Avocados Australia Guacamole 22 February 2019

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


New export strategy

Avocados Australia, as part of the Avocado export readiness and market access project (AV17000), has recently published the Australian avocado export strategy 2019-2021. CEO John Tyas says 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 have to change as the industry grows toward producing 115,000t a year by 2025,” Mr Tyas says.


Spraying field day: Queensland

Sunnyspot Packhouse in South Queensland has organised a spray field day for Wednesday, 20 March. The event will include machinery demonstrations and expert advice from more than 20 companies and industry leaders, with the latest equipment and chemicals, sprayer evaluations, machinery demonstrations, drones and chemical updates. Attendance is $20/person, RSVPs by 11 March to accounts@sunnyspot.com.au.

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Avocado SIAP call closing

Are you a grower or do you work in the avocado industry supply chain? Would you like to collaborate with other growers, industry representatives and Hort Innovation on research and development levy investments? Then submit an expression of interest to join the avocado Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP). Submit your EOI online at Hort Innovation's website here. Applications close on Monday, 24 February 2019.


North Queensland still drying out

Avocados Australia chairman and Atherton grower, Jim Kochi described the major weather event as doing a "tango around" his district but noted growers further north were still dealing with sodden soils. He told Good Fruit & Vegetables the two major concerns for affected growers would be waterlogged trees and the increased potential for phytophthora development.

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Chile draft risk analysis out soon

The draft report on the risk analysis for fresh avocados from Chile is expected to be published on 28 February. There will then be a 60-day consultation period, for the submission of technical comments. Avocados Australia will keep you informed but you can also subscribe directly to the Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant subscription service.


Keeping avocados social

The industry’s consumer-facing activities from Australian Avocados maintain an “always on” approach to social media. The latest posts include tips on how to use avocado to create a tasty, lighter version of fettuccine and an avocado ice cream for those feeling the heat. The industry's marketing is managed by Hort Innovation and funded by the avocado marketing levy.

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Survey: industry knowledge of tissue culture

You are invited to complete a short 10-minute survey that asks a series of questions, in order to capture views, knowledge, experiences and perceptions around the potential role of tissue culture technology for the avocado industry. Your participation is anonymous and will enable future research to understand and support industry needs.

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New variety notes added to Growing section

The varieties and pollinisers articles in the Growing section of the Best Practice Resource (BPR) have had a refresh. The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Simon Newett has updated all the existing vaentries, and added items on Maluma®, Carmen® and Gem®.
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/.


Higher density avocado plantings. 13/2/19.
As part of his Nuffield Scholarship, Avocados Australia director Dudley Mitchell recently presented on his findings at an event in WA. Mr Mitchell said moves to smaller trees and mechanical harvesting were driving “intensification” of plantings overseas.

Avocados on fire globally. 12/2/19.
In this episode of the Rabobank Research Agribusiness podcast, Hayden Higgins and Cindy van Rijswick discuss the developments in the European avocado market, along with any similarities with the market in New Zealand and Australia.

Determining the value of blockchain. 02/19.
Trust in food and other agricultural commodities is being continually challenged (particularly social and environmental credentials), and transactional trust is paramount as Australian agriculture is propelled into increasingly complex supply chains. This article from the Australian Farm Institute explores the potential role of blockchain in helping agriculture guarantee product authenticity and maintain trust.

Scholarships & internships in horticulture
Hort Innovation has a call open for an $8K scholarship supporting internships in the horticultural industry. Applications are open for this year’s three Hort Innovation funded Churchill Fellowships. These Fellowships are available to anyone working in a registered levy-paying Australian horticulture business and applications close 30 April.

Incentives for avocado growers in reef catchments
Avocado growers located in some Queensland reef catchments can apply for up to $5,000 to make on-farm practice changes for improved reef water quality. Eligible on-farm projects target improvements to irrigation to reduce run-off, improvements to fertigation to reduce losses, erosion control and management to stop loss of sediment, and changes to chemical application to prevent drift. Incentives are available until June 2019.


Heavy rains hamper Peruvian harvest. 21/2/19.
Avocado production has decreased by 5-10% due to difficulties for trucks accessing som cultivation areas due to heavy, ongoing rains.

Mexico focus on Japan. 18/2/19.
Mexican avocado producers will continue to bet on the Japanese market, where their fruit already represents more than 85% of the import quota. There are new in-market promotional activities each season; click here for the latest TV ad.

Heatwave causes smallest US crop in a decade. 18/2/19.
The California avocado industry is expecting its smallest crop in a decade following a severe heatwave last year in some of the state’s key growing regions. Meanwhile, California is progressing Chinese market access.

Queensland fruit fly found in Auckland. 15/2/19.
The fly was collected on 14 February, and confirmed as a Queensland fruit fly, however Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Catherine Duthie said the find does not mean the country is experiencing an outbreak. Monitoring continues.

South African crop down 30%. 13/2/19.
The initial estimate for the 2018/2019 avocado season is between 15.5 and 16 million equivalent 4kg cartons, a reduction of about six million on last year’s record crop. Plantings continue in the country.

Avocados still have room to grow. 12/2/19.
World trade and consumption of fresh avocados has been rocketing higher for the past 15 years but attendees at the Berlin Fruit Logistica were told there’s room for growth.

WAO launching China campaign. 12/2/19.
The World Avocado Organization (WAO) has established a committee for the Chinese market to lead the implementation of the entity’s first marketing program in Asia.

UAE demand pushes up Kenyan exports. 12/2/19.
Kenya’s avocado industry exports grew by up to 80%, compared to last season, with increased demand from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

State of Mexico hopes to boost capacity. 11/2/19.
The State of Mexico is planning to build its first certified avocado plant to ensure that the product is free of pests, such as the screwworm, and to increase the number of tons of this product.


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. Click here for a list of workshops & the online feedback form. Meetings in the coming weeks include: Gingin (WA), Lindenow, Shepparton and Werribee (V), Gatton and Bundaberg (Q), Darwin (NT).


Free webinar: introduction to the GS1 DataBar

The Introduction to GS1 DataBar for loose fresh produce webinar is being run every three weeks and will cover what a DataBar is and how it’s used. The webinar, by GS1, also covers printing specifications, GTIN allocation, supermarket requirements and global case studies. Click here for more information or to register.



5-8 Mar – Foodex Japan 2019, Makuhari Messe, Chiba

20 Mar – Sunnyspot Packhouse sprayer field day, Ravensbourne Q

27 Mar – HARPS training, Perth WA
2 Apr – HARPS training, Melbourne V
3 Apr – HARPS training, Sydney NSW
4 Apr – HARPS training, Brisbane Q
5-6 Jun – Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative R&D Symposium, Brisbane Q
24-26 Jun – Hort Connections, Melbourne VIC
31 Jul-2 Aug – Horticulture Conference, Waikato, New Zealand
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 

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.