Better industry data for a stronger future

Thursday, 6 September 2018

A nationwide survey of Australia’s nursery and garden industry is set to get underway for a second year in a row.

Known as ‘Nursery Industry Statistics 2017-18 to 2019-20’ (NY17008) the project aims to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the industry’s economic contribution, size and employment.

Building on the success of the 2017 collection, the project will seek to survey 300 greenlife producers, as well as 200 greenlife customers including retailers and landscapers.

As with the previous year, it will be managed by an independent research agency, Down to Earth Research (DTER), in partnership with ACIL Allen (AAC) and Nursery & Garden Industry Australia.

The confidentiality of individual business data is vital to the collection. All data collected in the survey will be de-identified and aggregated to provide an accurate overview of the industry. As it was in 2017, access to raw data is restricted to DTER and AAC only for the purpose of analysis, and participants are assured this will continue over the next three years.

The survey will be conducted using a random sampling method ensuring a diverse sample of nurseries have an equal chance of being selected, with those approached strongly encouraged to participate in order to provide a large enough sample size.

The survey will ask a range of questions from annual turnover right through to employment and industry attitudes. The results of the 2017-18 financial year survey will be released in 2019, as well as an updated data tool to help production nurseries with financial benchmarking and profitability. The project will run for three years and provide three years of longitudinal data building on the results from 2017.

Last year, more than 240 businesses accessed the industry-first data tool which enabled nurseries to plug in data and compare key aspects of their business with others, to help improve overall productivity.

While feedback indicated a desire for finer detail, the project team has indicated that more detail will come with greater industry participation. With the project now in its second year, the improved data tool will have more to offer with the inclusion of trending data.

The statistics project has been instrumental in obtaining better industry intelligence to strengthen the position of growers at the business, industry and government level. In 2017, the survey found that the nursery and garden industry was a significant contributor to Australia’s horticultural sector, valued at $2.29 billion and employing more than 27,000 people.

The project aligns with the nursery industry’s Strategic Investment Plan 2017-21 and is helping to address data gaps and provide a more accurate, reliable picture of the industry.

If you’re a grower or greenlife customer and want to be included in the contact database get in touch with Dan Watson from Down to Earth Research at or on 0409 775 553.

Project code: NY17008

More information:
Current nursery industry data tool
Nursery Paper: New data provides tools for the future 
Video Case study: Hamish Mitchell, Speciality Trees