A new export strategy has been developed for the vegetable industry, with input from Australian vegetable exporters and AUSVEG via a methodology including market analysis, industry consultation and a program ideation workshop, to guide investment and activities to assist exporters increase exports in the coming years. AUSVEG National Manager – Export Development Michael Coote provides an overview of the strategic direction, export targets and operationalising the strategy.

The 2020 strategy wrap-up

The Vegetable Industry Export Strategy 2020 was rated highly successful by industry members and stakeholders consulted. The previous strategy’s target to grow the value of vegetable exports by 40 per cent to $315 million by 2020 was on-track, until disruptions from bushfires in 2019/20 and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the previous strategy had successfully contributed to creating an export culture and lifting export capability across the industry, the new iteration of the vegetable industry export strategy needs to be more targeted and strategic. Vegetable growers have clearly indicated the importance to keep evolving and improving on the industry export program to achieve the strategic outcomes set out in the export strategy.

Over the life of the 2020 export strategy, Australian fresh vegetable exports recorded strong growth with achieving $267 million in trade in 2020, despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry program created approximately $93 million of cumulative revenue for exporters participating in the program, which has had flow-on economic multiplier effects to regional Australia.

Strategy mission

The Vegetable Industry Export Strategy 2025 mission has a focus on driving growth in value. This will be achieved through a combination of targeting high value customers, product differentiation through improved branding and an increased focus on value-adding.

Strategy targets

The targets that have been set in this strategy of achieving $300 million of export value by 2023 and $400 million by 2025, reflect the challenges and opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic which are likely to endure for a number of years.

The 2025 strategy

In response to the findings from the situation analysis that explored both the blockers to export growth and the opportunities, the Vegetable Industry Export Strategy 2025 includes five strategy pillars. The five strategy pillars are structured around two distinct time horizons with a focus on activity to ‘Regain Momentum’ in Horizon 1 and ‘Drive Growth’ in Horizon 2. The pillars are not sequential and activity under each pillar may commence concurrently.

The previous strategy had a key performance indicator (KPI) of growing the total number of export capable growers. However, on the advice of industry, the new strategy takes a tiered approach with different programs of activity for aspiring, emerging and experienced exporters. This reflects the fact that there are now varying levels of export maturity across the vegetable industry.

Operationalising the strategy

To implement the export strategy, the industry needs to continue to invest in delivering the operational functions that are highly valued by exporting growers. The core operational functions of delivering the export strategy for industry include the following three functional areas:

The enablers

The following enablers are necessary to assist the industry to achieve the strategy mission and growth targets:

Find out more

Any growers interested in receiving a copy of the Vegetable Industry Export Strategy 2025 can contact the AUSVEG Export Development team on 03 9882 0277 or export@ausveg.com.au.

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.

Project Number: VG16061