Persuasive campaign wins conference for NZ

NZ Ambassador to Colombia, Lucy Duncan, with NZ Avocado chair Tony Ponder and NZ Avocado CEO Jen Scoular at NZ Embassy-hosted World Avocado Congress dinner.

A very persuasive campaign focused on this country’s avocado industry and the opportunity to enjoy an experience of a lifetime helped New Zealand win the bid to host the 2023 World Avocado Congress.

New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular says winning the support of 64 per cent of 1100 delegates was the culmination of “an awful lot of work by the immediate team from NZ Avocados, New Zealand growers and fantastic support from the wider NZ Inc team to get our bid across the line”.

The bid was endorsed from the top. In a video clip, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern invited voters to come and experience New Zealand’s natural beauty, unique adventures, friendly people, and to see its incredible avocado industry. She encouraged attendees at the Medellin event to choose New Zealand as the destination for the 2023 WAC.

NZ Avocado’s bid was also supported by Tourism NZ, the NZ Embassy in Colombia and NZTE. And NZ’s ambassador in Colombia, Lucy Duncan, hosted a VIP event and spoke at the congress, strongly supporting NZ Avocado in their bid to win.

Te Reo and Spanish

Well prepared to win hearts and minds, every single presentation New Zealand made had the same background and consistent key messages. “We included Te Reo and talked about New Zealand culture. A very obvious ‘Please vote for New Zealand’ in Spanish ended each presentation,” says Jen.

“Winning the vote is the result of fantastic support from my team at NZ Avocado, who have shown an amazing commitment, enthusiasm and passion for this bid.

“NZ Avocado market manager Bevan Jelley implemented a fantastic programme, which worked really well. We had real buy-in from all New Zealand growers who very happily wore the ‘Kia ora’ and ‘Vote NZ’ t-shirts we provided.” Guests who attended the lunch sponsored by NZ Avocados received gifts of New Zealand souvenirs too.

The venue for the New Zealand congress and how many delegates are expected are yet to be determined – but Jen says NZ Avocados, as host, has the support of fellow international organisations.

International support

“We have positive support from the CEOs and chairs of avocado producing organisations who are happy to help with what we may need to ensure a very successful congress.”

Jen says 2023 WAC will have a line-up of top national and international speakers. “The congress will be a platform for New Zealand researchers to demonstrate new science to the avocado world and for leading international scientists to do the same.

“It will also be an opportunity for New Zealand growers to learn what is happening around the world in new research and innovations.”
The 2023 WAC has the potential to boost New Zealand’s economy too as many delegates are expected to combine attending with a holiday here.


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