The AUS$2.5bn (US$1.854bn) Australian vegetable industry has devised a plan to boost profitability and international competitiveness. ‘New Vision’ will be unveiled this May after a year of meetings between industry and government.

The biggest single challenge facing the sector, says Mike Badcock, chairman of peak industry group AUSVEG, is the rapidly changing global market.

“Growers are finding it hard to compete in the export market and against imports,” Badcock said.

Vegetable imports to Australia have risen for the last four years and exports fallen for the past three. That has caused a $148m reversal in the balance of trade.