Nursery industry statistics survey to get underway in October

With the 2019 Nursery Industry Statistics (NY17008) survey happening between October and November, production nurseries are being encouraged to collate key business data and be ready to participate in the voluntary project if they are approached.

Now in its third year, the national project aggregates data from around 300 nursery growers to produce a more reliable and accurate snapshot of the industry’s size, value, production and employment.

The project aims to assist growers with business planning, resource prioritisation and provide longitudinal data to track industry trends and performance, as well as inform the development of a business-benchmarking tool for nurseries.

With the next survey just around the corner, the following guide outlines what growers can expect, and how to prepare, if their business is invited to provide data for the 2018-19 survey.

Q1) How does the survey work?

Telephone calls to Australian production nurseries will commence in October 2019. Businesses are selected at random in order to provide a sample size of 300 production nurseries across Australia.

Once the call is made, and a survey appointment is scheduled, participating growers will be advised of the business information they should assemble from the previous financial year, to ensure their interview is as productive as possible.

Surveys will be conducted by telephone and with the collated information handy, will take roughly 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Q2) What can I do to prepare?

  1. Schedule the appointment and place in in your diary or email calendar so you do not forget.
  2. Understand what data you will need to provide, and have it in front of you before you start the survey
  3. Nominate the best person in your business to respond to the survey.
  4. Keep your data in a secure place – it will come in handy down the track when comparing information in the business-benchmarking tool.

Q3) How will the data be used?

All data collected is confidential and anonymous. No organisations, including Hort Innovation, Greenlife Industry Australia, additional industry bodies, and government departments will have access to the details of participating businesses, or the information they provided.

Data will be aggregated to develop a comprehensive statistics report that details:

  • Industry profile, such as total value, size, segment and grower sentiment
  • Production, such as types and quantities of plants produced and sold
  • Supply chain, % of businesses selling into each channel (for example, retail) and estimated value
  • Workforce, such as employment, qualifications and average wages
  • Key customers … and much more.

Q4) Who conducts the survey?

The survey and analysis is professionally managed by independent research agency, Down To Earth Research and economic consultancy, ACIL Allen. The project is led by Greenlife Industry Australia and funded by Hort Innovation using nursery industry levies and funds from the Australian Government.

Q5) What are the benefits of participating?

Greater participation from growers across a range of geographies, segments and sizes, ensures the project forms a comprehensive and more accurate picture of the nursery industry’s economic, social and environmental contribution.

Access to better and more reliable data helps to guide investment decisions at the grower level, and strengthens industry’s advocacy efforts at the state and national level.

Survey participation continues to go from strength to strength, with approximately 292 nurseries participating last year, a 30 per cent increase from the previous data collection conducted in 2017.

Q6) When can I expect to see the results of the survey? 

The survey runs from October to November with the announcement of survey results in early 2020. Participating nurseries will receive access to the latest business-benchmarking tool.

All nursery levy payers will receive an electronic ‘facts at a glance’ document to outline key findings from the survey. To view the latest version, please click here.

Q7) What is the benchmarking tool and how can it help my business?

The business-benchmarking tool is an excel-based program that allows growers to make comparisons to national averages in relation to the type of plants sold and the market segments operated in, as well as business sales, number of employees and wages.

Nursery levy payers can access the tool by requesting a free copy from communications@horticulture.com.au