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Avocados Australia Guacamole 7 December 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of the Guacamole newsletter. Get all the latest avocado industry news at your fingertips every fortnight!


Japanese exports start

A representative from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was in Western Australia last week, to inspect avocado operations from picking to export. The inspection was the last step in finalising a protocol for regions free of the Queensland Fruit Fly. Japan is the largest avocado market in Asia and while it is dominated by Mexico, there are good opportunities for Australia, but it will take a lot of effort. Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas says Japan will be an important market for premium Australian Hass avocados. "It won’t be an easy market by any means, but growers need to support our exporters to grow this market in the next few years," he says,.

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The rise and rise of avocado production

Australia’s avocado production increased to 77,000 tonnes in 2017/18, and the industry’s long-term trend is also on the rise. Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas says the industry is on track to produce about 115,000 tonnes a year by 2025. “Our production in 2017/18 was 17% more than the previous year, with a gross value of production estimated at $557 million.” Check out the latest Facts at a Glance for more.


Millions see avocado ad

At least 40% of Australian Avocados target audience saw the most recent television burst in September/October. Importantly, the campaign focussed on the metro markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth where stocks of Australian avocados were the highest. This is the latest marketing activity that’s helping Aussie consumers connect with (and eat!) Australian avocados. The industry's marketing is managed by Hort Innovation and funded by the avocado marketing levy.

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Tree mortality research already in use

The final report of Investigating Tree Mortality During Early Field Establishment (AV14014) is now available in the BPR Library. This project enhanced knowledge of the fungi associated with black root rot, their relative ability to cause disease, some insights on how this disease may be managed, and has provided a molecular diagnostic test for rapid identification of the key pathogens. The outputs from this project have been communicated to the international scientific and avocado communities, ANVAS nursery scheme reviewers as well as diagnostic laboratories.

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. You can log in (or request access!) via www.avocado.org.au/best-practice-resource/.


Fair Farms to provide supply chain transparency. 3/12/18.
The Fair Farms training and certification program will provide supply chain transparency to those businesses captured by the new Modern Slavery Act passed last week. The passing of the bill marks Australia’s first federal Modern Slavery Act to become law, giving government the ability to send companies a please explain if they fail to report.

New biosecurity blueprint. 29/11/18.
The Federal Government has agreed to all recommendations from an independent review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB).

Queensland avocado company fined over worker's death. 27/11/18.
A far north Queensland avocado company has been fined $200,000 for the electrocution of an overseas worker on a Tolga farm in 2016. During sentencing, the company’s early guilty plea, its great safety record and the community’s support was taken into account.

Brown marmorated stink bugs turn boat around. 27/11/18.
A boat carrying cars and machinery has been turned around, after the discovery of more than 100 stink bugs on board.

WA grower says returns still reasonable. 26/11/18.
Manjimup avocado grower Vic Grozotis told The West Australian growers are still achieving a reasonable return, despite lower prices. “Avocados are now more affordable for the consumers and now represent good value for a quality WA product, while the price paid to the farmer is also reasonable. We’ve reached a good pricing point for a sustainable industry, but need to maintain that balance.”

Malaysian café relies on Australian avocados. 23/11/18.
Kuala Lumpur’s first avocado café relies on Australian avocados to produce its brunch favourites.


Avocado prices falling in China. 4/12/18.
The price has fallen as China has increased the number of import countries. Even the price of top-quality, standard-size avocados does not exceed 3 yuan [0.44 USD] per piece.

UK: cafés take avocado off the menu. 3/12/18.
The restaurants, including Michelin-starred operations, say the decision is based on concerns about food miles, and deforestation and criminal activity in Mexico.

US: impact of Mexican strike lingers. 30/11/18.
Despite dispute’s resolution, one distributor says that it will take time for the avocado supply to return to normal in the US. However, traders are forecasting more than 1m tonnes in exports during 2017/18.

Chilean avocados increasingly popular in China. 28/11/18.
The top three export destinations for Chilean avocados last season were Europe (94,839 tons, 60%), the US (29,661 tons, 19%), and China (14,900 tons, 9.4%), followed closely by Argentina (14,700 tons, 9.2%). Meanwhile, 30% of Chile’s production is consumed domestically.

Mexico taking Costa Rica to WTO. 28/11/18.
Mexico has asked the WTO to settle a dispute over access to Costa Rica for the country’s avocados. Costa Rica has denied access due to concerns about sunblotch.

Risk check for Chile, Colombia, Kenya. 27/11/18.
Netherlands Corporate Social Responsibility checker analyses avocado production in Chile, Colombia and Kenya.

Avocado Monopoly & more!
The latest incarnation of board game Monopoly features an avocado game token; there’s now a new card game, the Avocado Smash; and Avocaderia has released a cookbook.


Avocados Australia holiday closures

The Avocados Australia office will be closed for the festive season. The office will be closed from Monday, 24 December, re-opening on Monday, 7 January 2019.



13 Dec – Workplace Essentials Workshop, Growcom, Gatton Q 
24 Dec – Avocados Australia office closes for Christmas

7 Jan – Avocados Australia office reopens
6-8 Feb – Fruit Logistica Berlin 
5-6 Jun – Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative R&D Symposium, Brisbane Q
24-26 Jun – Hort Connections, Melbourne VIC
3 Spt – Asiafruit Congress, Hong Kong 
4-6 Spt – Asia Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong
23-27 Spt – IX World Avocado Congress, Colombia

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.