COVID-19 updates & news ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏
Avocados Australia Guacamole 29 May 2020
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

COVID-19 avocado orchard and packshed guide

We are continuously updating our avocado specific orchard and packshed guide for dealing with COVID-19. Additions in the last two weeks include PPE information for New South Wales growers, and useful templates for all growers from the Queensland Government. Click here for tips and resources we've specifically collated with avocado orchards in mind.


Coles adds Fair Farms certification

Coles has endorsed the industry-led Fair Farms training and certification program, a move that means the certification is now accepted by the country’s three major retailers. “Coles contributed to the original design of the Fair Farms Standard alongside other retailers and stakeholders so it’s great to see the supermarket giant is now joining the group of Australian produce buyers who support the industry-led initiative,” Fair Farms manager Thomas Hertel says. Read more from Coles.

Dr Inaki Hormaza

Tristate webinar available online

Did you miss this week’s Tristate Regional Forum? This special online event featured Spanish researcher, Dr Inaki Hormaza, whose work is around understanding flowering and maximising fruit set. A recording of the webinar is available in the BPR Library (under the Event Proceedings heading), and meeting minutes (including answers to additional questions for Dr Hormaza) will be added soon. Make sure you are logged into the BPR to access the recording and handouts.

Ian Tolson - Board Member

Quality a focus for Hass return

Central NSW growers Ian and Allison Tolson say a focus on quality has helped the avocado industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Tolson, an Avocados Australia director, told FreshPlaza premiums were “looking good in chain stores” and exports had been “okay” but selling first and second-grade had been harder with the scaling back of food service industries. “We have tried to lift the quality of our fruit as much as possible over the years, so we shouldn't be too bad,” he said.

Avo 5 ways

Promoting Good Mood Food

To support growers, Hort Innovation is launching a whole-of-horticulture campaign called The Good Mood Food Campaign. The aim is to motivate Australian consumers to eat more fruit, veg and nuts. The major components of the campaign launch on Sunday, with the introduction of a new TV ad supported by advertising, public relations, increased social media and a range of partnerships. The goal is to reach up to 98% of Australians.

Avocados on a tree

Hort Innovation: sustainability survey results

New research for Hort Innovation has identified the sustainability topics that are most important to people interested in Australian horticulture, from growers through to consumers and communities. Having ethical and resilient practices, supporting healthy landscapes and meeting the challenges of climate concerns all top the list, which is explored in the full report: What is important to Australian horticulture’s stakeholders?

Australian Avocados - #smashanavoathome

Hass is back

In recent weeks, Avocados Australia has worked with industry, major retailers and Hort Innovation to launch the Hass season marketing program, aligning with the consumer offering on shelf. The launch of the Hass season has seen consumers welcome Hass back to the market with uptake from media outreach celebrating the return of Hass and sharing simple tricks for picking and storing avocados. Australian Avocados continues to offer inspiration on using avocados across a number of occasions across social media such as this Smoked Salmon & Avocado on Toast, Guacamole and Taco Night. Australian Avocados marketing activities are managed by Hort Innovation and funded by the avocado marketing levy.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Keep up to date

We are keeping the Australian News and the International News sections on our website updated as items come to hand. For the wider industry, we will also email important information directly, as needed, and we have compiled a (growing) list of national resources and information (click here). For members, we have a regular blog in the Member Area (log-in needed) and links to state-based resources and information (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia). Please check the currency of the information and consider all relevant federal and state requirements as well.

Take the survey

Missing pest management information?

Researchers from a new Hort Innovation Avocado Fund project, the Review and extension of avocado pests and their management (AV19001) need to hear from you to help assess the current approaches being used for managing insects and mites. This information will be used to identify areas in need of further research and extension investment and areas which don’t.

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

Managing ripening

Each batch of fruit needs to be managed separately during ripening, with twice-daily checks on progress to ensure that fruit does not become over-ripe before cooling and despatch. Ripening needs to be planned according to customer orders. Ripening fruit at warmer temperatures helps it to ripen faster but increases the risk of rot development. Low ripening temperatures may not allow Hass to fully change colour. Optimum ripening temperature depends on fruit maturity: ripen early season fruit at 18–20°C (dry matter <26%), and ripen late season fruit at 16–18°C (dry matter >26%). Once fruit has reached the required stage of ripeness (minimum stage 3), forced-air cool to 5°C for Hass. Breaking (stage 3) to ripe (stage 5) fruit need to be dispatched to retailers as soon as possible; this fruit should not be stored for more than three days. More information on managing ripening best practice is available on the Education Materials section of the BPR Library.

HASS REMINDER: Data loggers can be used to monitor fruit during transport. Have you checked your transport company have trucks set to 5°C for Hass?

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
Do you receive all our avocado industry comms?
Share the Guac with your industry colleagues! Forward this email.
Get more Australian industry news

New plant biosecurity videos for farm workers

Plant Health Australia have developed a video about plant by security for farm workers. There is an accompanying factsheet, and the video itself has been translated into five other languages with more to come. You can find links to all of the videos here.

Updating the national orchard app

In 2017, the first national tree crop mapping project gave us as an industry a baseline for the location of avocado, mango and macadamia orchards across the country. As part of AV18002, researchers need growers to help update this important map, that can be used for biosecurity planning, disaster response and more. For details on how to provide feedback directly via the mapping app, click here.

COVID-19 from Hort Innovation

In these unusual times under the pressures of the global COVID-19 situation, Hort Innovation wants to keep growers updated on how their work as Australian horticulture’s research and development corporation has been continuing. Click here to read more.

New consortium encourages fresh produce consumption. 24/5/2020.

A new national body has been established to change fresh fruit and vegetable consumption habits and help the farmers who grow fresh produce. Read more from ABC Rural.

NSW grower sets up avo subscription box. 22/5/2020/

Avocado farmer Katrina Myers has launched The Avo Club, a subscription service that delivers the fruit directly to homes in Melbourne and Sydney. Read more in Gourmet Traveller.

SafeWork SA inspectors calling. 22/5/2020.

Inspectors started call South Australian businesses this week, to provide guidance and support on how to maintain WHS responsibilities in line with COVID-19 advice. Read more.

COVID-19: Nielsen’s predictions for consumption change. 22/5/2020.

As unemployment levels around the world skyrocket and economic and business forecasts plunge, two types of consumers are emerging. There are those who have similar or even more discretionary income due to their inability to spend on out-of-home options, and in contrast, there are those who have had their income and spending significantly curtailed or constrained due to unemployment. Read more at Nielsen.

CQ: Paradise Dam report released. 22/5/2020.

An independent review into the root cause of Paradise Dam's structural and stability issues has found the dam's primary spillway apron width to be 'completely inadequate'. Read more in Queensland Country Life and InQueensland.

Avocado grower on NFF’s 2020 leadership diversity program. 21/5/2020.

North Queensland avocado, mango and lime grower Jessica Fealy, Mareeba is one of 12 women in the 2020 cohort. Read more in Good Fruit & Vegetables.

COVID-19: Qld Government says labour available. 20/5/2020.

The Queensland ag minister says economic modelling based on survey data and advice from labour hire companies confirmed the required workforce was on hand and keen to start. Read more.

Varroa mites found at Port of Townsville. 19/5/2020.

Biosecurity Queensland officers are responding to a new incursion of varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni) found on a nest of feral Asian honey bees at the Port of Townsville on 28 April 2020. Read more.

AVPMA to introduce new cost recovery arrangements. 18/5/2020.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) will implement revised cost recovery arrangements, as outlined in our Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS), on 1 July 2020. Read more.

Domestic tourism … with avos. 16/5/2020.

Avocado on toast is definitely part of the Australian experience, so much so that it featured in Tourism Australia’s latest domestic tourism push. You can watch the video here.

Ag levy survey closing

The Australian Government’s survey into streamlining and modernising the legislation associated with the levy system closes on 31 May. Click here to take the survey.

Click here for a round up of international avocado news

COVID-19: US packer uses thermal cameras on staff. 26/5/2020.

West Pak has added protective dividers, increased sanitation, and installed thermal detection camera systems and facial recognition to combat COVID-19. Read more in Produce Blue Book.

Mexico’s export value increase. 25/5/2020.

Mexican avocado export value grew by nearly a third, year-on-year, in the first quarter of 2020. There was a huge increase in March. Read more in Fresh Fruit Portal.

South Africa expects 13% drop in exports. 15/5/2020.

Despite having taken an initial knock in demand on international and local markets as a result of global trade and movement restriction to contain COVID-19, South Africa’s avocado growers are now seeing a steady, positive turnaround. Read more in Farmers Weekly.

Your round up of export news that matters

Thailand receives first avos from Peru. 26/5/2020.

Westfalia Fruit Peru’s first shipment of avocados to Thailand arrived by container on 17 May. Read more in FreshPlaza.

Peruvian Hass shipped to South Korea. 19/5/2020.

The first consignment of Peruvian Hass to South Korea is expected to land at the Port of Busan in mid-June. Read more in Asiafruit.

Japanese fruit market still positive. 18/5/2020.

Japanese consumers are buying more fruit, and at higher prices it seems. On data to March 2020 (so including the COVID-19 period), fresh fruit imports have been stable for quarter one. Read more in Asiafruit.

Avocado volume in Japan falls. 17/5/2020.

The volume of Mexican avocados handled at the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market was down by 20% in March compared with the same month last year due to the global decline in container traffic volume, pushing up the average price by 5%. Read more in the Yomiuri Shimbun.

COVID-19: Global air travel recovery will take years. 15/5/2020.

The International Air Transport Association forecasts global air travel will take until 2023 to recover from COVID-19. It says this is because it will take time to restore confidence in air travel, but this is expected to be faster in short-haul markets than long-haul. Read more from IATA.

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.)


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!


17 Nov – Asiafruit Congress, Singapore

18-20 Nov – Asia Fruit Logistica, Singapore



7-9 Jun – Hort Connections, Brisbane Q

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