Bay of Plenty avocado growers will head into the upcoming season armed with a technical knowledge toolkit from some of the world’s leading experts speaking at Avoco’s conference later this month.
Avoco’s flagship event at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Auckland on June 23 will see hundreds of growers benefit from the research while also celebrating growing excellence within the company.
Avoco’s marketing team will also outline their export plan for 2018-2019 – forecast to be approximately 2.3 million trays – part of the estimated national avocado export crop of 3.5 million trays.
The full-day programme concludes with dinner, entertainment and the presentation of the Avoco Grower Awards. These are awards of excellence and public recognition for growers who operate at the top of their game.
Avoco director John Carroll says the conference is a key event on the Avoco calendar to equip growers with expert information and research heading into a new season as well as celebrate with their peers an industry that’s going from strength to strength.
“Heading into a new year, it is vital our growers are armed with leading technical insights, so they can make sound management decisions,” says John.
“Our top growers put in a lot of hard work and careful planning in their orchards, so it’s also important to recognise that and congratulate them for their outstanding efforts.”
Key speakers include avocado industry leaders from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Professor Andrew Robson from Australia will share novel new technologies for yield forecasting, mapping and improving avocado production. Dr John Bower, a horticultural crop quality consultant, based in British Columbia, Canada will highlight pre and post-harvest factors Southern American producers use to maximise fruit quality.
Other guest technical speakers include New Zealand’s Dr Jacqueline Rowarth, who is an advocate for science with an agri-environment focus; and Simon Newett, from Australia, who will provide an overview of avocado nutrition and fertilising practices. Dr Elizabeth Dann, from the University of Queensland, will also discuss phytophthora management thanks to her research around fruit disease management.
Avoco, a collaborative partnership between Bay of Plenty-based Southern Produce and Auckland-based Primor Produce, has enjoyed enormous success since its inception.
Last season was a low-volume year nationally, with Avoco exporting 1.3 million of the 2.2 million trays shipped offshore. Avoco managed a balanced market mix, sending 80 per cent of volumes to Australia and 20 per cent to the rest of the world under the Avanza brand.
Avoco director Alistair Young says Avanza’s profile continues to rise in Asia, lead by Korea becoming the most important market for New Zealand by volume and value outside of Australia.
“Our market profile in Asia is growing all the time, indicating that Avanza continues to hold its position as one of the preferred suppliers to customers actively sourcing NZ-grown fruit.
“We also achieved access to China, which has opened the door to millions of potential new consumers. Like in other parts of Asia, a rising middle-class has developed an appetite for healthier food – and avocados tick many boxes.”