Australia: $2.29 billion year for nursery and garden industry

New data released by Hort Innovation and Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) has shown Australia’s thriving green life businesses produced an estimated $2.29 billion of green life in 2015-16.

Hort Innovation Chief Executive, John Lloyd, said the survey results were positive news for the nursery industry, which underpins a significant amount of Australia’s food, fibre and foliage plant production including urban landscape and retail through to fruit, vegetable, forestry and revegetation.

“The survey results, which included speaking with more than 200 production nurseries on key aspects of business activity, show that in 2015-16 the industry sold over 1.6 billion plants that will have gone into our environment,” Mr Lloyd said.

“The drivers behind these results are the 23,000 individuals working across close to 1780 nursery and garden businesses around Australia.”

The results also showed those plants were produced across a variety of regions and environments with outdoor production and indoor production totalling 6,229 ha and 1,273 ha respectively.

Also released today was a data tool providing nurseries with the ability to benchmark themselves against the broader industry to help boost business productivity. The tool is a user-friendly interface available to those nurseries that participated in the survey and by request for other nursery industry levy payers via the Hort Innovation website.

Both initiatives were funded by Hort Innovation using nursery industry levies and money from the Australian Government under Nursery Industry Statistics & Research (NY16004), a project seeking to give a first-of-its-kind look into the industry’s social, economic and environmental contribution to Australian society.

The project was overseen by a steering committee made up of nursery levy payers and key industry stakeholders including Victorian grower, Hamish Mitchell, who operates Speciality Trees, a production nursery located in Narre Warren East.

Mr Mitchell said the excellent data collected by the survey helped to address concerns that the nursery industry’s contribution, employment and size had often been underestimated.

“This is an extensive survey undertaken by Australia’s nursery industry, so it’s exciting to now unveil these figures, which will provide a clear picture of our vibrant industry and the people driving it forward,” Mr Mitchell said.

“This is very good data to use at an industry and business level. I urge growers to access the tool and plug in their data, to help measure year on year results and to support strategic decision-making within the business.”

Mr Mitchell said he sees great potential for the methodology utilised in the project to be continued into the future.

“An impressive 200 nurseries participated this year, but I see great momentum for this project to continue and for more involvement from industry next time round,” he said. “As always, the better the data coming in, the better the data going out.”

The project was managed by NGIA in partnership with independent research consultants, Down to Earth Research and ACIL Allen Consulting.

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