Wednesday, 12 August 2020 08:25

Another bumper year ahead?

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Avocado NZ chief executive Jen Scouler says an increased focus from consumers on health and wellness has contributed to the industry’s growth. Avocado NZ chief executive Jen Scouler says an increased focus from consumers on health and wellness has contributed to the industry’s growth.

Avocado growers are looking forward to another bumper year despite the global economic uncertainty.

NZ Avocado says the 2020-21 season crop is “looking very good on the trees”, with an expected 10-15% increase in volumes.

Last season, avocado growers received $154 million for their crop, a $10m increase over the previous season.

Exports rose 26% to 3.8m 5.5kg trays. Asian markets including Thailand, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan received 35% more volume, meeting the industry’s objective to grow volume to the region.

The New Zealand market sold a record 2.7m trays worth over $50m demonstrating kiwis growing love of the wonderfully healthy avocado.

For the first time in a number of years there was no break in avocado supply as growers held on to one crop while the new crop matured on the trees. This also avoided the spike in pricing that often accompanies the lower supply but increasing demand.

NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular says avocados have 19 vitamins and nutrients, including those necessary for a healthy immune system. 

“An increased focus from consumers on health and wellness has contributed to the growth we have seen in New Zealand avocado consumption,” she says.

The industry is aware of the demand by consumers and customers alike to know about the impact avocados have on the land, environment and people. 

Scoular says the industry is developing a sustainability strategy, hosting a series of stakeholder workshops around the avocado growing regions. 

“Many avocado growers are passionate about taking care of New Zealand and want to see their orchards contributing positively to environmental, economic and social sustainability in their communities and regions,” says Scoular.”

Investment into new plantings continued last year with over 120 new avocado properties registered during the year ending May 2020.

New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association chair Tony Ponder says New Zealand’s avocado industry is in a position of growth and development. 

“The continued investment demonstrates real confidence in the New Zealand avocado industry. Many new growers are attracted to the industry because of the strong growth plans within the industry, and the confidence from the collaborative structured approach but also seek to produce a healthy product, while looking after the land.” says Ponder. 

The 2020-21 crop was affected by drought. 

“The drought will have put some stress on the trees, so many will have welcomed the recent rain,” says Scoular.

New Zealand is the ninth largest international avocado exporter globally. There are over 4,000 hectares of avocado trees planted in New Zealand, primarily in the Bay of Plenty and Northland.

Post-Covid recovery

Avocado NZ says it’s working with other hort sector growers on New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery. 

“Avocados are a part of this collective and are working with key government departments to deliver an industry led, government enabled strategy,” says Scoular.

 This follows the work completed during lockdown between horticulture and government to ensure that the industry could keep growing and harvesting so that consumers within New Zealand and overseas customers, could continue to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. 

“I am excited by the potential of this new level of industry-government collaboration,” she says.

“This strategy recognises the opportunity to create sustainable value by working together as we grow, transport and market our safe, ethically-produced and healthy food to consumers in New Zealand and around the world.”

More like this

Opportunities aplenty in hort

Now is the time for you to set yourself up for a career in horticulture, explains Peter Kemp, Head of the Institute of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University.

Hort exports top $6.2 billion

Horticulture exports hit a record breaking $6.2 billion in the year ending June 2019 – up $720 million over the previous year.

Small berry packs a big punch

One of New Zealand’s smallest fruits has the potential to improve the performance of our country’s sports people.

Featured

Look out for rural communities - RWNZ

Rural Women NZ is calling for a commitment to improving the health and well-being of rural families and enhancing rural communities’ reliance from all candidates at this year’s general election.

 

Prices expected to wax and wane

Expect more of the same as dairy prices on Global Dairy Trade (GDT) broke a two-month drought and posted an increase last week.

Beef+Lamb pushing for changes

Farmer-good organisation Beef+Lamb NZ (BLNZ) says it will continue to advocate for changes to the new fresh water regulations.

National

Helping grow farming’s future

John Jackson’s ability for future and critical thinking saw him deeply involved in the development of an agribusiness programme that…

Nothing sustainable without profit

Chair of Dairy Environment Leaders programme Melissa Slattery believes that sustainable farming is highly important to young farmers.

Machinery & Products

JD updates header line-up

John Deere has updated its entire header line-up for combines to include the new HDR Rigid Cutterbar Drapers, RDF HydraFlex…

Hybrid harvesters launched

New Holland has entered the world of hybrid headers, launching a new machine that blends its conventional threshing drum and…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Burn!

OPINION: This old mutt had to have a giggle at the dig Feds recently made at the Green Party in the…

Why?

OPINION: Your canine crusader was aghast to read that the prices of zucchini and cucumbers rose more than 30% in…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter