The inaugural Queensland Horticulture Export Conference (QHEC) is a platform to connect Queensland’s export-ready growers with existing and potential customers from key international markets.
A primary objective of the QHEC is to support the development of sustainable and ongoing international commercial relationships for the trade of Queensland’s fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs. The QHEC program and activities will enable international buyers to better understand the benefits of trading with Queensland’s Horticulture Industry, such as our extended growing/ripening seasons and our diversity of commodities.
The conference aims to attract some 200 delegates comprising growers, buyers, export facilitators, supply chain and logistics specialists, industry and Government representatives from Australia and internationally.
Horticulture in Queensland
Queensland is Australia’s leading state for horticultural production owing to its scale and diversity of commodities produced. With a gross value of production (GVP) for fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs in excess of $3.1 billion (2018/19 forecast), the production horticulture industry is a prominent contributor toward the State’s economy.
A substantial proportion of Australia’s total banana, pineapple, avocado, mango, lychee, sweet potato, tomato, capsicum, zucchini, ginger and macadamia production is supplied from Queensland. The estimated 2,500 Horticulture farms across Queensland commercially grow more than 120 types of fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs from Stanthorpe in the south to Cooktown in the far north.
Horticulture is Queensland’s second biggest and fastest growing agricultural sector. It is second only to the beef industry in value, and larger than the sugar and grain industries. There are 16 defined Horticultural regions in Queensland with a total area of about 100,000 hectares in commercial operation. In addition to mainstream commodities the Industry includes a number of emerging commodities such as olives, Asian vegetables, exotic tropical fruits, bush foods, functional foods and nutraceuticals.
Compared to other agricultural industries, Horticulture is a high value and efficient user of water and land resources. The Industry occupies only three per cent of the State’s total land under crops and uses only 10 per cent of the State’s irrigation water, yet produces almost 40 per cent of the value of all irrigated products. Approximately 87 per cent of horticulture production is irrigated. Queensland’s Horticulture growers are increasingly adopting and improving sustainable farm management practices and have earned a strong reputation for safe, clean and ‘green’ food production.