Avocados Australia Guacamole 5 April 2019

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

Guac_avo stockshot6 135x150

Pre-World Congress tour dates announced!

An industry tour is being organised for Australian delegates to visit Californian growing areas in the week before the 2019 World Avocado Congress in Columbia. The tour will run from 17-19 September, with attendees needing to arrive in Los Angeles on 16 September to start early the next day. Accommodation, meals and ground travel during the California tour will be organised as part of the tour package. Participants will be required to arrange their own flights, and we encourage booking with the tour company we have appointed for the California visits, Pulse Travel. The tour includes visits to orchards, trial sites (including regular and high-density planting), variety and rootstock trials, integrated pest management, and nursery set-ups. More details will be released soon. To register your interest, please email Amanda at admin2@avocado.org.au.

Liz Singh, Avocados Australia Industry Development Manager

New avocado industry development manager

Avocados Australia has appointed a new Industry Development Manager, Liz Singh. Liz’s role is to build capacity and facilitate adoption of orchard best management practice. Liz has extensive experience in industry development roles, and will play a major role in the recently approved industry development and extension project, funded from the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund. Planning is already underway for the three-year project which is a collaborative partnership between Avocados Australia and DAF Queensland with Simon Newett as Project Leader. This new project will deliver regional forums, foundation workshops, advanced management workshops and more with more information about the project to be provided over the coming weeks. Keep an eye on our website here for upcoming event details.

Australian Avocados

Leveraging recipes via Out of Home

Recipe trends have been analysed across social media, the myfoodbook platform and taste.com.au to help Australian Avocados tailor the latest Out of Home advertising offerings in retail spaces and gyms. The new activities will focus on Make Desserts Better, Make Smoothies Better and Make BBQs Better to drive recipe inspiration, excite interest and communicate versatility. The industry's marketing is managed by Hort Innovation and funded by the avocado marketing levy.

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!

AustSafe and Sunsuper merger finalised. 3/4/19.
If your staff were with AustSafe, they will need to provide you with their new account details with the finalisation of the merger with Sunsuper this week.

Federal budget includes export support & labour measures. 2/4/19.
The budget revealed $24.1m to reform the Harvest Labour Services Scheme to encourage Australian workers to fill persistent vacancies in manual farm labouring. For exports, $29.4 million has been allocated over four years to increase access to offshore markets and break down non-tariff barriers.

Churchill applications closing soon. 3/4/19.
Hort Innovation partners with the Churchill Trust each year to offer the opportunity to three applicants to travel overseas to investigate a topic of choice, with funding through the Hort Frontiers Leadership Fund. The fellowships are open to any industry participants who have an idea for a research project that can benefit the horticulture sector. Applications close on 30 April 30.

Burnett Mary Qld funding opportunity. 1/4/19.
Avocado, macadamia and sweet potato growers in the Burnett Mary can participate in a new project offering precision farming tools to support best practice, delivered by Verterra with the support of the State Government Office of the Great Barrier Reef.

Malaysia laps up WA avocados. 29/3/19.
WA exporter Mercer Mooney shipped 20t to the country in 2018 for the Southern Forests Food Council, with demand for the premium fruit outstripping supply.

Hail storm impacts in NSW. 27/3/19.
A hail storm that ripped through several avocado orchards in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, destroying an estimated four million avocados.

Research initiative ramps up plant biosecurity. 27/3/19.
More than $27 million has been invested into research, development and extension projects through the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative and partners since its inception just 18 months ago.

AVPMA permit update for Dimethoate

The AVPMA has reissued PER87164 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.

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.

Hort Innovation consultation closing
Online feedback is still welcome as part of the development of Hort Innovation’s new strategic plan. Click here to read more. Submissions close on 30 April.


China’s growing avocado consumption. 3/4/19.
In 2010, China imported two tons of avocados, while in 2017 it imported more than 30,000 tons, driven mainly by the emerging middle class in China, who are interested in healthy foods and have become enthusiastic consumers of avocados.

South Africa: growers watching beetle advance. 3/4/19.
After arriving from South East Asia about four years ago, the polyphagous shot-hole borer has spread a thousand miles across South Africa. It could also hurt the country’s avocado, macadamia, wine, stone-fruit and pecan-nut industries.

US: border closure could impact avocado supplies. 2/4/19.
US consumers would run out of avocados in three weeks if Donald Trump makes good on his threat to close down the US-Mexico border. Prices for Mexican avocados have already jumped by 34%.

World avocado market report. 29/3/19.
Avocados remain popular worldwide, with the global industry investing in promotions and plantings.

More African producers eye Chinese market. 29/3/19.
Westfalia believes aside from Kenya, the African countries to pay attention to in relation to potentially exporting avocados to China are South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

US: bagged avocado sales increasing. 26/3/19.
“In January of 2019, we saw a 30% increase in bagged sales over January of 2017,” says Calavo Growers. Apart from convenience, customers are also looking for fruit that hasn’t been squeezed by other potential purchasers.

New Zealand: avocado oil production boost. 25/3/19.
“This year, the New Zealand avocado industry has been hit with a higher percentage of process-grade fruit, enabling us to triple our pre-season estimates,” Avocado Oil NZ says.

US avocado recall. 24/3/19.
Californian avocados were recalled in six American states in March. The recall received widespread coverage in the US, in mainstream, online and social media.


Small Tree High Productivity field day

RSVP today! A Small Tree High Productivity Initiative planting systems trial avocado field day will be held next Wednesday (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).



8 Apr – HARPS training, Perth WA (new date)
10 Apr – Small Tree High Productivity field day, Bundaberg (QDAF)
15 May – Avocado Regional Forum, CNSW (QDAF)
24-26 Jun – Hort Connections, Melbourne V
31 Jul-2 Aug – Horticulture Conference, Waikato, New Zealand
3 Spt – Asiafruit Congress, Hong Kong 
4-6 Spt – Asia Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong 
17-19 Spt – Australian industry WAC pre-tour, California
23-27 Spt – IX World Avocado Congress, Colombia
11-13 Nov – TropAg2019, 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.