Last week, AUSVEG sent our submission to Treasury for the 2024-2025 Federal Budget.

In addition to re-emphasising support for our key policies, close to half a billion dollars was requested to back the top national priorities for vegetable, potato, and onion growers.

Based on consultation with AUSVEG’s state members, these were:

  • Increasing the average daily vegetable consumption in Australia by one serve by 2030;
  • Sovereign capability for manufacturing farm inputs and establishing or modernising industry production facilities;
  • Capital upgrades to improve on-farm sustainability through water and energy efficiency schemes;
  • Regenerative farming through grower education, installation of sustainable waste facilities on-farm and encouraging First Nations people to pursue careers in horticulture;
  • A national charter to improve the wellbeing and treatment of workers across the sector, and hold unethical labour hire providers accountable;
  • A container levy to fund prevention and detection of pests and diseases on freight coming into Australia.

We are aware that there are a myriad of challenges facing industry at this time.

AUSVEG has prioritised some of the most pressing into opportunities within this submission and will continue to advocate for these into 2024.

Other significant issues raised by AUSVEG State Members have, in most cases, been funded (or have the potential to) by alternative funding streams.

For example, industry benchmarking to bring more consistency to pricing has been raised by growers, however this is a project that is already being funded by grower levies through Hort Innovation. If you’re interested in being involved with this program, you can complete an expression of interest here for the National vegetable and onion benchmarking program (MT22009).

In 2022, AUSVEG released the Careers in Horticulture booklet, which has been distributed widely throughout industry and through education networks, to create awareness of career pathways for students into horticulture. Further work on creating career pathways for students has been raised by state members. Therefore, AUSVEG will be creating Version 2.0 of the booklet to be released in 2024 which will include new careers and features based on the feedback received from key stakeholders including teachers and students.

Improving grower-retailer relationships is another key topic raised by state members, with recent pricing pressures pinpointing attention on this area. AUSVEG has been addressing this on several fronts and has been a strong voice from industry for increased resources for the ACCC. With the Senate Inquiry into Supermarket Pricing, a review into Unfair Trading Practices, and the upcoming review of the Australian Food & Grocery Code, there has never been a greater spotlight on the retailers and their behaviour.

AUSVEG will be actively participating in the upcoming review of the Australian Food & Grocery Code and the Senate Inquiry. You can contribute your feedback to AUSVEG for our submission and consultations into the matter, by emailing or by calling National Public Affairs Manager Lucy Gregg on 0408 977 725.

Lastly, AUSVEG has publicly sought policy support from the Federal Government in our Pre-Budget Submission for three key ongoing industry issues:

  • To combat the critical workforce shortage in horticulture with a pilot scheme for a Harvest Visa;
  • To increase plant biosecurity agencies’ capacity and resources to combat incursion; and
  • To implement a national labour hire licencing scheme, a matter this government made an election commitment to and a recommendation of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce.

You can read the full 17-page submission on the AUSVEG website here.

For more information, contact AUSVEG National Public Affairs Manager Lucy Gregg at, or 03 9882 0277.