Onions enjoy lift during lockdowns

Onions enjoy lift during lockdowns as people seek out health boosters

Horticulture
LIFTED: The onion industry received a boost during the COVID-19 lockdowns last year as people turned to onions for health reasons. Photo: Shutterstock

LIFTED: The onion industry received a boost during the COVID-19 lockdowns last year as people turned to onions for health reasons. Photo: Shutterstock

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It seems the public turned to onions for a health kick while locked at home.

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CONSUMERS turned to onions to boost their immune systems during last year's Coronavirus lockdowns.

Within a Hort Innovation onion marketing campaign update, data showed an 8.5 per cent increase in volume from December 2019 to December 2020 due to increased trips to the shops by consumers during the COVID 19 pandemic.

This was ahead of the increase in total vegetable consumption (up 7.1pc).

It also showed that demand was now returning to pre-COVID levels.

"At the end of 2020, sales figures reflect the decrease in panic buying as shopping behaviours return to normal," the report said.

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The Hort Innovation Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook 2019/20 reported that, for the year ending June 2020, 265,162 tonnes of onions were produced, valued at $244 million with 9pc sent to processing.

The wholesale value of the fresh supply was $262m, with $192m distributed into retail and $70.4m into food service.

A total of 75pc of Australian households purchased onions, buying an average of 744g of onions per shopping trip.

The supply per capita was 8.2kg, based on the volume supplied.

Onions Aust backs Hort Connections 

ONIONS Australia has again signed as a partner with the major horticulture event, Hort Connections, happening in Brisbane from June 7-9.

However, in a break from tradition, OA will not hold any associated onion events.

According to an OA newsletter, initially it was planned to hold an onion industry shoulder event prior to Hort Connections starting, however the executive committee opted instead to focus on its October annual general meeting conference in South Australia.

OA chief executive officer, Lechelle Earl said the decision was not made lightly.

"Following discussions between the executive committee and growers, there was uncertainty about attending the event," Ms Earl said.

"It was decided that it would be a safer option to instead focus on hosting a great conference in Tailem Bend, SA, in October."

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