Horticulture will be held but overseas staff will remain critical.

  • According to the ABS report, fruit and vegetable production continues unabated due to energy shortages.
  • Horticultural farming fell by 8% between 2019-20 and 2020-21.
  • The Australian Government’s labor market initiative was crucial to the agricultural sector.
  • Despite the shortage of staff, the horticulture sector maintained its productivity during CVD-19.

    Analysis of ABARES labor use in Australian agriculture – Today’s Analysis Survey reports that the number of workers employed in fruit and vegetable farming has dropped by 8%, but the level of fruit and vegetable production remains stable.

    The Minister of Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleprod, has played a key role in solving the labor shortage in the Australian Government’s labor market initiatives, particularly in the Pacific.

    Despite the challenges posed by CVD-19, Minister Leprorod said that the resilience and initiative of the fruit and vegetable industry will continue.

    “But while the industry continues to produce, some of these practices are unsustainable in the long run.

    “According to ABARES, more than 50 percent of horticultural farms had difficulty finding workers in 2020-21. Farmers were smart and ingenious, but it could not go on forever.

    If left unmanaged, they can be left astray and lose the right path.

    “We can’t take our eyes off the ball. We have to make sure that agriculture has a sustainable workforce for a long time. That’s why we now have an agricultural visa.”

    “Our agricultural industry, especially the fruit and vegetable industry, has always fed Australians and the world, but they have done so with one hand behind their backs.

    “I am proud to be part of a government that supports Australia’s long-term fruit and vegetable development with an Australian agricultural visa, which is a testament to the long-term future of the game and the growth of the horticulture industry.

    Instant Facts

    • ABARES Survey Analysis of the Labor Expenditure Survey in Australia shows that the total number of workers in Australia’s fruit and vegetable farms fell by 8% (11,100 workers) between 2019-20 and 2020-21.
    • Horticulture manufacturers have responded by increasing working hours, changing production systems and hiring more Australians and overseas residents in Australia following a decline in the supply of overseas labor – driven by the government labor market.
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