The average income of Australian vegetable growers is expected to have fallen by 38 per cent in 2012-13, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). ABARES conducts an annual survey of Australian vegetable growers, with the results of the latest survey covering data collected in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Australian vegetable growing businesses average cash income is estimated to have fallen to $103,000 per farm in 2012-13. This represents a 29 per cent decrease from 2005-06, and is 41 per cent lower than the five year average to 2012-13. 

“These findings clearly illustrate that Australia’s vegetable growers are doing it tough,” said Mr Kurt Hermann, AUSVEG spokesperson.

“Estimates suggest that average vegetable business profits have fallen from $60,200 in 2011 12 to a deficit of $10,000 in 2012-13. This is an approximate reduction in business profit of 117 per cent from the previous year,” said Mr Hermann. 

“Reduced vegetable production volumes, due to below average rainfall at the time of planting, has been a major contributing factor to the expected decline in vegetable growers’ income in 2012-13.”

“This is troublesome news for the vegetable industry, with rising production input costs and lower profits already squeezing many Australian vegetable growers out of the industry. Growers in the bottom 25 per cent when ranked by rate of return had an estimated average loss of $101,200 in 2011-12,” said Mr Hermann.

AUSVEG is the leading voice in Australian horticulture, representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

“The latest ABARES estimates demonstrate that vegetable growers operate in a volatile environment, where issues such as weather can heavily influence production and income levels, and unfortunately these variables cannot be controlled by growers,” said Mr Hermann.

“One positive to come out of this report is that larger growers have clearly demonstrated that it is possible for Australian vegetable growers to make decent returns. As input costs are likely to continue to rise, innovation and the identification of new opportunities will be crucial to the future of the Australian vegetable industry,” said Mr Hermann.


MEDIA CONTACT: Kurt Hermann, AUSVEG spokesperson, AUSVEG; Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0421 007 510 E-mail: