Growing Australia’s $1.13 billion nursery industry

Australia’s $1.13 billion production nursery sector makes up over a tenth of the nation’s entire horticulture sector, according to a report recently released by Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd.

Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook 2014-15 brings together data on production; international trade; processing volumes; and fresh market distribution for Australia’s 74 key horticultural industries.

Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) CEO Peter Vaughan said the $1.13b figure highlights the industry’s contribution to the human, environmental and economic wellbeing of the community.

“The industry is far broader than the ‘ornamental’ market which springs to mind for many people, and includes large scale forestry, medicinal products, revegetation and starter plants for fruit and vegetable production,” Mr Vaughan said.

“Valued at $10.58 billion, Australian horticulture is a vibrant and diverse sector; and the nursery industry forms a key part of the nation’s supply chain, transcending state borders and spreading across urban, rural and coastal environments.

“Essentially, a huge amount of what goes from paddock to plate starts with Australia’s nursery growers – whether that’s root stock for orchards or seedlings for vegetable production.

“On top of that, plants and trees are beneficial for health and wellbeing, keeping our cities cool, and reducing pollution. With green spaces often overlooked in urban planning processes, the industry continues to support a national campaign to increase urban green space by 20% by 2020, an initiative which began in 2013.”

Maintaining the industry’s reputation as a supplier of high quality and safe stock is critically important, meaning that ongoing investment in areas like biosecurity and pest and disease management are key.

“With a wide variety of plants comes a huge range of pest and disease threats, and the industry is continuously improving its on-farm biosecurity regime through best practice programs like BioSecure HACCP,” he said.

“The industry is constantly evolving to keep up with changes in consumer preferences, social factors and technology, which will see its value and contribution to the community continue to grow.”

The Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook 2014-15 is available online here.

For further information, please contact Sophie Keatinge, Cox Inall Communications on 0430 938 515 or Sophie.keatinge@coxinall.com.au