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Onions Australia as it is today was originally founded in 1966 as the Australian Onion Coordinating Committee (AOCC).
The AOCC was formed to bring all sectors of the then fragmented onion industry together.
It was and still is intended to serve as an umbrella organization covering all those engaged in the onion industry including growers, packers, wholesalers, exporters, retail outlets, R&D bodies and other related industries including packing manufacturers.
In 1990 the AOCC went through a period of growth and consolidation. During this process the committee underwent a name change to the Australian Onion Association. In 2004 another name changed occured, the association becoming known as Onions Australia and with it came the new logo for the industry.
Onions are a food staple and Australians consume approximately 11kg/per capita/year. Consumption appears to have declined from 12.9kg /per capita/year since 1999 based on national averages. Onions are Australia’s fourth largest vegetable crop accounting for 9% of total vegetable production. The Australian onion industry provides for both domestic and international markets.
The onion industry in Australia is considered “mature” and neither the value nor volume of production has changed greatly during the last 10 years. Industry statistics suggest production levels of 240,000 tonnes are routinely achieved. Onion production is centered in South Australia and Tasmania although all states produce significant volumes. Two thirds of the domestic market onions are grown in South Australia. Total area planted is approximately 5500ha grown by approximately 380 growers nationally.
Approximately 14% of the onion crop is exported, principally to Germany, Netherlands and UK. An estimated 85% of the Tasmanian onion crop is exported per year. The average annual cost of production is estimated at $361/tonne (ABARE, 2007/08). The gross value of production (GVP) averaged 181M/year between 2006 and 2008. The value of exports has been estimated at $27M (Clarke et al.,2010).