ABS updates REACS Survey to better represent Nursery

Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) has been liaising with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on the way in which the nursery industry is represented in their surveys for a number of years.

The nursery industry activities are present across a number of departments within the ABS. Within the agricultural branch, you will find nursery represented in surveys such as the Agricultural Census, Rural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey (REACS) and the Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced (VACP). Historically, within these surveys the nursery industry’s value has been assessed simply though questioning area (Ha) and gross receipts (S) for nursery production undercover and nursery production outdoors.

Earlier this year NGIA attended a number of meetings with the team behind the REACS Survey. We were able to express our concerns with counting the industry in way noting particularly the diversity in product both size and species. As a result we were invited to provide feedback on the draft REACS survey which is to be distributed shortly for 16/17 financial year.

Our recommended changed included broadly defining the sectors within our industry and seeking both volume (number of plants) and gross receipts by sector. The changes to the survey, which were tested in April this year, were positively received and have subsequently been adopted into the REACS Survey.

This survey is due to be released to industry shortly and is surveying the 16/17 financial year.

The changes to the survey which include online completion are undoubtedly a leap forward in ABS data collection for the nursery industry.

If you are a nursery production business called upon to participate in the 16/17 REACS Survey, we encourage you to do so as these changes provide a great opportunity for us to demonstrate the true value of greenlife to the community and economy.