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Niche Markets, Regional Diversification and the Reinvention of Western Australia's Sandalwood Industry

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Diversification and niche marketing have become very important economic strategies for many rural small businesses, farmers and communities. As part of these strategies, new opportunities often emerge for traditional products and industries. In the case of Western Australia, this has contributed to the revitalisation of the sandalwood industry. While sandalwood has been exported from Western Australia for more than 150 years, for much of the second half of the twentieth century it was of little economic significance. In recent years, however, the industry has become increasingly entrepreneurial, successfully marketing its products into niche markets in the global economy. For farmers and communities in rural areas, the revitalisation of the sandalwood industry has also provided opportunities for economic diversification and a profitable way of tackling land degradation.

Keywords: Sandalwood; Western Australia; diversification; niche markets; rural change

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Earth and Geographical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, 6009, WA, Australia., Email: 2: Department of Geography, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E9, Canada., Email:

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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