Predictions are that the Bay of Plenty will produce 1.3 million trays of avocados during the 2017-2018 harvest season, which is now underway.
Jacob Darling from Darling Group GM Group sales and marketing says fruit from Just Avocados suppliers is hitting high value markets in Australia and Asia.
Seeking high value opportunities in Asia is a focus for Darling Group and Just Avocados, while still maintaining a strong position in the Australian market.
“Our current market split for volumes shipped to date is 50-50 to Asia and to Australia. The Australian market has continued to rise from September and is now significantly exceeding values seen this time last season.
“Values in Asia have remained strong despite the increased volume of New Zealand fruit that has been shipped.”
Korea remains a particular standout for avocados, with a growing popularity for the fruit supported by promotional activity.
“We are collaborating with a customer in Korea to share the ‘premium avocados from New Zealand’ story through tastings, recipe development and information shared through cooking and lifestyle magazines, in person and through online channels such as Instagram,” says Jacob.
Good start to season
Just Avocados GM operation and grower services, Jarrod Redwood, is pleased with how the season has started.“Values, especially from markets in Asia, are ahead of where they were at this time last year.
“Quality to date in Australia and Asia has been great and our in-market presence in Australia is continuing to add value to the excellent management of fruit through the supply chain,” says Jarrod.
Holding some crop until later in the season remains a priority. “While values are strong at present we also know that the trading window in Australia from December onwards is going to be particularly strong and it’s important that we have supply through the December to February period."
Maintaining tree health
Avocado trees are currently flowering, sending out the new spring vegetative flush, and holding the current season’s crop. Just Avocados orchard productivity manager Erica Faber says tree health during this time is crucial.
“Avocado trees undergo a tremendous amount of stress over this period as it is the period of highest nutrient demand in the tree’s production cycle and the tree is also acclimatising to the changing of the season.”
Erica has been working with Just Avocados suppliers on a flower and foliar spray programme to support flowering and fertilisation, to optimise fruit set and to support the tree during this “high stress” period.
“It is important to look at your soil and leaf tests in order to monitor the nutritional status of the soil and trees and to adjust fertiliser programmes to address any nutritional deficiencies, excesses and imbalances before they adversely affect tree health, performance and production.”
Just Avocados recently held a field day on understanding how to use soil and leaf test results. If you missed this, or have further questions about your own test, contact Greg O’Carroll 027 2680 374 or John Emett 027 476 9087.