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Improving the measurement of Australian organic production

Wynen, Els (2015) Improving the measurement of Australian organic production. Discussion Paper, no. 1501, Organic Trust Australia - Research and Education . [Completed]

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Document available online at: http://www.organictrustaustralia.org.au/files/Organic-Data-2015.pdf


In Australia reliable data has always been a problem, as no agency (government or otherwise) has regularly and systematically collected and published full sets of data. In 2012 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) published data resulting from questions on organic agriculture included in its census of 2010-11. These data were analysed, and are reported in the bi-annual marketing reports of Australian Organic. Although an improvement on what previously existed, the ABS data and the analysis of it have serious shortcomings.
Estimates of the farm-gate value of organic production are likely to be significantly distorted because of serious methodological problems. The main problems relate to: (i) organic price premium; (ii) industry classification; (iii) discrepancy between share of organic area and share of organic production; and (iv) confusion between production versus sales data.
The conclusion is that use of those ABS data is not likely to provide an accurate picture of area under organic production, production and farm-gate values. In the course of researching this issue it also became clear that, even if proper analysis of the ABS data could have led to a good estimate of organic production in Australia, inconsistency in the analysis of 2010-11, and also of 2014 data makes accuracy in the Australian Organic Marketing Reports for 2012 and 2014 dubious, to say the least.

EPrint Type:Working paper
Keywords:organic area, production, farm-gate value, Australia
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Surveys and statistics
Food systems > Markets and trade
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Australia
Research affiliation:Australia > Other organizations
Deposited By: Wynen, Dr Els
ID Code:29266
Deposited On:20 Aug 2015 06:03
Last Modified:18 Dec 2016 16:04
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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