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Avocados Australia Guacamole 23 November 2018

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

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Australian production increasing

The rapid rate of increase in Australian avocado production has created an imperative for the industry to access and develop new markets. As Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas told FreshPlaza, production has increased significantly from 34,515 tonnes in 2005/06 to 77,000 tonnes in 2017/18, underscoring the need for domestic marketing efforts and international market development.


Record weekly dispatch

Another record volume of avocados was dispatch this week, with 415,746 trays moving through the market, according to the most recent Infocado report. Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas said the growing level of dispatches in recent months highlighted the industry’s growth. “It is forecast that in December more than 1.4 million trays will be dispatched into the Australian marketplace.” Mr Tyas said now was definitely the perfect time to encourage everyone to #smashanavo or possibly two.


Promoting Australian avocados overseas

Avocados Australia continued its market development work last week, attending the China International Fruit and Vegetable Fair as part of the Hort Innovation Taste Australia activity. “We've been participating in this fair since 2012. Australian avocados are not allowed to enter China yet, though we are very committed and enthusiastic to enter this market.”


Unlocking avocado DNA

Australian scientists are embarking on a five-year $13.3 million tree DNA project that will help researchers understand how a range of trees, including avocado, work. Delivered through Hort Innovation under the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative, a breeders genomic toolkit will be developed, allowing researchers to better understand how genes control traits such as tree size, yield, disease resistance, and tree maturity.


Positively social avocados

Engagements were up for the consumer-facing Australian Avocados Facebook page in October, with more than 3,000 people clicking through to an avocado-inspired recipe, a strong signal of intent to purchase. The sentiment of the 10,000+ comments generated on Facebook was overwhelmingly positive at 96% positive or neutral, and Instagram maintained a 100% positive score. The avocado industry’s marketing activities are funded by your grower levies. Visit the Facebook page to see the activity that’s helping Aussie consumers connect with (and eat!) Australian Avocados.

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Tree mortality research already in use

The final report of Investigating Tree Mortality During Early Field Establishment (AV14014) is now available in the BPR Library. This project enhanced knowledge of the fungi associated with black root rot, their relative ability to cause disease, some insights on how this disease may be managed, and has provided a molecular diagnostic test for rapid identification of the key pathogens. The outputs from this project have been communicated to the international scientific and avocado communities, ANVAS nursery scheme reviewers as well as diagnostic laboratories.

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/.


Guac beer on offer in WA this weekend. 22/11/18.
The Araluen Avocado Festival is on at Western Australia’s Araluen Botanic Park this weekend. Everything from avocado ice cream to guac beer will be on offer!

$16.9 million for smart fruit fly management. 19/11/18.
Australian fruit and vegetable growers will be given a new edge in the fight against fruit fly, with new high-tech systems giving early warnings of fly movements, assuring trading partners produce comes from a fruit-fly free area.

Trans-Tasman alliance on biosecurity. 16/11/18.
Cemented by a Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and New Zealand, the Trans-Tasman collaborative, led by Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI) and New Zealand’s Better Border Biosecurity (B3NZ), will focus on biosecurity research, development and extension at pre-border, border and post-border stages.

Container recycling levy to stay. 9/11/18.
The ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to AgStewardship to allow it to continue to collect a levy on the sale of agricultural and veterinary chemicals by participating manufacturers. The levy funds the drumMUSTER and ChemClear programs for collection and recycling of agvet chemical containers and safe disposal of agvet chemicals.

Horticultural scholarships available
All women currently employed by levy-paying businesses within the Australian horticulture sector are invited to apply for a limited pool of scholarship funding that has been provisioned for participation in a range of leadership courses. Applications close 14 December 2018.


Colombia expecting good European market. 20/11/18.
The European avocado market is slowly recovering from very low summer prices this summer.

Peru export volumes don’t match returns. 19/11/18.
Peru has notched massive growth in export volume for avocados this year, but returns have not been able to follow the same path with “unsustainably low prices”. Prices for the Peruvian fruit in the EU fell to US$1.70/kg this season, compared to US$2.60 last season.

Mexican avocado strike ends. 14/11/18.
Avocado harvests have finally resumed in the Mexican state of Michoacán following 16 days of grower strikes and road blockades.

South Africa chasing access to China. 13/11/18.
South African delegates to last week’s China FVF were working to open the door to the country’s growing avocado market. The Japanese and US markets are expected to also open for South African avocados.

UK: Asda launches giant avocados. 9/11/18.
The giant avocado from Argentina has 20% more flesh making them the ‘biggest on the market’.

Christmas is here, and so is avocado
In the US, you can buy avocado toast tree decorations; the Avocado Show is expanding to Brussels; and a Spanish man has been charged with stealing nine tons of fruit, including avocado.


Latest HARPS dates

The next HARPS training course is in Sydney (see calendar below). The course is particularly aimed at Tier 1 and 2 growers, suppliers, packers and wholesalers to the major grocery retailers, and covers the following: HARPS overview and general requirements; food safety and quality issues in the produce industry; legal requirements for food safety programs; four hazards (biological, chemical, physical, allergen) and their sources; Three elements of a food safety program (facilities and equipment, HACCP and pre-requisite programs). The fee for the course is $680 per person (plus GST). To ensure each attendee is able to get the most out of the training, HARPS will try to cap the number of attendees to 15 per daily session. Other locations will be announced soon. For more information: https://harpsonline.com.au/harps-training/.




23 Nov – Hort Innovation AGM, Brisbane QLD

24-25 Nov – Avocado Festival 2018, Araluen WA
26 Nov – HARPS training course, Sydney NSW
27-28 Nov – GFIA in Focus, Brisbane QLD

6-8 Feb – Fruit Logistica Berlin 
24-26 Jun – Hort Connections, Melbourne VIC
23-27 Spt – IX World Avocado Congress, Colombia

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.