Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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New model paying off for growers

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Just Avocados’ new model has paid off, with impressive returns being shared with growers after the finalisation of their export pool in early-May.

“I thank all of our growers, trustees, staff and service providers for their continued support and a sterling effort last season,” says Andrew Darling, managing director of Darling Group and Just Avocados.

A range of coolstore door returns were presented to growers, which is characteristic of the flexible options for picking and time premium payments.

“I am proud of what the team has achieved this season; and it is important to include that this achievement is not just about market returns, it is also about the value we are adding across your business.”

Andrew says the business had reached a number of milestones during the last season that contributed to delivering the company’s mission as a specialist avocado service provider.

Just Avocados’ retail share has increased from 18 to 58 per cent of its volume exported to Australia


“To add real value, you need real capability and we have significantly increased our capability across the team with the appointment of highly skilled individuals who are known for their achievements and experience in previous roles in the avocado industry.

“This has led to us upping our service and adding value in the orchard through the introduction of specialised orchard management programmes and field days where real value is being shared.”

Integrated model (side head)

The creation of the Darling Group brand has given the group greater control of the value chain. “We have created an integrated model with the introduction of Darling Group, putting us in the best position to minimise costs, manage quality, deliver premium produce, and maximise sales value and opportunity.”

Part of this integration was the acquisition of JH Leavy & Co, a 110-year old Queensland-based wholesale produce distribution, sales and logistics company.

“Acquiring JH Leavy & Co has given us the ability to manage inventory in Australia efficiently, liaise directly with customers, and maximise outcomes for our growers,” says JH Leavy & Co general manager Ben Bartlett.

“We are in the Australian market 365 days a year, we understand it, and we can react quickly when our growers’ fruit is in the market.”

Retail programme (side head)

Just Avocados has significantly increased its retail programme in Australia from previous years, through a supply collaboration with Costa Group – Australia’s largest grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Retail share has increased from 18 to 58 per cent of our volume exported to Australia,” says JH Leavy & Co national sales and marketing manager Jacob Darling.

The departure from the collaborative exporting group AVANZA in June last year has allowed Just Avocados to chart their own course in markets in Asia.

“We have extracted positive results from markets in Asia that were identified as being able to provide the best return for growers,” says Darling Group’s general manager of sales and marketing Steve Trickett.

Just Avocados hasn’t departed entirely from collaborative export arrangements with a small percentage of its 2016-2017 Asian market volume contributed into programmes managed by Freshmax in a small selection of higher returning markets.

Just Avocados’ season and returns showed a number of positive features with regards to quality and maximising of value across all sizes.

“Reaching these milestones under our new model has resulted in a fantastic outcome and I could not be happier with the direction Just Avocados is headed in,” says Andrew.

“We are happy to have an open conversation about returns and invite growers to come chat with us to compare results and service offerings.”

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