Grow / Import / Export
Coffee growing in Australia originated in the 1880’s, however it only re-emerged in the 1980’s after collapse at the turn of the century due to high labor costs. The early growth was centered on Mareeba in Far North Qld as governments shifted farmers out of tobacco production and into new crops, coffee being one of those.
In NSW it was the 1990’s when the industry developed a small scale, yet profitable “hobby” farming activity, whilst in North Queensland the industry developed larger more commercial farms with fewer growers on larger farms.
Due to the success of the early pioneers and hobby farms in the 1980’s & 90’s, plus the relative high quality of the coffee produced, the industry has seen significant investment along the East coast of Australia over the past 10 years.
It is estimated that Australia has more than 750 hectares of coffee producing land planted in 2008, which is evenly split between the Northern NSW, Central and Northern Qld regions, with a production capacity of over 1,000tons p.a.
Most of the Northern NSW and Qld east coast is suitable for coffee production; coffee will grow anywhere free from frost and water logging, requires good rainfall, good soil and nutrition and free from high winds, however enjoys an ideal climate of 15- 25 degrees Celsius.
It has been estimated that approximately 6000 hectares of land is suitable for coffee production, however this could be significant more if existing sugar cane and macadamia land was included. Much of this land is in the Central Queensland regions around Bundaberg to Yepoon, with limited large parcels of land in Northern NSW.