Avocados Australia Guacamole 22 March 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of the Guacamole newsletter. Get all the latest avocado industry news at your fingertips every fortnight.

Guac_Chile flag_135x150_290318

Chile discussions with DAWR

Avocados Australia has had a briefing from the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) on the draft report on the risk analysis for fresh avocados from Chile. The report was recently released, with the 60-day feedback period ending on 29 April. “We encourage everyone to review the list of potential pests and either provide information to Avocados Australia or provide your own submission direct to the department,” CEO John Tyas says.

Verticillium wilt. Photograph: Dr Liz Dann

Verticillium wilt spotted in WA this summer

While not usually a major problem in avocados, Verticillium wilt has been seen in young trees in south-west Western Australia this summer. Dr Elizabeth Dann has prepared an article for Guacamole to provide more information about the disease and management options. “In the cases I am aware of, trees have been planted into ex-potato and grapevine ground,” Liz says of the recent occurrences. “Spuds are an excellent host of Verticillium, which can survive in soil for many years as ‘microsclerotia’, which are small 1-2mm hard, black compact masses of fungal mycelium.”

Australian Avocados

Television commercial returning

The latest Australian Avocados commercial, encouraging everyone to smash an avo, will be back on screens in select major metro and regional markets from the end of the month. The eight-week run aims to reach an audience of more than four million. The advertisement will be run during popular news, drama and reality shows across Seven, Nine and Ten. The industry's marketing is managed by Hort Innovation and funded by the avocado marketing levy.

Avocados Australia Chair Jim Kochi

Shepard and Hass: exploring the differences

The marketing team at Australian Avocados has been working to help our consumers understand the differences between the Hass and Shepard varieties this season, including providing background information for this editorial in The Guardian and sharing selection tips. Avocados Australia Chair Jim Kochi was invited onto 3AW’s breakfast program in Melbourne to talk about the greenskin variety.

What's new in the Best Practice Resource?
Best Practice Resource

New export strategy for Australian avocados

Avocados Australia, as part of the Avocado export readiness and market access project (AV17000), recently published the Australian avocado export strategy 2019-2021. Avocado production has grown an average of 7%, year-on-year, for the past decade. Exports currently make up a very small percentage of the Australian industry, but this will change as the industry grows toward producing 115,000t a year by 2025. You can find the new export strategy in the BPR Library, in the Export documents.
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.
You can log in (or request access!) via www.avocado.org.au/best-practice-resource/.

Search the Avocado Directory!

AVPMA permit update for Dimethoate
The AVPMA has reissued PER87164 permit for the control of various fruit fly species in Specified Citrus and Tropical & Sub-Tropical Inedible Peel Fruit commodities. The permit wording has changed to include flood spraying for all crops listed on the permit, including tropicals, and to include all pests and states not covered by the Dimethoate Registered Labels. Click here to view the permit. If you have an adverse experience as a result of using this permit, you should complete the Non-Performance Reporting Form for Horticultural Pesticides form.

Cold plasma and avocados. 19/3/19.
At Murdoch University in Western Australia, Kirsty Bayliss has found a way to use just room air and electricity to make perishable food items last longer, including avocado.

Skilled worker changes welcome. 11/3/19.
Under the modified scheme announced by the Australian Government, skilled migrants will now be able to access four-year working visas provided they remain in a specified region and take up agricultural roles.

Hort Stats Handbook released. 11/3/19.
The 2017/18 Horticultural Statistics Handbook has been released by Hort Innovation, featuring data on more than 70 horticultural products and key information from across the supply chain.


Colombia ready for WAC. 17/3/19.
The city of Medellín Colombia will host the 9th World Avocado Congress, held on 24-26 September and organised by Corpohass and Agrilink. There are Congress field tours on both shoulders. The Australian industry is organising a North American conference tour. Email admin2@avocado.org.au for more.

Kenya chasing Chinese market access. 17/3/19.
Kenya’s Plant Health Inspectorate Service has invited Chinese experts to conduct risk analysis and field visits next week. This is part of China’s recommendation before it opens up its market to Kenya.

US: new Hass Avocado Board consumer study. 15/3/19.
According to the study, just over half (51%) of US households purchase avocados, but it varies when applied to specific regions. California (69%), the West (66%) and South Central (61%) have the top three regional rates.

Colombia chasing US access. 15/3/19.
In order to accelerate the presence of more Colombian agricultural products in the United States market, a government commission led by the ICA met with the import authorities of that country.

South Africa: video available of 2019 Maluma symposium. 14/3/19.
The ninth-annual Maluma Symposium took place in South Africa last week, attracting international attendees. Livestreams of the presentation and workshop sessions are available online now.

New Zealand urges quality focus for growers. 12/3/19.
New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular said wet weather, early maturity and growers not always following best practice were contributors to the difficult season.

Peru’s avocado export value reaches US$724m. 11/3/19.
Avocados were the second highest value commodity for Peru in fruit exports during 2018. The total value of fruit exports was US$3.2 billion, a 29.6% increase on the previous year.

The avocado in popular culture

Spain now has its own avocado-themed restaurant, Avocado Love; Avocados from Mexico has signed a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks for an “avocado-centric” menu during games; and the Avocado Show has been running a pop-up café in London.


Small Tree High Productivity field day

A Small Tree High Productivity Initiative planting systems trial avocado field day will be held on 10 April by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) at the Bundaberg Research Station. The event, from 12pm-2.30pm (lunch included), will cover planting systems, light interception and yield, and rootstock results to date. Click here for the event notice (including agenda).


Hort Innovation Strategic Consultation

Hort Innovation is calling on industry stakeholders to get involved and provide their input on the direction of the new corporate strategy. For a list of workshops & the online feedback form, click here. Upcoming events include: Mildura (V), Loxton and Adelaide Hills (SA), Sunshine Coast (Q) and Grove (Tas).



2 Apr – HARPS training, Melbourne V
3 Apr – HARPS training, Sydney NSW
4 Apr – HARPS training, Brisbane Q
8 Apr – HARPS training, Perth WA (new date)
10 Apr – Small Tree High Productivity field day, Bundaberg (QDAF)
24-26 Jun – Hort Connections, Melbourne V
31 Jul-2 Aug – Horticulture Conference, Waikato, New Zealand
15-16 Aug – Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative R&D Symposium, Brisbane Q
3 Spt – Asiafruit Congress, Hong Kong 
4-6 Spt – Asia Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong 
23-27 Spt – IX World Avocado Congress, Colombia
11-13 Nov – TropAg2019, Brisbane Q 

Hort Connections 2019, Melbourne
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.