Record avocado crop will test marketers

New Zealand’s largest supplier of avocados to the Australasian market will be tested this year, with predictions a bumper crop both here and across the Tasman will create a challenging climate for exporters.

AVOCO is looking to offset those challenges and manage the large volume of New Zealand fruit by channelling it under the AVANZA brand into growing international markets, in particular Asia.

AVOCO, a joint entity between Bay of Plenty-based Southern Produce and Primor Produce, is predicting next season to be NZ’s largest export crop ever – in excess of five million trays.

Australia is also expecting an above average crop – meaning more competition for NZ to sell its avocados across the Tasman.

AVOCO director Alistair Young says the company’s 2013/2014 inaugural season was successful, with more than 1.9 million trays exported, but next season would be the true test.

“The challenges of a massive crop and a more competitive Australian market in 2014/2015 will mean AVOCO can really show what it’s made of.”

Most of AVOCO’s trays were exported to Australia last year, which is NZ’s largest market for avocados.

Alistair says high consumer demand for avocados combined with a low crop volume from Western Australia and excellent flow planning by New Zealand resulted in high orchard gate returns for NZ growers.

The two AVOCO partners are inaugural members of AVANZA and have worked together for more than 10 years as part of the collaborative marketing body.

AVANZA exports avocados to all countries outside Australia, continually strengthening and expanding its export relationships with Asian markets, which include Thailand, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Japan.

It’s hoped the relationship-building efforts in Asia will pay off next season, softening the potential follow-on effects of a heavily-supplied Australian market.

AVOCO and AVANZA director John Carroll says the next few months of preparation will be a critical part of AVOCO and AVANZA’s performance this season.

“Our team is confident it has the people and expertise to make a strong plan, then optimise the flow of fruit to market so as to achieve decent value for growers.”


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