Merry Christmas from Avocados Australia ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
      
Avocados Australia Guacamole 11 December 2020
Guacamole
 
 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone
 

Wishing everyone an enjoyable festive season

2020 has certainly been an interesting year. (We’re trying not to say unprecedented, we really are.) This is your last Guacamole for 2020, but we’ll be back in 2021, as the avocado industry continues to work its way through the “new normal”. Have a safe Christmas and New Year everyone.

 
 
 
 
Coronavirus image from the CDC, on unsplash

COVID-19: what’s new

  • It seems labour incentives aren’t bringing people to rural areas (more here on the ABC) but horticulture isn’t being helped by accusations of underpayments in some sectors (more here, again from the ABC). The NFF is urging anyone with knowledge of worker mistreatment report the matter to the appropriate authorities.
  • As part of the NFF Horticulture Council, Avocados Australia has been supportive of a range of lobbying efforts as the sector attempts to address workforce issues into 2021. We will also be releasing new resources via the BPR in the New Year, and exploring ways to further promote the industry as an employer of choice.
  • The Australian Fresh Produce Alliance has released its plan for addressing labour shortages, including supporting Australians and permanent residents to take up roles, substantively restarting the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme, and a new Harvest Work Visa. Release here, plan here.
  • And Tourism Australia has launched a campaign to lure young Kiwis across the ditch. Read more from 7news.
  • South Australia has launched its own regional worker incentives, more here, and Victoria has added the Big Victorian Harvest initiative. There is already support from the federal and various state governments, more here.
 
Unsplash_coronavirus_135x150

COVID-19: millions in losses

The National Farmers' Federation Horticulture Council today launched the National Lost Crop Register enabling growers around the country to anonymously record crops that have gone to waste because of a lack of seasonal labour. More 30 growers have already reported crop losses, worth more than $22 million at the farm gate.

 
Unsplash_coronavirus_135x150

COVID-19: WHM employer survey

Austrade has commissioned Flinders University to run a survey about how Australia’s Working Holiday Program is addressing skill needs in regional Australia. There are surveys for both holiday makers (about their experiences), and employers (about how important WHM are). You can read more here. The employer survey is open until Wednesday, 23 December.

 
Unsplash_LeonieWise_basket

ACCC says new fair trading law needed

Australia’s perishable agricultural goods markets need a new fair trading law to address harmful practices arising from bargaining power imbalances, the ACCC has found. Released yesterday, the report recommends the introduction of an unfair trading practices prohibition, and the strengthening of the small business unfair contract term protections and the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct. Avocados Australia made a submission to the inquiry.

 
AV19003 dashboard

Latest retail quality results

The November results are in from AV19003, providing industry with an update on the quality of avocados at the retail level. The Australian avocado industry has set a target to ensure more than 90% of the fruit that reaches its consumers are of the expected quality. Samples in November were from Western Australia, New South Wales and the Tristate.

 
Australian Avocados

Marketing campaign update released

The latest campaign update for Australian Avocados marketing program is available under Marketing Reports in the BPR Library. The update includes an overview of campaign results to date and upcoming marketing activity between now and February 2021. To stay up to date with the latest marketing activity, check out our marketing blog, here.

 
Avocados on the tree

Improving the food safety audit process

Avocados Australia participated in the FPSC’s 2025 Innovation Agenda Review on the Audit Process industry workshop on 1 December 2020. Industry stakeholders submitted comments on the report and provided their views on the top five areas ripe for innovation in the world of auditing in an industry workshop held last week. You can access the presentation slides here and an overview of workshop outcomes will be released in coming weeks.

 
orchard irrigation

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.

 
Visit avocado.org.au for our collated COVID-19 resources
 
Visit avocado.org.au for our collated COVID-19 resources
 
What's new in your BPR? Click to find out
 
Guac_BPR 135x174

The latest BPR content updates

Planning to catch up on your BPR reading during the festive season? Here’s some of the latest content you might have missed:

  • recordings and presentations from the various 2020 webinars in the BPR Library (Event Proceedings)
  • the latest global analysis of the world’s avocado import markets, and the world’s producers and market suppliers in the BPR Library (Export)
  • five videos from AV18000 project exploring the best prac of handling avocados from farm to ripening can be found here, and also in the Packhouse and Ripening modules
  • check out what else is new here.

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.

 
Avocados Australia administers ANVAS so growers have access to healthy avocado trees
 
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Get more Australian industry news
 

Consumers want safety during COVID-19. 10/12/2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily shifted consumers' views when it comes to the priority of sustainability in fruit and vegetable packaging, according to PMA-ANZ. Read more in FreshPlaza.


Hort Innovation’s COVID-19 response. 10/12/2020.

Earlier in the year, Hort Innovation developed a one-stop-shop on our website to keep stakeholders up-to-date. This page has recently been updated with information on how Hort Innovation’s R&D and marketing programs continue to evolve with the situation, as well as trade activities. Read more.


Creating a sustainability framework for industry. 10/12/2020.

Hort Innovation is developing a framework to help the horticulture sector share its sustainable, ethical and safe farming practice stories. Industry consultation has resulted in a discussion paper identifying sustainability goals linked to indicators that can be used as a way of measuring how the horticulture industry is tracking against each goal. Feedback on the paper closes 5 February 2021. Click here for more.


Connecting plant health surveillance professionals. 10/12/2020.

Members of the Plant Surveillance Network Australasia-Pacific are now better connected following the launch of a new website: plantsurveillancenetwork.net.au. The network is free to join and open to everyone engaged in surveillance activities in a public, private or volunteer capacity in Australia, New Zealand and the nearby region.


COVID-19: cherry industry says reputation matters. 9/12/2020.

The cherry industry says pickers are still turning up for work, in part due to the industry’s reputation for treating workers well. However, the industry’s Tom Eastlake says the mix is different this year with more Australians, and they are finding permanent roles harder to fill. Read more in Western Magazine.


Metcash delivers strong first-half result. 7/12/2020.

Metcash weathered the storm of COVID-19 well, with revenue increasing 12.2% during its FY21 half-year results, and earnings growth of 30.4%, respectively to $7.1 billion and $203 million. Read more in insideFMCG.


Woolworths opens Lidcombe fulfilment centre. 7/12/2020.

At 15,000sqm the facility is now the grocery company’s largest online hub in the country. Woolworths says its online sales lifted by 100% year on year from July to September and currently accounts for 8% of its total sales. Read more in insideFMCG.


New extreme weather app for orchards. 4/12/2020.

The University of New England's Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Centre (AARSC) has launched its Australian Tree Crop Map: Severe Weather App. Read more in Queensland Country Life.


Ag growth opportunities in Northern Australia. 2/12/2020.

A new report from the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) says thousands of jobs can be created in a range of sectors, including avocados. Read more in Hort Daily.


NSW North Coast nutrient run-off grants. 30/11/2020.

The NSW Government has announced grants of up to $10,000 are available for North Coast horticultural operators who want to reduce sediment and nutrient run-off via on-ground works. EOIs close on 21 December. Read more.


Varroa mite podcast. 27/11/2020.

The varroa mite is a tiny parasite that attaches itself to honey bees and honey bee brood, weakening the bees and potentially wiping out entire colonies. Hear what all the buzz is about in the latest episode of Turf’n’Surf, as QDAF looks at the impact of varroa mites on the honey industry overseas and work to eradicate varroa mites detected in Townsville. Listen here.

 
Click here for a round up of international avocado news
 

Chilean exports down by almost half. 9/12/2020.

Between January and September, total year-on-year exports and values plummeted by 46.1% and 43.3%, respectively. Read more in FreshPlaza or the Fresh Fruit Portal, where it’s reported shipments are expected to “catch up” in the peak November/December period.


Peru: farm protests turn deadly. 4/12/2020.

Workers from Camposol have joined protests demanding better wages. Protestors have been blocking roads in agricultural areas of the country. Read more in the Daily Mail and Fresh Fruit Portal.


Mexico: exports up through October. 3/12/2020.

Mexico’s avocado export volumes were up by 5% year-on-year from January to October of 2020. Read more in Fresh Fruit Portal. And The Hill reports sales are booming in the US.


Mexico: supplies steady and prices lower. 1/12/2020.

Calavo Growers says that overall, the Mexican crop is forecast to be 20% larger than last year. “The size curve is even and there’s a good mix of all sizes. Comparatively, we are seeing larger sizes--48s, 40s and 36s.” Read more in FreshPlaza.


Chile considers ecological constitution. 1/12/2020.

Proponents argue any new constitution should enshrine the human right to water. The country has reported water conflicts with a range of industries, including avocados, mining and eucalyptus plantations. Read more in Dialogo Chino.

 
 
Your round up of export news that matters
 

New Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) information

Are you interested in exporting to one of Australia’s key international markets? The Best Practice Resource has a host of information, including the November 2020 Maximum Residue Limits table. All fruit you export must be compliant with the MRLs for your target countries, and you must monitor the residue levels in the fruit you are sourcing for export markets to ensure compliance. Please note that each country updates the MRLs from time to time, so it is important for you to seek up-to-date information.


New project for managing residues. 2/12/2020.

Avocados will soon have a mobile application to assist with managing residues, as part of a new PASE project being managed by the Australian Table Grape Association. The current Avocados Australia’s PASE project means online registration for exports will also be upgraded as a part of ATGA’s grant. Read more.


Want regular export news?

Sign up for Export Coordinator Joy Tang’s regular email updates on avocado export related news and grants. Email your contact details to export@avocado.org.au 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!
 

AgSkilled opportunities for growers

The AgSkilled 2.0 program aims to upskill the agricultural workforce through vocation education and training. A number of opportunities are available for those working in the horticultural sector; click here for WHS for workers and WHS for supervisors and managers and click here for drones.

 

Avocados Australia office closure

The Avocados Australia office will close on the afternoon of Friday, 18 December for the Christmas holidays. Your Avocados Australia team members will be back on deck on Monday, 4 January, ready for another year of avocado shenanigans. We wish everyone a great festive season, and a (we hope) slightly less “unprecedented” new year.

 

2020

21 Dec-1 Jan – Avocados Australia office closed

 

2021

7-9 Jun – Hort Connections, Brisbane Q

21-23 Jun – Australasian Plant Breeding Conference, Gold Coast Q

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

 
 
 
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.