Most of the Australian asparagus crop (70%) is consumed on the domestic market and 30% of Australian asparagus is exported.
Victoria is the leading state in Australia for the production and export of fresh asparagus, producing 95% of the national asparagus crop with a Gross Value of $41.42 m (ABS: Agriculture 2007-08).
The industry enjoys comparative advantages in terms of environmental factors, low chemical use and relative freedom from pests and diseases.
Asparagus is marketed through central wholesale markets in all states of Australia and also marketed direct to supermarkets and the foodservice market.
Whilst past growth and development of the Australian asparagus industry was due to healthy export markets, in 2002 the industry embraced the opportunity to expand the domestic market. Since then apparent domestic consumption has increased due to the increased availability of asparagus, accessibility at retail level, marketing and promotion and demand for healthy foods.
Annual per capita consumption of asparagus in Australia is estimated to be 416g. Although this has increased by more than 30% over the last decade, there is plenty of room to include much more of this versatile vegetable in the Australian diet.
When Australian asparagus is out of season, or when supplies are limited such as at the beginning and end of the season, asparagus is imported from Peru, Thailand, Mexico and the United States to supplement local supplies and satisfy customer demand.