The definition of wholesale fruit and vegetable relates to any businesses that are involved in the wholesale fruit and vegetable industry.
The main areas of the industry
Produce can be brushed, washed or packaged by wholesale fruit and vegetable producers or packaging companies. The main areas of activity for Fresh Express are the business of wholesale fruit and vegetable distribution to the companies customers located across South East Queensland.
Products and Services
The main products and services provided by Fresh Express are citrus fruits, other fruits, fruit vegetables, other vegetables, grapes, pome and stone fruit, leafy and green vegetables and root vegetables.
The national market share of these products is:
Citrus fruit 8.1%
Leafy and green vegetables 10.7%
Fruit vegetables 13.6%
Root vegetables 15.1%
Pome and stone fruits 16.7%
Other vegetables 8.1%
Other fruit 20.6%
The products can be segmented according to the estimated value of the produce sold. This can be different from consumption patterns as lots of fruit and vegetables are grown and sold under contract to food processors, supermarkets and other large fresh produce suppliers and retailers.
Grapes feature heavily as a large proportion of grapes are consumed by the Australian wine industry. These grapes are usually sold through wholesalers directly to the wine manufacturers that do not grow their own grapes. In the past five years the percentage of grapes consumed has risen sharply due to the demand from wine producers together with the rise in the cost of grapes.
Pome and Stone Fruits
A large percentage of pome fruits such as pears and apples are grown under contract. Most stone fruits are only readily available in the summer. A large share of the stone fruits grown in Australia is sold directly to fruit processors. Another factor is that the producers of apples and pears faced considerable pressure in recent years to decrease their prices from the supermarkets. These decreases when looked at as a revenue share look like the percentage of the market has fallen.
This sector has seen steady growth recently as there has been an increased demand for fruit juices as they are seen as a healthier option to carbonated soft drinks.
After the flooding in Queensland in 2010-11, large parts of the banana industry were wiped out. Since that time the banana industry together with other tropical fruits has seen improvements in cropping practices to reduce the impact of adverse weather.
Rising costs has seen a reduction in Australia’s carrot production while it is rising generally across Asia. The production of potatoes has remained constant despite the rising costs associated with this staple food.
Tomatoes account for 75% of this section and half of the tomato crop is used in food processing.
Leafy and Green Vegetables
The demand for lettuce (in particular varieties aside from iceberg) is driving this sector as its revenue levels have increased significantly in recent years.
The current price of fruit and vegetables is the most significant factor in this industry. If prices increase by too much then consumers have the option to change to other cheaper products. They may decide to use more grains as an alternative. The industry faces competition not only within its own industry but with other products, too.