Project VG17000-WA successfully delivered Western Australia’s and Australia’s first 3-year vegetable industry benchmark dataset. It has published three Industry Benchmark reports and has also produced the first set of 3-year averages, as well as single year averages, across 42 key business performance measures and metrics.

While the title and scope of the project is ‘Vegetable Business Benchmarking’, the truth is that it has proven to be much more than the title indicates. It has been an identifier of key industry risks and issues, educator of business and financial management, provider of strategic and operational consultancy as well as a key source of trusted industry data for industry stakeholders (ranging from industry bodies and State/Local Government to major financial institutions). This is in addition to improving business physical and financial performance through practise change informed by data driven decision making, which was the stated end of project outcome.

The ability to more deeply investigate and produce meaningful data about key issues within the vegetable industry has been proven by this methodology. Key high-level industry findings were:

  • With a 3-year average Return on Capital of 9%, the Vegetable Industry is capable of generating a
    positive return that is comparable with any other industry or investment type. There is however a wide
    range of results.
  • The most profitable producers were not necessarily the largest producers in terms of land area utilised.
  • The most profitable growers (as measured by vegetable operating profit per hectare) were not those
    from a particular area, of greater scale or a particular vegetable type, but those that were able to
    achieve a higher income per hectare, through increased saleable yield and a strong focus on marketing
    their product, while keeping costs as a percentage of income below 65% (3-year average was 72%
    while the Top 25% average was 59% operating efficiency).