For Australian grown produce to remain relevant in a world of increased availability, flow and a globalised vegetable marketplace, Australia’s growers may need to continuously adopt innovative, new technologies to enhance the superior quality of their vegetables.
This was one of the key findings in research conducted by Euromonitor International from April 2014 to January 2015, in conjunction with Hort Innovation and AUSVEG. The project aimed to identify new and commercially viable approaches for the Australian vegetable industry to enhance its overall competitiveness.
“Competition from Asian markets, due to the unparalleled rise in agricultural output, high productivity and the wide availability of arable land for vegetable production, has reduced the overall attractiveness of Australian produce,” Euromonitor International project leader Umesh Madhavan explained. “However, key characteristics observed across Asia suggest that Australian grown vegetables can remain competitive and retain their strong value proposition through the selective adoption of innovations detailed within this study.”
Asia consists of diverse country markets and consumer groups, and it is this market diversity that is likely to create demand for vegetable innovations, through stronger supply chains that are driven by the proliferation of modern grocery retailing channels in both developed and developing Asian economies.
Given the rise of the new rich in Asia, the region is fostering a burgeoning culture of health consciousness, with higher quality vegetables, fresher and healthier ingredients and more environmentally-friendly packaging ranking highly among consumer priorities.
Today’s consumer is increasingly informed, health-conscious and concerned about their environmental footprint. Recognising this will undoubtedly benefit Australia’s vegetable growers, particularly as consumers across Asia are steadily shifting their buying habits from traditional wet markets to organised, modern retailing. As the research findings reinforce, this will ultimately allow Australian growers to differentiate themselves from lower-priced, locally grown Asian produce.