursery industry plays in greening and cooling our communities, as well as its contribution to the nation’s broader food, fibre and foliage industries.
“The next step of the project is to release a new and improved business benchmarking tool, which enables growers to measure their financial performance and inform future decision-making,” he said.
For more information about the survey and benchmarking tool, click here.
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