Apples and Pears, Financial Year 2002/2003 -->
B. User Requirements, Survey Objectives, and Budget
B1 Purpose of survey
Why do you need to conduct a survey? (B1)
Return to top
Note. Refers to the underlying information requirements that the survey is intended to address. For example, what problems the agency is trying to solve? What decisions need to be made? What specific policies or actions are being determined or assessed? Should detail who requires the information. Survey objectives should be included in "B2" below.
The information collected has many uses. One important use is the determination of government funding levels for industry research and development purposes. The data provide the basis for policy development by State and Federal government departments and by industry associations. The latter use ABS data to support research activities to improve the performance of the industry and for gaining government support for industry development .
Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) is the peak industry body representing the interests of commercial apple and pear growers in Australia in matters of National importance including regulation, legislation, marketing, research and development. APAL resources are directed towards improving the industry.
How will the survey outputs meet the needs specified in B1? What are the target RSEs for the survey? (B2)
Note. Should include a brief overview of the main topics the survey will cover. If applicable, provides details of any constraints including: fixed costs, fixed sample size, fixed accuracy (eg target RSEs, Confidence Intervals), etc.
The apple and pear collection is now conducted as a separate collection that complements the Agricultural Census/ Survey. The questionnaire is sent to all respondents reporting apple and/or pear trees in the Agricultural Survey or who have been previously flagged on the Business Register as apple or pear (including Nashi) growers.
Return to top
The collection asks for apple and pear tree numbers and production levels by variety and age category. Details of processing production and 'on farm' storage capacity area also sought. In years where the Agricultural Commodity Survey is run instead of the Agricultural Census, APAL has chosen to maintain a census of Apple and Pear respondents rather than a sample.
The industry requires estimates of tree numbers (by age) and production by variety at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level because over the last few years, the Australian industry has been characterised by:
- smaller family-farming entities exiting the industry and amalgamation of orchards into larger specialised enterprises;
- a greater adoption of newer rootstocks and varieties which in turn allows growers to more quickly change their varietal mix and reach commercial production within a much shortened timespan;
- a capital squeeze, limiting the extent to which growers can re-invest in new technologies and orchards;
- financial difficulties for Australian processors, particularly grower cooperatives, in the face of competition from low cost imported products; and
- increased competition of the retail sector as overseas imports become
more readily available.
Trends that are currently influencing the industry and/or will be an important consideration in the future include:
- grater adoption of orchard intensification;
- improved access to new rootstock and varieties as the time required for post-entry quarantine falls;
- the potential for the introduction of pests and diseases from overseas as Australia's quarantine laws are changed to accommodate international trade needs;
- varieties with a low, or no, chill factor requirement;
- the continuing emergence of Plant Variety Right protected trees;
- the establishment of sustainable production systems and the adjustment of supply chain co-operatives and other alliances to supply fresh apple and juice markets, both domestically and in export markets.
The major clients' demand is for accurate varietal data at the smallest level of dis-aggregation. They do not accept that a sample survey can provide the level of detail and reliability that they require.
Limited modelling of the Vineyards collection indicate that a sample of forty four percent (44%) is needed to achieve a five percent Relative Standard Error for 'Total area of red grapes' and 'Total area of white grapes' at the Statistical Local Area level (SLA).
The use of sampling methodology also adds the complication of frame degradation and how it impacts on data quality and Sample and Frame Maintenance Procedures (SFMP) issues. This means that varietal data at this geographic level is not possible with a sample survey. Apple and Pears collection is significantly smaller than the vineyards survey, which further exacerbates the problem.
What is the timetable for the survey? (B3)
Note. Should include: testing, the date questionnaires are printed or finalised, the date data collection commences, the date data collection finishes, and when results will be available. SCH approval for the survey is to be obtained before data collection commences.
Start : April
End : June
Date : July
Date : July
Start : August
End : October
Input processing period:
Start : August
End : December
Start : January (of the year following)
End : March
Start : March
Return to top