New director for Avocados Australia ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏
Avocados Australia Guacamole 5 February 2021
Coronavirus image from the CDC, on unsplash

COVID-19: what’s new

  • Despite public speculation about vaccine availability, the Australian Government remains confident the roll out will start in late February/early March, and will potentially be finished by October. You can view the strategy here. The NFF has advised Avocados Australia that, based on briefings from the government, the earliest that a farm worker may be vaccinated would be during phase 2a, as “other critical and high risk workers”, and the make-up of that cohort has yet to be settled.
  • Please note: the NFF is asking for more information on a range of questions, including if international workers are eligible to be vaccinated, and if employers can ask if potential employees have been vaccinated. It has already been made clear that employers cannot require, only encourage, vaccination.
  • In Victoria, groups at Cobram and Sunraysia have received State Government funding to support seasonal worker services. Read more in FreshPlaza.
  • Remember to take care of yourselves. A new report has found international travel restrictions and labour concerns are impacting on the mental health of horticulture growers. Read more from the ABC.
Avocados Australia Director Dudley Mitchell (resigned, January 2021)

New director for Western Australia

Western Australian director Dudley Mitchell has resigned from the Avocados Australia Board, after four years of working on behalf of the national industry. “Unfortunately for me, my shift is over. If this last year has taught us anything it is that time is precious and at this stage in my life, I need to spend it with those that are most important to me – my family,” Mr Mitchell said. Chair Jim Kochi said that during his time on the Board, Dudley had offered a wealth of personal experience and professionalism. The Board has appointed Rob Wheatley from AustOn Corp to fill the casual vacancy. WA members will vote to fill the position for a full term at elections this November.

Save the Date

First Regional Forum date set!

The first Regional Forum of 2021 will be held in South Queensland on 24 March. The extension project team (AV17005) are very excited to announce the date for this in-person event. More details will be released soon, but definitely mark this one in your diary. If you have any questions, please email Liz Singh at

Irrigation review event

EOI for advanced irrigation workshop

The Avocado Industry Development and Extension (AV17005) project team will conduct a major study into avocado irrigation in 2021. We are seeking experienced avocado growers, agronomists and irrigation consultants to review current practices, share experiences, examine global advances, identify knowledge gaps, propose changes and develop best practice adoption strategies. The event will be held in Brisbane; numbers will be strictly limited. If you have expertise in irrigation management and wish to register your interest click here.

Australian Avocados

Promoting the various uses of avocados

The latest article published as part of the current partnership between Australian Avocados and 9Honey, is encouraging consumers to “drink and slurp” their avocados, with recipes for smoothies, soups. Read more about the Australian Avocados marketing activity here. The industry’s marketing activity is helping Aussie consumers connect with (and eat!) Australian avocados. This marketing activity is managed by Hort Innovation and funded by the avocado marketing levy.

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Spotting bug update

The team from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries have extensively updated the spotting bug information (in the Growing module), based on the information collated for the new spotting bug poster. Information on identification throughout the lifecycle, monitoring, damage, control measures and alternate hosts has all been updated.

The BPR is our free online one-stop-shop to support best practice throughout the Australian avocado supply chains. We encourage all of our stakeholders to register and access this vital resource.

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Get more Australian industry news

$13 million for fruit fly research. 5/2/2021

The Australian Government has invested $6.5 million in the Strengthening Australia’s Fruit Fly System Research Program to support national approach to fruit fly management, with matching funding from the states and territories. Read more.

Victorian hort growers concerned about fruit fly. 3/2/2021

According to the Cobram and District Fruit Growers Association (CDFGA), the Victorian government's plan to abandon funding to support the management of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) will have a catastrophic impact. However, Agriculture Victoria says they remain committed to national management efforts. Read more in Good Fruit & Vegetables.

Avocado pic the latest internet debate subject. 2/2/2021

Well, there’s been the dress (blue or gold), the audio (Laurel or Yanny) but the latest online debate is about whether an avocado photo includes the seed or not. We’re not sure the pic from an Aldi Facebook group has gone global yet though. Check it out at Gold 104.3 or 9Honey.

HARPS Version 2.0: more than 70 submissions. 2/2/2021

The HARPS Version 2.0 Public Consultation feedback period has now closed. HARPS received more than 70 submissions, including from Avocados Australia and also from growers alerted to the consultation via Guacamole. The HARPS Technical and Retailer Committees will now review all submissions.

WA: new desalination project. 2/2/2021

The Western Australian Government’s new Watersmart Farms project seeks to optimise desalinisation technology and its application in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions. Agronomy and other agribusiness activities are covered. Read more.

Helping Aussie kids explore food and mood. 28/1/2021

Hort Innovation’s Phenomenom project has launched a free innovative toolkit for schools and families, called The Good Mood Food Special. Read more.

New x-ray scanning at borders for biosecurity threats. 28/1/2021

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment can now automatically detect fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and plant material at the border. 3D x-ray units at the Melbourne airport and the Melbourne and Sydney mail gateway centres are deployed with the world’s first biosecurity risk auto-detection algorithms, designed to target Australia’s highest biosecurity risks. Read more.

Coles Nurture Fund round open. 28/1/2021

Coles has opened a new round of the Coles Nurture Fund to provide grants of up to $500,000 for small and medium sized businesses to develop new products, technologies and processes. Businesses with innovative ideas, fewer than 50 full time employees and turnover of less than $25 million in annual revenue are eligible to apply. Applications close 19 March. Read more.

Queensland: free industry training for farm employers. 27/1/2021

The Queensland Government has partnered with SafeFarm to provide free access for Queensland agricultural businesses to online training and safety induction programs. The short, sharp online programs are typically delivered prior to beginning work on-site. The programs are free until 31 March. More information can be found at or call 07 3040 3313.

Fair Farms adds new certification body. 27/1/2021

Fair Farms has announced the addition of a second certification body, SGS. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company and has the ability to deliver all GFSI standards, quality management systems, product testing and verification in ethical compliance. Read more about Fair Farms here.

Click here for a round up of international avocado news

Avocado Show moves into Spain. 4/2/2021

The Avocado Show, the vegetarian restaurant chain focused on all things avocado, has opened its latest branch in Madrid. It’s the first of eight planned locations in Spain and Portugal. Read more in Eurofruit.

South Africa expects larger crop. 3/2/2021

The first export estimate for the 2020/21 South African avocado season is set at 16 million 4kg equivalent cartons. It is a million cartons up on last year’s eventual export crop. Read more in FreshPlaza.

China: positive outlook for Peruvian avocados. 2/2/2021

An earlier end to the Chilean season has proven positive for Peruvian avocados into China this season. The company shipped 1,970t within a two week period in January, a 137% increase compared to the same period a year earlier. Read more in Asiafruit.

Chile accepts Colombian imports. 1/2/2021

Now that the measures have been defined in the agreement, Chilean authorities will visit Colombia to verify compliance with the measures and they must activate the work plan. Read more in FreshPlaza.

Mexico: demand strong, supply going well. 29/1/2021

Demand for Mexican avocados remains strong, with expectations of larger than usual fruit throughout the season, due to a delayed harvest. Read more in FreshPlaza.

Your round up of export news that matters

New PEMS mandate now in place

The use of the Plant Exports Management System (PEMS) became mandatory on 1 February 2021. This means that PEMS is now the only approved way DAWE will accept plant and plant products inspection and calibration records and supporting documents, unless an exception applies. Full details here.

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Sign up for Export Coordinator Joy Tang’s regular email updates on avocado export related news and grants. Email your contact details to to be subscribed. (Note, you must be a participant in the Australian avocado industry to subscribe.)


Have news to share?

Have you recently read a story of interest to your fellow avocado industry members? Email our Communications Manager. Please note, suggested content will be selected for use based on our editorial standards.

Check our calendar for more!
Don't miss the 2021 Hort Connections

Webinar: Hort Statistics handbook

The Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook is the leading resource for Australian horticulture statistics and market information. The Handbook is an analysis that combines all available data on production, international trade, processing volumes and fresh market distribution in order to produce statistics on 75 horticultural categories. The 2019/20 Handbook will be launched via a webinar on Friday, 12 February at 10.30am (AEDT). More information and registration here.


MOYA entries open

Entries are now open for the 2021 Marketer of the Year Award (MOYA). Now in its 10th year, the award recognises outstanding achievement in the marketing of Australasian fresh produce and floral industries. Entries close on 23 April. More information here.


Northern Australia Food Futures Conference

Avocados Australia members will receive a 10% discount if they want to attend the 2021 Food Futures Conference. The event will be held 17-20 May in Darwin. You can find the full program on the conference website.



12 Feb – Hort Statistics Handbook launch, webinar
9-12 Mar – FOODEX, Makuhari Messe, Japan

15-16 Mar – Food Agility Summit 2021, virtual event

24 Mar – SQ Regional Forum, details coming!

7-9 Jun – Hort Connections, Brisbane Q

4-5 Aug – Fruit Growers Victoria Conference, Shepparton & Ardmona V

18 Aug – Fresh Produce Safety Conference, Sydney

27 Spt – Asiafruit Congress, Hong Kong

28-30 Spt – Asia Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong



13-16 Feb – Australasian Plant Breeding Conference, Gold Coast Q
15-16 Feb – evoke AG, Perth, WA

Horticulture Innovation Australia
Guacamole has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the avocado research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.