Food & Agribusiness
Fertile soils, high rainfall and proximity to Perth are leading factors in the South West region's diverse range of agricultural pursuits.
The region has over thousands of agricultural enterprises, covering an area of approximately 864,000 hectares.
Agricultural ventures include:
Beef and dairy cattle
The South West region is Western Australia's leading supplier of beef cattle. Processing of prime beef for export occurs at a large abattoir near Harvey.
Sheep and wool
The South West produces fine apparel wool, with the majority of the region's sheep stock and disposals occurring in the Shire of Boyup Brook.
The region exports quality merino wool to Europe and Asia, in particular to China.
Most vegetables are sold to the Perth market, but increasingly a share is exported to South East Asia. Varieties include; potatoes, carrots, broccoli, onions, cauliflowers, tomatoes, pumpkin, beans, lettuce, capsicum, chillies, zucchini and cabbage.
Orchard fruits and grapes (used for winemaking) dominate production in the region. Varieties include; table and wine grapes, apples, oranges, plums, prunes, pears, avocados, nashi pears, nectarines, peaches, cherries, apricots, kiwifruit and berries.
The South West is the largest wine producing region in Western Australia and widely recognised as a world-class producer of premium wine. Wine regions include; Margaret River, Pemberton, Blackwood Valley, Geographe and Manjimup, with grape production predominentely found in these areas.
In 2010-11, the South West accounted for around 89 per cent of the total value of West Australian milk production. Milk from the region is primarily processed as fluid milk for the domestic market. A small manufacturing industry processes surplus milk into butter, cheese, dried milk powder, cream, long life milk, yoghurts, desserts and other products for domestic and export markets.
Floriculture is an established export industry in the South West. There are significant plantings of proteas in the shires of Harvey, Busselton, and Augusta-Margaret River. Wildflowers are found in the Warren-Blackwood area, and tulips are grown in and around Nannup and Balingup.
Pastures, cultivated turf, grasses (for hay production), grains; including barley, oats and wheat, are the main contributors.
Deer, emu, ostrich and goats are bred in the South West.
Fill your picnic basket with the regional flavours of local cheeses, olives, preserves and aged meats and venture out to enjoy the region's pristine natural environment.