Ag Industry, Aussie Farms, Forecasts, Horticulture

Vegetable consumption declines over past five years

Australia’s vegetable consumption has decreased over a five-year period, according to Rabobank’s newly released World Vegetable Map

Rabobank’s World Vegetable Map states Australia’s per capita vegetable consumption has decreased between 2017 and 2022, well before the recent spike in food prices.

According to the report, quality over quantity is resonating with Australian consumers as they are shifting towards purchasing higher-value vegetables rather than purchasing greater volumes.

“While consumption of carrots, pumpkins and onions decreased, consumer interest in leafy greens increased,” the report says.

Although a small player in global vegetable trade, Rabobank says Australia is shown to punch above its weight when it comes to organic vegetables.

The report states Australia commanded more than five per cent of organic global vegetable trade in 2021.

In the 2023 financial year, Australia produced $5.8 billion worth of vegetables overall, but only $250 million worth of these were exported, according to Rabobank Australian analyst Pia Piggott.

“Horticulture exports are growing for Australia; however, this is mostly in the fruit and tree nut categories, rather than vegetables.”

Australia is not the only country with low vegetable exports, with only seven per cent of world vegetable production traded between nations, according to Piggott.

For the global vegetable trade however, the value rose in line with rising prices – reaching three per cent average annual growth from 2017 to 2022.

Rabobank says global consumption held up well despite higher costs for consumers and producers alike, but production in Europe and USA saw declines over the same five-year period.

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