Key components of the program
The program invests in research to develop the industry in growing tea tree, processing and overcoming post farm gate market access barriers in accordance with a five-year planning process.
About the industry
Tea tree oil is extracted from Melaleuca alternifolia grown in plantations and distilled via steam injection. Tea tree oil has a range of uses, can be found in cosmetics, personal health care and animal care products, and is recognised by consumers and manufacturers for its effectiveness.
Tea tree is tolerant of coastal acid sulphate soils and can be grown on inland cropping country. Most plantations are located in the coastal region of northern NSW and the Atherton Tablelands of Queensland.
Our investment in the tea tree breeding program over the past 25 years has resulted in the near doubling of plantation yield. These investments have also delivered efficiencies in harvesting, distillation, storage and marketable oil benefits.
Key challenges for the Australian tea tree oil industry is to continue to improve profitability and increase demand. Reducing costs of production is also important to maintaining Australia’s competitive advantage. As price increases and demand continue to grow, new plantings in China have potential to impact on commercial competitiveness of Australian-grown oil.
Industry Advisory Panel
AgriFutures Australia is committed to working with industry to deliver research and development outcomes. We work in partnership with advisory panels to decide on research priorities and to make investment decisions each year.