Apples and Pears

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    The apple and pear collection is conducted as a separate collection that complements the Agricultural Census/Survey. The questionnaire is sent to all respondents reporting apple and/or pear trees in the Agricultural Survey or who have been previously flagged on the Business Register as apple or pear (including Nashi) growers.

    The collection asks for apple and pear tree numbers and production levels by variety and age category. Details of processing production and 'on farm' storage capacity area are also sought.

    In years where the Agricultural Survey is conducted instead of the Agricultural Census, Apples and Pears Australia Limited (APAL) has chosen to fund the continuation of a census of Apple and Pear respondents rather than a sample.

    The industry requires estimates of tree numbers (by age) and production by variety at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level.

    Over the last few years, the Australian industry has been characterised by:

      • smaller family-farming entities exiting the industry and amalgamation of orchards into larger specialised enterprises;
      • a greater adoption of newer rootstocks and varieties which in turn allows growers to more quickly change their varietal mix and reach commercial production within a much shortened timespan;
      • a capital squeeze, limiting the extent to which growers can re-invest in new technologies and orchards;
      • financial difficulties for Australian processors, particularly grower cooperatives, in the face of competition from low cost imported products; and
      • increased competition of the retail sector as overseas imports become more readily available.
    Trends that are currently influencing the industry and/or will be an important consideration in the future include:
      • greater adoption of orchard intensification;
      • improved access to new rootstock and varieties as the time required for post-entry quarantine falls;
      • the potential for the introduction of pests and diseases from overseas as Australia's quarantine laws are changed to accommodate international trade needs;
      • varieties with a low, or no, chill factor requirement;
      • the continuing emergence of Plant Variety Right protected trees;
      • the establishment of sustainable production systems; and
      • the adjustment of supply chain co-operatives and other alliances to supply fresh apple and juice markets, both domestically and in export markets.

    The information collected has many uses. One important use is the determination of government funding levels for industry research and development purposes. The data provides the basis for policy development by State and Federal government departments and by industry associations. The latter use ABS data to support research activities to improve the performance of the industry and for gaining government support for industry development.

    Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) is the peak industry body representing the interests of commercial apple and pear growers in Australia in matters of National importance including regulation, legislation, marketing, research and development. APAL resources are directed towards improving the industry.

    Users of statistical data:
    • APAL
    • Tasmanian Apple & Pear Growers Association
    • Victorian Apple & Pear Council
    • NSW Farmers
    • Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers
    • Apple & Pear Growers of South Australia
    • Western Australia Fruit Growers
    • Horticulture Australia Ltd
    • A-class members of APAL
    APAL is the main user of the information. APAL uses the information for a range of purposes these include:
    • Tracking changes in production levels;
    • Tracking changes in varietal selection;
    • Tracking changes in the extent of cool storage available; and
    • Tracking changes in volume of production

APAL provides the data to Horticulture Australia Ltd. APAL does not provide the data to any other
government department as a matter of course, however, that is not to say that other departments, such as AFFA and
the Levies revenue Service do not use information that they receive directly from the ABS.

APAL uses the data in submissions on an adhoc basis. Many submissions are directed to government departments
in response to letters, discussion papers and requests for industry input.

    The questionnaire is sent to all respondents reporting apple and/or pear trees in the Agricultural Survey (AS)/Census or who have been previously flagged on the Business Register as apple or pear (including Nashi) growers. The scope of the AS frame is all establishments with Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) over $5000.

    In addition, attempts are made to exclude respondents who grow apples and pears for domestic use only.

    From 2000-01, an Activity Indicator Flag was set on the Inteframe to further identify those establishments who undertake apple and pear growing activity.


    Conceptual framework
    Data is collected from all establishments which grow apples or pears and have an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5000 or more. The predominant activity of the respondent need not be agricultural.

    An agricultural establishment is an establishment which is engaged mainly in agricultural activities (i.e. classified to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC) Sub-Division 0 - Agriculture).

    An establishment with agricultural activity is usually a single physical location which is used for the production of crops (including fruit and vegetables) and/or for the raising of livestock and the production of livestock products.

    The survey collects varietal data for apples and pears, and associated totals.

    Main outputs
    The main output consists of varietal data at different levels of aggregation from Statistical Local Area (SLA) through to National. This includes commodity totals and commodity counts.

    The main outputs are:

      Number of apple trees by variety
        under 1 year old
        1 to 3 years old
        4 years old and over
      Number of pear trees by variety
        under 1 year
        1 to 5 years
        6 years and over
      Fresh fruit produced by variety
      Other questions asked:
      Total quantity of fruit that went to processing
      Cool storage capacity
        controlled atmosphere
        other cool storage
      Total area of orchard
      Is name/address correct
      Time taken to complete the form

    a. Geography.
      The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is the main geographic classification used.
      Data is available at the National, State, Statistical Division (SD) and Statistical Local Area (SLA) levels for all commodities.

    b. Industry
      The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification 1993 (ANZSIC) is the classification used.

    c. Commodities
      Non-standard. The ANZSCC is not suitable for the collection and compilation of the commodities covered by the agricultural collections such as Apples and Pears, Vineyards and the Agricultural Survey/census.

    Other concepts (summary)

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Statistical Division
    Statistical Subdivision
    Statistical Local Area

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    Data may also be provided for user specified regions.


    Frequency comments
    Data is collected at approximately 12 month intervals.


    1993-94 onwards Change in EVAO level to $5,000 and over.
    1991-92 Change in EVAO level to $22,500 and over.
    1986-87 Change in EVAO level to $20,000 and over.
    1982-83 Change in EVAO level to $2,500 and over.
    Prior to this, EVAO level was $1,500 and over.


    Data availability comments

    12/07/2007 04:06 PM