Asparagus from the Koo Wee Rup area of Victoria has earned an enviable reputation for being 100% clean, green and safe and its luscious eating quality is esteemed on both domestic and global markets. Victoria has a number of comparative advantages in asparagus production, including climate, soils and relative freedom from pests and diseases. This gives the Australian Asparagus Industry a significant quality advantage.
Internationally, Australia is about the eighth largest producer in terms of tonnage, but twelfth in terms of production area, reflecting the high yields of the main production areas. Victoria is the main producer, accounting for at least 70% of exports and over 95% of Australia’s total asparagus production.
40% of the asparagus produced in Australia is sold fresh on the export market, with the major export destinations being Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan. Asparagus variety UC157F1 is still the most useable and marketable spring crop. In recent years a very small amount of white asparagus has also been shipped.
In much of Europe white asparagus is still the favoured type, although there is an increasing demand for green asparagus because of changing tastes and more awareness of the nutritional and health benefits, particularly by the younger generation.
Japan is a key market for Australian asparagus, with more than 85% of exports of asparagus from Victoria destined for the Japanese market. To give our customers the very best fresh Asparagus, it is air freighted and can arrive in Japan 30 hours after harvest. The Japanese consider green asparagus a popular vegetable where it is used for evening meals, in restaurants and as a special delicacy at wedding feasts.
Increased demand for Australian asparagus also exists in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Consignments of freshly harvested Australian asparagus to South East Asia are packed in wooden containers of bunched and loose asparagus to meet consumer demand.
Meet the Exporters
The Australian Asparagus Council (AAC), a group of 46 asparagus growers in the Koo Wee Rup and Dalmore area of Victoria. The small town of Koo Wee Rup is located 65 km south east of Melbourne and is the major asparagus production area in Australia, producing over 93% of Australia’s asparagus. The AAC has three exporter members.