2023, Volume 26, Paper 16
ISSN: 2209-6612

Value Chain Analysis of the Sturgeon and Substitute Caviar Market in Australia

Ellie Neindorf Agnew – Postgraduate student, Centre for Global Food and Resources, University of Adelaide


Currently all ‘true’ caviar (harvested directly from the sturgeon fish) is imported into Australia, as all sturgeon species are currently considered as noxious species and live imports and production is prohibited. A 2016 proposal to the Australian Government to import beluga sturgeon and Siberian sturgeon initiated a biosecurity import risk analysis to determine the feasibility and risk involved in importing these species, and whether an appropriate level of protection can be determined to manage the risk. This risk assessment is still ongoing and, if it is deemed feasible and the risk can be managed, this will open up many economic opportunities for Australia in aquaculture and the luxury food market.

Luxury goods demand continues to grow in Australia, as does the consumption of caviar. Domestic uptake in Australia has increased by 280 per cent year-on-year from 2019-2022 and it is forecast that this growing demand will continue. There is also growing demand for substitute caviar (roe from all other species) in Australia, which is currently successfully and sustainably produced domestically. This provides further opportunity to both grow this market by increasing production and to explore the possibility of farming sturgeon fish in Australia. This will help grow the country’s current aquaculture industry, enable local supply and increase exports of premium Australian-grown products.

In this analysis, the current market situation, the actors along the chain, the value chain drivers and strategic fit, and the constraints within the industry are reviewed. The opportunities to overcome the constraints and create demand for an Australian-produced luxury product that offers a point of difference are explored, so as to improve strategic fit and increase overall value chain surplus.

Key words: Caviar, Caviar Substitutes, Value Chain, Australia, Sturgeon

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