The latest avocado industry news ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Avocados Australia Guacamole 18 September 2020
Visit for our collated COVID-19 resources
Coronavirus image from the CDC, on unsplash

COVID-19: what’s new

Here's the latest COVID-19 news from this fortnight.

  • Interested in the seasonal worker program? You have to be a registered employer: details here. There are indications processing time for these applications is at least 12 weeks.
  • A reminder to everyone to list their available jobs well in advance on the Harvest Trail, click here. While there are other platforms, most government campaigns aimed at job seekers direct people to the Harvest Trail. There needs to be jobs listed for these people to find.
  • COVID Safe Plans are now mandatory for all Victorian businesses (over 5 employees), as of 13 September. Click here. Full Victorian roadmap here.
  • Western Australia has announced new incentives to encourage Aussies to take jobs in regional areas (click here), Queensland has also launched a #pickqld campaign (click here); and Victoria has a new workforce support package for ag too (click here).
  • NSW has eased its border restrictions with Victoria. Click here for the release, and for the NSW DPI’s notice about the critical ag permit, click here.
  • A reminder that if you are entering Queensland using the ag class exemption (click here – includes link to the letter you need to carry), bring all your documentation to the border and you will be given a handwritten permit. You cannot apply online.
  • And on that Queensland class exemption, this expires on soon, but QDAF is working with the relevant departments for an extension or alternative.
  • The Federal Ag department has announced independent auditors would replace departmental offshore audits for offshore entities in recognised fertiliser supply chains. Read more.
Avocados on a tree

Chilean avocados in Australia

As we noted last week, the first Chilean avocados have arrived in Australia, with a small sample shipment airfreighted into Queensland. Avocados Australia understands there are also two containers at sea, headed for Sydney (40t in total) due to land on 30 September and 7 October. An assessment of shipping records this week shows that no additional consignments have been dispatched at this point.

Chris O'Brien, QAAFI

Putting avocados on ice

World-first research at the University of Queensland has found a way to cryopreserve the tips of avocado shoots and then revive them to create healthy plants. “The benefit of being able to cryopreserve avocado trees is you can store a whole lot of germplasm for future generations without taking up lots of space maintaining large trees in orchards,” Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas says.

New Phytophthora resistant rootstock released

New Phytophthora resistant rootstock released

The first commercial planting of 600 Hass trees grafted to a new rootstock selected and evaluated in Australia, occurred near Childers in the Central Queensland growing region in July. The rootstock was recovered and clonally propagated from a surviving Hass tree in an avocado orchard at South Kolan, Queensland after the surrounding trees had succumbed to Phytophthora root rot. Identified as ‘SHSR-04’ for evaluation purposes, it proved to have a high level of resistance in repeated trials.

Keep an eye out for panicle blight

Keep an eye out for panicle blight

Severe panicle blight, or inflorescence dieback, occurred in blocks in the Bundaberg/Childers growing region during the 2019 flowering. This dieback of inflorescences has been observed in previous years, but was apparently much more severe in 2019. Avocado researchers are trialling control measures, and are keen to hear from growers from all regions who see this in their orchards this flowering season.

Enjoy a smashed avo summer

Enjoy a smashed avocado summer

Australian Avocados is asking consumers “why you love Australian avocados?” in the latest social media competition. The competition, running from 14-28 September is a partnership between Australian Avocados and Budgy Smuggler, with the winner receiving a very summer appropriate prize pack, including Budgy Smugglers and a tray of avos. The objective of promotion is to drive top of mind awareness of avocados coming into spring. Check it out on Facebook and Instagram.

Avogrow webinar logo9

Avogrow webinar series: pick your topics!

The new industry-wide Avogrow webinar series starts in October, presented by the Avocado Industry Development and Extension team (AV17005). This webinar series replaces the in-person Regional Forums until further notice. To ensure that the topics covered in the webinar series are relevant, we need everyone to select their top three topics by clicking here before Monday, September 21. More information: Avocados Australia Industry Development Manager Liz Singh, 0499 854 111 or (Mon-Thurs 9am-3pm); DAF: Bridie Carr, or 07 5381 1327.

How does light and temperature influence yield?

How does light and temperature influence yield?

Did you know that the interaction of light and temperature around flowering could influence your fruit set and yield? What if you could use weather data to help make a yield prediction? QAAFI’s Anthony Van Herwaarden wants the opportunity to test this theory in the avocado industry and is seeking growers who are interested to put their hand up. Click here to register your interest.

Visit the Avocado Directory today!
What's new in your BPR? Click to find out
Guac_BPR 135x174

Ever wondered "what if"?

Making management changes in your orchard will impact your yield, fruit size and quality at harvest, but what if you looked at it the other way around? What if you looked at how yield, fruit size/quality and packouts could change your profit results and make adjustments to your orchard management to make this a reality? The new “What if?” spreadsheet created by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for the Australian avocado industry looks at the differences in profit if fruit size and quality grades are changed. Click here to download this handy new tool.

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

Packaging hot consumer topic, says Fiftyfive5. 18/9/2020.

About one-third of Australians say they are shopping locally more, and 35% are using supermarket Click & Collect services more. The latest insights from the latest Fiftyfive5 category and consumer impact monitor reports for Hort Innovation, also notes an uplift in the importance of fruit and vegetables having a high health benefit. Find the report here.

New WA traceability project. 17/9/2020/

The Western Australian Agriculture Authority has been awarded $155,000 in Traceability Grants Program funding to support a national project to identify and pilot a traceability system for the plant industry. Read more.

Maluma growers looking for NT trial sites. 16/9/2020.

Australia's biggest avocado nursery is confident the Northern Territory can become home to a thriving industry able to produce the fruit for domestic and export markets. Listen to the NT Country Hour (7 minute mark) or read more from ABC Rural. However, Avocados Australia recommends that growers in any region should thoroughly do their own homework when establishing new orchards.

Live exporter buys into avocado company. 16/9/2020.

Emanuel Exports and Sandon Capital have become shareholders in Western Australia’s Alterra. Read more.

Labour changes needed in COVID-19 era. 15/9/2020.

The Joint Standing Committee on Migration tabled an interim report on its inquiry into the Working Holiday Maker program on 15 September. The Committee’s key recommendations focus on encouraging Australians and temporary visa holders to fill the shortfall for the current season. Read more in Bundaberg Now.

Internet sensation promotes fresh produce. 15/9/2020.

Queensland horticulture body Growcom is collaborating with internet sensation Nat’s What I Reckon on its Eat Yourself to Health campaign. Read more in Produce Plus and check out the first videos here. (You might also find a few cheeky avo recipes in the campaign’s cookbook.)

Sterile fruit fly releases reduce population. 8/9/2020.

The pilot project in Hillston, NSW and Cobram, Victoria involved releasing sterile fruit flies each week from a plane and is part of the Hort Innovation research project - Post Factory Pilot of SITPlus Fly production. In Cobram, the sterile fruit fly releases contributed to an 83% reduction in Queensland fruit fly activity. Read more.

The Wiggles love some smashed avo

Just for a bit of fun, it seems The Wiggles have an avocado song. (We’re a bit late to the party, it came out in August.) If listening to a song about hammers isn’t on your list, skip forward to the three minute mark in this episode on ABC iView. (They didn’t let Wags the Dog have any though.)

Click here for a round up of international avocado news

Kenya now 7th largest exporter. 15/9/2020.

Despite these strange times, the avocado business in Kenya seems to be thriving. Kenya has recently topped Africa in global exports and at this point in time ranks 7th largest exporter in the world. Read more in FreshPlaza.

UK: new ripening system. 14/9/2020.

Worldwide Fruit and JD Cooling have unveiled their new avocado ripening facility in Spalding, Lincolnshire. The new facility uses Softripe technology, that claims to be able to produce better quality fruit thanks to computer atmosphere control, for a more efficient ripening process. Read more in Fresh Produce Journal.

Mexico: lack of food service affects markets. 14/9/2020.

The quality and size of Mexican avocado supplies are meeting the demands of the US market, which continues to be affected by the lack of food service channels, says the CEO of Calavo Growers. Read more in Fresh Fruit Portal.

Peru: export prices take a hit. 11/9/2020.

Peruvian avocado exports reached a record high this year, but the increased volume, together with weaker demand due to COVID-19, exerted a downward pressure on prices. Read more in EurofruitPeru is also experiencing an increased demand for pollinators, read more in FreshPlaza.

Chile: drought impacts avocado supplies. 9/9/2020.

Near the beginning of a new harvest, avocado producers in Chile are facing a challenging factor: the drought and the water deficit that occurs in various regions of the country. There are some estimates production was down 30% comparing 2016/17 and 2019/20. Read more in FreshPlaza.

US: selling prices down 37%. 9/9/2020.

Calavo Growers reported avocado volume rose 18.2% in the quarter ending July 31, but that was offset by a 37% decline in average selling prices. Read more in The Packer.

South Africa: grower develops avo-cabulary. 8/9/2020.

South African avocado grower Allesbeste Boerdery is partnering with a South African coffee specialist to develop a flavour wheel for the avocado. Read more in FreshPlaza.

US: Mission Produce files for IPO 4/9/2020.

Mission Produce has filed for an initial public offering to raise up to US$100m, with plans to list on Nasdaq. Read more in Eurofruit.

Your round up of export news that matters

New monthly export report

We have added a new resource for Australian avocado exporters – a monthly report detailing tonnages and value. These reports will provide updates by market, source state, and export method. They will also flag any emerging issues. You will be able to find these reports in the BPR Library, under Export.

July export update – volume down, value up

For July 2020, exports of Australian avocados were 251 tonnes, and worth A$2.03m. The result was 46% lower than last year, however, unit values were 47% higher at $8.08 and this meant the overall value decreased by 21% for the first month of the 2020/21 year. You can find the fully July report in the BPR Library.

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 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!

Hort Innovation calls Extraordinary General Meeting

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of Hort Innovation members has been called and will be held virtually on Friday 9 October 2020 at 1pm AEDST. This meeting is taking place ahead of, and is separate to, the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November. Hort Innovation member Perfection Fresh requested the EGM, for voting members to consider changes to the constitution, including that all new Directors be elected to the Board by voting members of the company, and new Directors would have a maximum service period. Read more.


Hort Innovation: Annual General Meeting

Hort Innovation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Friday 27 November. The period to secure your voting rights has now closed. Read more.



17 Nov – Asiafruit Congress, online

18-20 Nov – Asia Fruit Logistica, online

27 Nov – Hort Innovation AGM

9 October – Hort Innovation EGM



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.