Global scan for vegetable innovation – Fresh and Minimally Processed
The Australian vegetable industry aims to increase its vegetables’ attractiveness and competitiveness as exports to Asian markets. To achieve this, research into the various types of innovation used within the vegetable industry was conducted to identify new, relevant and commercially viable solutions to assist Australian growers. A global scan of vegetable innovations – ranging from packaging and value‐adding to new products and other initiatives – was conducted from April 2014 to January 2015 as it applied to fresh and minimally processed vegetables. From 40 global innovations identified, a deeper investigation into 10 innovations shortlisted by Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) was implemented, to include further profiling and evaluation. Trade interviews with major industry stakeholders such as government officials, trade associations, growers, importers, wholesalers and retailers were conducted in markets where an innovation was first conceptualised and/ or commercially available. These interviews helped shed light on the market innovations, especially with a view to understanding their compatibility with Australian produce and their effectiveness at enhancing Australian exports to Asian markets. Innovations shortlisted and profiled in this study have high applicability and relevance to Australian growers looking to differentiate themselves from lower‐priced, locally grown Asian produce. New infrastructural developments and the modernisation of grocery retailing channels coupled with rising consumer affluence across Asia will create a retail and operations environment more conducive to helping Australian growers benefit from the adoption of select vegetable innovations.