COVID-19 border changes ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏
Avocados Australia Guacamole 21 August 2020
Visit for our collated COVID-19 resources
Coronavirus image from the CDC, on unsplash

COVID-19: what’s new

The last fortnight has been all about state borders on the east coast, here's the latest.

  • For those in the NSW/Victoria border region, there is now a critical services (agriculture) permit. Effectively, this allows for travel 100km either side of the border, but comes with conditions (including the need for a new COVID Business Safety Plan). Get the details from the NSW DPI site.
  • In the South Australia/Victoria border zone, ag workers should be able to continue to cross (conditions apply) but general movement for cross border residents has been reduced. More from the SA Government here.
  • There’s also been a push from the Australian Government encouraging states to relax border restrictions for agriculture, read more from the ABC.
  • Moving away from borders, the latest Category and Consumer Impact Monitor has been released by Hort Innovation, and it shows a return to local and independent greengrocers. Find all the reports here.
  • And a reminder to check out this casestudy about the value of having a COVID plan for your business.

COVID-19: workforce survey extended

Survey closes on 24 August! Avocado data is urgently needed as part of a national project to help horticulture address serious concerns about the future availability of harvest labour as the pandemic continues. Hort Innovation is collaborating with EY to understand the horticultural seasonal workforce. Because this work includes estimating foundational seasonal labour workforce demands, identifying any potential gaps because of COVID-19, all growers should fill out the survey. The results of this work will be used as the entire horticultural sector works to ensure growers have access to the workforce it needs, when it’s needed. This survey should be a high priority for all growers!

Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas

COVID-19 and avocado supplies

Chief Executive John Tyas says supply is expected to be steady for the next few months, but as the industry moves into the summer harvest period later this year, it is expected that supply will ease back, as many southern and western producers are carrying fairly light crops this year.

sliced green fruit on black textile by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis (

Backpacker ban not the answer

Last week, three Australian unions called for a ban on working holiday maker visas. NFF president Fiona Simson says backpackers are a vital part of the farm workforce, along with locals. “Farmers would always prefer to employ Australians, but the facts this gang of unions choose to ignore are that farmers simply cannot source the local workers they need and therefore rely on international workers to help put food on the shelves for all Australians,” she said.

Image: Leonie Wise, Unsplash

Pre-packed fruit & veg popular

The COVID-19 Fresh Produce Update for July has been released on Harvest to Home. The report demonstrates that total grocery sales stabilised in the four weeks ending 12/7/2020 and were 13.7% higher than the same time a year ago. Since COVID there has been a significant move towards pre-packed fruit and vegetables in major supermarkets, because of the perceived safety and/or convenience. The trend towards shopping more online for fresh items continued with fresh produce growing 39% in dollar sales, compared to the same period a year ago.


Varroa eradication plan updated

The national management group believes it is still technically feasible to eradicate Varroa jacobsoni, and has revised the eradication plan for the pest. A third incursion of Varroa jacobsoni was detected in an Asian Honey Bee (AHB) nest at the Port of Townsville in April 2020, unrelated to the 2016 and 2019 incursions. Under the revised plan, up to $2.17 million has been allocated to fund response activities until 30 June 2021.

Read more about the Australian Avocados marketing here.
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Chilean fruit could enter Australian market

With prospects of Chilean fruit entering the Australian market this year, industry is encouraged to read the AV17004 final report which explores the potential impact of Chilean and Peruvian avocado imports for the Australian avocado industry. The levy-funded R&D report for the project is available via the BPR Library (in R&D Reports).

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.

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Get more Australian industry news

NFF calls for a carbon neutral Australia. 20/8/2020.
Australia's farmers say the country needs a tougher policy on climate, calling on the Australian Government to commit to an economy wide target of net zero carbon emission by 2050. Read more in the ABC.

Queensland: new Reef certification available. 19/8/2020.

Growcom has launched its Hort 360 Reef Certification program, providing a pathway for horticulture growers to demonstrate their environmental stewardship and industry best practice standards in Great Barrier Reef catchments. Read more.

Horticulture grants on offer. 18/8/2020.

Hort Innovation is partnering with the 2021 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, a competitive grant program that seeks to advance the careers of young researches, scientists, producers and innovators aged between 18 and 35 years by funding research projects that benefit Australia's primary industries. Read more.

COVID-19: worker shortage concerns. 17/8/2020.

A Coffs Harbour avocado and berry grower is concerned there won’t be enough harvest workers available when his crops are ready. Read more in SBS Punjabi.

Fly pollination research underway in WA. 17/8/2020.

A research project examining the potential for native flies to supplement bees as pollinators of horticulture crops is creating a buzz. The second year of the native fly trials at DPIRD’s South Perth quarantine glasshouse and in the field at Busselton have proven to be even more successful than the first. Read more from DPIRD.

Women in leadership scholarships. 16/8/2020.

The Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund identifies, builds and empowers future industry leaders at all stages of their career together with Women & Leadership Australia (WLA). Funding grants of up to $10,941 are available. Apply by 2 October: click here.

Freshcare survey open. 14/8/

Freshcare has opened a survey about certification and compliance in Australia. Survey information will be used by Freshcare to identify what is working and what requires improvement in order to best meet the needs of its stakeholders. The survey closes on 1 September. Take the survey.

COVID-19: what’s the news from retailers?

As well as reporting a 7.1% profit growth (read more in inside FMCG), Coles has launched a new digital portal on its website to offer “shoppable” specials, recipes, tips and products (again, more in inside FMCG). And Woolworths is paying $552m for a two-thirds stake in PFD Food Services and its properties (read more from Reuters).

Mystery seeds land in Australian mailboxes. 5/8/2020.

And here’s why the ag industry continually talks about the importance of biosecurity: a worldwide mystery has now reached Australia. Packages of mysterious seeds have been turning up in the mail across the planet. If you receive such a package, secure the seeds and report them to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, or call 1800 798 636.

Click here for a round up of international avocado news

China’s avocado imports plummet. 19/8/2020.

Avocado imports reached a record high of almost 44,000 tons in 2018 (up 37% on 2017) but this peak in supply surpassed demand and importers curbed activities in 2019. Read more from FreshPlaza.

Drought and avocados in Chile. 17/8/2020.

Other agricultural producers in Central Chile blame avocado plantations, and drought, for reduced water availability. Read more in Latin American Herald Tribune.

Peruvian avocado prices fall 19%. 14/8/2020.

Prices for Peru’s avocado exports fell by 19% for January-June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Read more in FreshPlaza. Also in FreshPlaza, it’s reported at least one company plans to increase export volumes this season, after a delayed campaign start.

Kenya: avocado oil demand increase. 10/8/2020.

It’s been a relatively good year for the avocado oil business in Kenya, despite the global pandemic. One avocado oil trader even claims demand has increased by about ten per cent in 2020. Read more in FreshPlaza.

Your round up of export news that matters

New report reveals record Australian exports

The latest Australian avocado exports and imports report has been added to the website, and it shows that in 2019/20, the Australian industry reached record export levels with 4,052 tonnes dispatched. This was a 26.8% growth on the previous year. The result was influenced by a very strong July to December period, followed by weaker results through January to June impacted by lack of air freight. Trade to Hong Kong more than doubled while the key markets of Malaysia and Singapore both recorded higher volumes in 2019/20. Middle East markets increased three-fold off a low base and trade to Japan lifted 10-fold from three to 40 tonnes. Click here for the latest report. If you want to see previous editions, these are in the BPR Library.

New resources coming for exporters

Two new projects secured by Avocados Australia will help support the industry’s growing export efforts. Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas said the two Australian Government Package Assisting Small Exporter (PASE) grants would help streamline the registration process for protocol markets, and provide specific information for those seeking to access the Japanese and New Zealand markets. Read more here.

COVID-19: export squeeze coming. 14/8/2020.

The squeeze on Australia's agricultural air freight pipeline caused by coronavirus is just a couple of months from becoming even more seriously congested when a host of perishable export crops start to be harvested. Read more in Good Fruit & Vegetables.

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 AGM

The Hort Innovation Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Friday, 27 November 2020. All Hort Innovation members who pay a statutory or voluntary horticulture levy have the right to apply for voting entitlements for this year’s AGM, and for any other general meeting of members held between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021. This is done by submitting an Annual Levy Return form (deadline 14 September). Read more here.


Asia Fruit Logistica & Asiafruit Congress going online

Asia Fruit Logistica will not be held in physical form this year. Instead, the event is moving to a new digital format in November 2020. It will be called Asia Fruit Logistica ON and it aims to give the thousands of exhibitors and visitors that would normally attend in physical form a platform for them to connect, do business and to continue to grow their business in Asia this season. Find out more here from Asia Fruit Logistica, and read more from Asiafruit.



17 Nov – Asiafruit Congress, online

18-20 Nov – Asia Fruit Logistica, online

27 Nov – Hort Innovation AGM



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.