Overview Australian ginger, though available all throughout the country, is widely produced in Queensland. Furthermore, processed ginger is oftentimes used in beverages in minced or candied form. However, the majority of these fresh imports to Australia are widely processed without entering the fresh supply chain. Most importantly, Fijian ginger has also been recently granted acess […]2020-11-12
Overview Australia possesses a small but growing garlic industry. Nevertheless, most of the supply is accumulated by imports from other regions. The countries that provide the garlic supply are China, Africa, Taiwan, New Zealand and the USA. This necessary vegetable can be identified as a close relative of onions, leeks and chives. When it comes […]2020-11-12
Overview Fresh herbs, including parsley, are predominantly grown in almost all states of Australia. They are specially grown in market gardens near the major capitals. In the present times, increasing volumes are being grown in high-tech greenhouses all year long. Types of Herbs Lemon Myrtle Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is originally a Queensland Rainforest tree so they […]2020-10-30
Overview Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a perennial that grows to 2 metres or more, and at least 50cm across. The leaf has a strong anise scent and flavour, and the buttery yellow flowers appear in summer and autumn. The more common green fennel is a noxious weed in some regions so it should not be planted. The […]2020-10-30
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) says while the horticulture industry will suffer significantly from labour shortage, there are some opportunities from high domestic demand.
A senior industry economist at ABARES, Charley Xia, told this week’s Outlook 2021 conference that there are two key factors driving up prices; labour shortage affected by workforce challenges and retail demand. The pandemic forced many Australians to stay at home and the closure of borders. This resulted in reduced labour supply for the sector. While seasonal conditions improved in most growing regions, especially for those in New South Wales and Queensland, there were significant issues in harvesting that produce in order to meet that increased demand. This issue can completely be drawn back to labour shortage. With harvests now moved across to the southern growing regions, during summer and autumn, we are forecasting production losses.
Earlier in the week, ABARES reported that the labour shortage amongst overseas harvest workers, particularly from the Working Holiday Maker program, will result in a forecast drop in fruit production by as much as 17 per cent and vegetable production by around 2 per cent. This drop in production will ultimately impact consumers, with ABARES forecasting prices to increase between 7-29 per cent.
Those prices are expected to remain high in this financial year and into the next. We think that production losses will be most significant right now in late summer and early autumn. This has been informed by farm survey data, showing that the employment of casual and contract labour on horticulture farms. In 2018-19, numbers fluctuated around 80,000 workers per month from July to January before spiking to 120,000 in February. Overseas workers, mainly backpackers were the majority of those employed. Hence, the problem of labour shortage is transforming into a grave hurdle.
He added that with international borders unlikely to reopen in the short term, this is leading to labour shortage and to make up for the losses of these workers in regional areas. This means that the impacts of labour shortages on regions and produce will be felt differently, with the biggest disruptions taking place right now.