Growcom in partnership with vegetablesWA and the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Export Facilitation Group will deliver a three-year project designed to help Australian vegetable growers become export-ready.
Funded by Hort Innovation, the project aims to increase Australian vegetable exports by supporting growers to capitalise on commercial business opportunities.
Export Facilitators have been employed ‘on the ground’ in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania as part of a network across Australia.
Facilitators will work with growers to assess their level of export readiness and identify what needs to be in place in the business to become a successful exporter or expand into new export markets.
Through the project, export-ready growers can access assistance to prepare and implement an export plan for their business.
The support offered will be tailored to individual businesses, both big and small, that are at different stages of development. Some businesses have a limited product range and seasonality. In these cases, the facilitators aim to connect growers and resources to create collaborative partnerships that will improve supply capacity opportunities for long-term export success.
The Export Facilitator Project will assist in achieving the overarching objective of the Vegetable Industry Export Strategy of growing the value of vegetable exports by 40 per cent by 2020. It also supports the delivery of the national Vegetable Export Development Program coordinated by AUSVEG.
This project will undertake a range of activities:
- Grower Development: up-skilling of vegetable growers to enable more direct vegetable exports.
- Strategic Development: developing export strategies for export ready growers/groups of growers.
- Strategy Implementation: facilitators will assist growers to commercialise their export strategy.
- Communication: provide and distribute export development resources and information.
How does the project work?
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The Vegetable Industry Export Strategy
In 2015/16 vegetable exports were valued at $226.5 million, with 209,871 tonnes exported. Carrots are currently Australia’s largest value exports, followed by other root vegetables including potatoes and onions. South East Asia and the Middle East are the largest export markets for Australia given their favourable geographic location, good market access and the strong reputation for Australian product. Overall, Australia’s vegetable exports have remained static since 1998 and further development of the capacity and capability within the industry is required to capitalise on opportunities in overseas markets.
Completed in 2017, the Vegetable Industry Export Strategy (VG15052) serves as a roadmap for the vegetable industry to follow to achieve the objectives outlines in the strategy, namely:
- to grow vegetable exports by 40 per cent by 2020.
- to establish an export culture within the vegetable industry.
- to build the export skill sets of Australian growers.
- to build Australia’s reputation within our core target markets, as being a long-term, customer-loyal supplier of quality products with integrity.
- to position Australia as a leader in premium, differentiated products that deliver customer and consumer value (based on a clear understanding of market requirements).
- to support exporters to establish business models appropriate to their situation, which deliver the business system, critical mass and continuity required for export success.
- to ensure that vegetable exporting businesses are informed with quality market intelligence and customer insights.
In order to achieve these export objectives, Hort Innovation have invested significantly in the export space to deliver a variety of programs and projects to grow vegetable exports. This investment includes the Export Facilitator Project which will focus on supporting Australian vegetable growers to meet commercial export opportunities by taking opportunities and insights from a range of sources and working to support growers, exporters and other industry participants. This project will also support the delivery of the national Vegetable Industry Export Strategy, support the national Vegetable Export Development Program (VG16061) project held by Ausveg, and integrate with existing Hort Innovation programs including AM15004 – Now! In Season (retail promotion) and AM15000 – Australia Fresh (expositions).
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government. For more information on the fund and strategic levy investment, visit horticulture.com.au