COVID-19, event updates, news ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Avocados Australia Guacamole 20 March 2020
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

COVID-19 and avocados

There is little doubt the worldwide pandemic will impact on the Australian avocado industry. In positive news, the Australian Government considers food supply to be an essential service and state and national governments are working to address issues around labour availability, workplace health and safety and supply chain security.

Central NSW likely to go online

CNSW Regional Forum going online

Unfortunately, the CNSW Regional Forum will no longer be going ahead at Peats Ridge on 1 April. The team is looking to potentially take the event online! Please RSVP as per normal to Amanda (, and we’ll let you know the details as soon as possible.

Hort Connections

Hort Connections in in 2021

Organisers have cancelled the 2020 Hort Connections, which was to take place in June. This means the associated Avocados Australia event planned for the Monday of the conference will not take place. The 2021 Hort Connections will be held 7-9 June, in Brisbane.

QAAFI day postponed

CQ tissue culture day on hold

The avocado industry stakeholder information day covering progress with avocado rootstock tissue culture scheduled for 25 March in Childers has been postponed. The team at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) will reschedule at a later date.

Hayleigh Dawson

New Avocados Australia team member

Hayleigh Dawson has joined Avocados Australia as the industry’s new Market Development Manager. CEO John Tyas says the new role is part of a push to proactively increase domestic demand. “In this new role, Hayleigh Dawson will focus on quality, supply dynamics and promotion. We’re not looking to reinvent the wheel because there is already excellent marketing, research and development work taking place. We want that work to be as effective as possible in ramping up consumption of Australian avocados in our domestic market.”

R&D on post-harvest treatments

Watch out for fruit rots

Fruit rots are one of the major issues impacting on fruit quality, which reduces consumer confidence. It is important that everyone from grower to retailer does their bit to ensure consumers don’t buy rotting fruit! You can read up managing these diseases in the Best Practice Resource, and the latest research on post-harvest treatments (click here) will be included in the Autumn edition of Talking Avocados.

Regional Forums
Western Australia event success

Western Australian avocado events

Last week, the two latest extension events were held in Western Australia, with Manjimup hosting both the AvoSkills event aimed at newer industry members, farm managers and input suppliers, and the Regional Forum with a focus on pollination, fruitset and fruitlet retention. Click here to check out the Regional Forum photo gallery, and here for the AvoSkills. Presentations and materials will be loaded to the BPR in due course.

Australian Avocados

Tasty tips for Shepard avocados

Australian Avocados is keeping up with its promotion of the Shepards – in season now – as COVID-19 encourages shoppers to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. They’re getting the message out about how to prepare the greenskin Shepard variety, with articles like this tasty recipe on The Interiors Addict blog and this one in Better Homes & Gardens. Australian Avocados marketing activities are managed by Hort Innovation and funded by the avocado marketing levy.

Visit the Avocado Directory today!
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New reports from World Congress

The team who attended the World Avocado Congress on behalf of the Australian industry have prepared a number of reports, and these are now available in the BPR Library. In the Event Proceedings section, you will now find a report on the conference pre-tour to California, and two reports on the Colombian field tours to Rio Negro and Sonson. This includes details of visits to avocado orchards and research sites.

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

ANVAS accreditation update

Three Australian nurseries – Anderson Horticulture, Fleming’s Nurseries Qld, and Turkinje Nursery are the first to be registered under the new ANVAS arrangements. The Avocado Nursery Voluntary Accreditation Scheme (ANVAS), managed by Avocados Australia, was established in 1977/78 to provide superior planting material for the avocado industry. Find out more here.

Hort Innovation funding to go greener. 20/3/20.

More than $2.9 million in new technology will go towards helping growers in horticulture to improve their green credentials. The federal government announced the funding through the second round of its $57.5 million Smart Farming Partnerships program, with Hort Innovation delivering the project. Read more in Queensland Country Life.

COVID-19: industry calls for visa relief. 19/3/20.

Industry bodies from right across Australia’s horticultural sector have called on the Federal government to extend the visas of foreign workers in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more in Asiafruit.

New horticulture labour template released. 17/3/20.

The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement (HILA) template is now available. Growers can now access the agreement template to help with their applications for semi-skilled and skilled workers. Read more in FreshPlaza, and find the template by clicking here.

National Agricultural Workforce Strategy. 16/3/20.

The Australian Government’s National Agricultural Workforce Strategy represents an opportunity to take strong and decisive action on workforce issues that impact on horticultural and agricultural industries. The aim is to attract, retain and upskill the domestic workforce. Read more and make a submission here.

Researchers and farmers protect Queensland’s Reef. 11/3/20.

Woodchip-filled trenches hardly seem like a high-tech answer to the global problems of fertiliser run-off, but could hold the key to improving environmental outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef. Read more in ABC Rural.

SA doubles down on fruit fly protection. 6/3/2020.

If travellers try to bring fruit or vegetables into South Australia or into a pest free area, they will receive a $375 fine. The latest campaign is part of protecting South Australia’s $1.3 billion horticulture industry vulnerable to fruit fly. Read more.

Pest and disease priority survey extended!

Extended to 31 March! As part of the Strategic Agrichemical Review Process (SARP), surveys are being conducted to identify pest and disease priorities for several Australian horticultural industries. Complete the avocado survey by clicking here.

You may have noticed

Last weekend, due to a technical glitch, the ABC posted several interviews from 2014 as new content on their website, including one with our CEO John Tyas. The old content has now been removed from the ABC.

Click here for a round up of international avocado news

South Africa: Maluma symposium success. 16/3/20.

The annual Maluma symposium brought top avocado researchers and developers, including from Australia, to the farming community of Tzaneen. Read more in FreshPlaza.

Italy: operating with coronavirus. 11/3/20.

Italy’s fruit and vegetable industries changed operational practices overnight, as the entire country went into lockdown because of coronavirus. In office situations, interaction between departments has been limited, external visitors and travel banned. Where possible, employees are working from home. In warehouses, there is no changeover period between shifts (minimising contact), regular disinfections scheduled, and breaks staggered to ensure fewer people are in contact. Read more in Italiafruit (translate needed).

Food an unlikely transmission route for COVID-19. 9/3/20.

Europe’s food safety authority is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak, and says there is no evidence to suggest transmission can occur through food consumption.

Read more from the European Food Safety Authority.

Your round up of export news that matters

Japanese market update

In preparation for the next export season for Japan, Avocados Australia has started a list of accredited packhouses on its website. This list sits on a page providing specific seasonal and access information for Japanese exporters. You can see it by clicking here. This page is part of the Global section on our website, providing resources for the industry’s international customers. If you are an accredited packhouse and would like to be included, email

Want regular export news?

Sign up for Export Coordinator Joy Tang’s regular email updates on avocados 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.)

Export fee hike proposal dismays industry. 18/3/20.

The Australian Department of Agriculture’s (DoA) recent suggestion to implement new regulations that will lead to an over 40% increase in export costs for fresh produce has been met with fervent disapproval by the local industry. Avocados Australia has been involved with industry communications to government on this issue. Read more in Food Navigator Asia.

Colombian avocados heading for Japan. 17/3/20.

A container carrying 16 tonnes of Colombian Hass avocados has been exported from Westfalia Fruit Colombia (WFC) to Yokohama, Japan. This is the first time that WFC has shipped avocados to the country. Read more in FreshPlaza.


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!

COVID-19 Fair Farms webinar

The Fair Farms team are holding a series of professional development webinars, and the first will focus on workplace issues in the context of the coronavirus. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, 25 March, 3-4pm (AEST). RSVPs are essential. Click here for more information and to register.



25 Mar – CANCELLED Avocado tissue culture: industry stakeholder day, Childers Q

1 Apr – GOING ONLINE - Avocado Regional Forum, CNSW

6 May – Avocado Regional Forum, Tristate

12 May – Avocado Marketing SIAP meeting, Brisbane Q

13 May – Avocado R&D SIAP meeting, Brisbane Q

15-17 Jun – CANCELLED - Hort Connections, Brisbane Q

21-24 Jun – Australasian Plant Breeding Conference, Gold Coast Q

24 Jul – FNQ Growers R&D Field Day, Mareeba Q

15 Spt – Asiafruit Congress, SINGAPORE

16-18 Spt – Asia Fruit Logistica, SINGAPORE



7-9 Jun – Hort Connections, Brisbane Q

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.