AUSVEG wants to see carrots broccoli and potatoes on the menu this holiday season

Industry body AUSVEG is urging Aussie consumers to support their local vegetable growers this festive season and buy plenty of high-quality fresh vegetables over the holiday period, including for their Christmas meals and their holiday BBQs.

A wide variety of fresh, delicious vegetables will be available at all major retailers, independent grocers and markets this holiday season despite the struggles that growers are facing dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and sourcing labour, as well as weather events affecting many parts of rural Australia.

“Aussie growers have produced an incredible number of vegetables this year, meaning there will be plenty of high-quality fresh produce available on supermarket shelves and market stalls leading into Christmas and the New Year,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Shaun Lindhe.

“This time of year, is the busiest for vegetable growers as they work tirelessly to make sure there is an abundant supply of the highest quality vegetables for consumers.”

According to previous Project Harvest industry research, the top 10 most commonly purchased vegetables leading into the festive season are:

1.    Carrots   2.    Broccoli   3.    Potatoes   4.    Capsicum   5.    Lettuce   6.    Sweet corn   7.    Cauliflower   8.    Cucumber   9.    Sweetpotato   10.  Pumpkin

“In spite of the ongoing issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties producers are having sourcing labour, local growers are able to get their product from the farm to supermarket and greengrocer shelves – they just need Aussie shoppers to buy them!” said Mr Lindhe.

“Aussies have a long tradition of stacking their plates with veggies for the festive season, whether it be for a Christmas lunch or a salad to go with a holiday BBQ, and we hope this year will be no different for those who love their salad and veggies over the holiday period.

“The vegetable industry is highly technical, advanced and growing sector. It is a major contributor to agricultural employment and provides economic benefits to all businesses throughout the agricultural supply chain – it is the lifeblood of many regional and rural communities that rely on a thriving agriculture sector.

“Everyone who buys vegetables, whether they cook up a healthy delicious meal for themselves or enjoy them with their families, friends and loved ones, is integral to the success of the vegetable sector – so every time you pick up a piece of veg at the fresh produce aisle, you are supporting growers and their communities.”

Vegetables are one of the biggest sectors in Australian agriculture, with a farmgate value of nearly $5 billion. According to data from the industry’s Hort Stats and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and Sciences, the vegetable industry is larger than many other agriculture sectors, including forestry, fisheries, dairy, fruit, nut and most domestic meat markets.

“The vast majority of vegetables that are sold here are grown here. This tremendous effort is possible because of the hard work and determination of our vegetable growers and the support from the broader supply chain, including consumers who buy and eat locally-grown vegetables,” said Mr Lindhe.

“Aussie consumers are lucky that they have the availability of locally-grown, healthy fresh vegetables all year round, so we are asking for consumers to support their local farmers and buy plenty of fresh vegetables during the busiest time of the year for our industry.”

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