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  • Production areas

    The Australian chestnut industry operates principally in the southern states of Australia, including

    • NSW:  Around Orange, Southern Tablelands, Blue Mountains and Batlow
    • Tasmania: Northern and Central
    • Victoria - north-east and central; east of Melbourne.
    • SA: Adelaide Hills
    • WA. South-west.


    Approximately 70% of the national crop is grown in north east Victoria.


    The main varieties grown are Red Spanish, Purtons Pride and De CoppiMarone.


    Chestnuts flower during November and December and are harvested from March through to May.


    Many chestnut orchards are small family-owned orchards, but there are several large-scale commercial plantings, and the average size of new orchards is increasing.

  • Current production

    • In 2016, chestnut production was valued at $8.5 million (LVP). In 2016 there were around 1,300 hectares containing approximately 200,000 chestnut trees. The industry estimates that with more trees planted, production will rise to approximately $9.8 million by 2020.
    • The industry is primarily focused on the domestic market with approximately 2 per cent exported mainly to Asian markets.
    • Area under production is about 1,300 ha.
    • Production is normally about 1,200 t a year of fresh chestnuts (dependent on seasonal conditions).
  • Industry potential

    • Chestnut production is expected to increase to 2,000 t by 2020 as young orchards come into production.
    • New varieties and improved orchard management techniques have reduced time to bearing and resulted in increased nut yield, nut size and ease of peeling.
    • Some chestnuts are handpicked but more growers have moved to being fully mechanised as a result of new harvesting machinery being developed.
    • Growers are planting and re-working older trees to newer and more consumer-friendly varieties.



  • Markets - present and future

    • Chestnuts are highly valued in Europe, the USA, Japan, China and Korea.
    • Most growers sell the bulk of their crop through the fresh wholesale markets in each state.
    • Current chestnut consumption in Australia is estimated at 1,200 t, which is satisfied by domestic production.
    • Small quantities of fresh and frozen peeled chestnuts are exported to Japan and Singapore.
    • The Australian industry is developing new processing techniques for frozen peeled chestnuts, chestnut meal, flour and puree products. These value-added products are now being successfully marketed locally and overseas and have the potential to expand the overall market for chestnuts.
    • The chestnut industry is seeking new export markets for fresh and frozen peeled chestnuts to sustain increased production.
    • Nut size is important in the fresh chestnut market and new pruning techniques have enhanced this quality.


  • Competitive advantages

    • Australian chestnuts are fresh in the northern hemisphere off-season.
    •  The Eradication Program for Chestnut Blight undertaken by the Victorian Department remains ongoing. The fungal disease has devastated orchards and native forests overseas.  Regular surveys will continue with the aim of eradicating the disease.
    • With the exception of New Zealand, importing fresh chestnuts into Australia is prohibited.
    • Australia is free from insect pests such as the chestnut gall wasp and chestnut weevil.
    • Australia’s pest-free status means chestnuts are produced without insecticides.
    • Australian chestnuts are highly regarded in Japan for good flavour and quality appeal.
    • The Australian chestnut industry is consumer focused and the latest tree varieties being selected are based on ease of peeling and superior flavour. Overseas, yield is generally given a higher priority than eating quality in varietal selection.


About Chestnuts

The Australian Chestnut industry is developing new processing techniques for frozen peeled chestnuts, chestnut meal, flour and puree products, all of which have the potential to expand the market in  Australia and internationally.


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Australian Nut Industry Council

42 Simpsons Road
Currumbin Waters Q 4223

Phone: 0409 707 806



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