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Avocados Australia Guacamole 2 February 2018

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


Avocado supplies improving

The avocado supply situation has remained a popular news topic this week, and Avocados Australia’s CEO and Directors have been reassuring consumers increased supplies are on their way from North Queensland, joining the Hass from Western Australia and New Zealand. The piece on Channel 7’s Sunrise was a good opportunity to educate consumers on the difference between Hass and Shepard, with perfect timing for the variety changeover.


Staffing changes at Avocados Australia

Service Delivery Manager Maree Tyrrell is no doubt a familiar face (or voice!) for all of our Avocados Australia members. After 10 years with the organisation, Maree has decided it is time to pursue some new projects. “Working with a leading peak industry body in horticulture has been an exciting period of my career,” Ms Tyrrell said. “It has been a pleasure to be involved in high level events including the World Avocado Congress and the Australian and New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Conferences, working with two CEOs and a range of staff and directors. I know the industry will continue to move from strength to strength.” Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas said Maree had played a huge role in all aspects of the organisation's business and many of our successes. "She has provided enormous assistance to me over the past five-and-a-half years and will be sorely missed. I wish her all the best in her future endeavours."


New export face for Avocados Australia

This week, Joy Tang joined the Avocados Australia team as our new Export Coordinator, for the new Export Readiness and Market Access project. Ms Tang’s role is to coordinate a range of avocado industry export development activities that support the growth of the Australian avocado export sector. Ms Tang has more than 20 years of experience in the export of food and agricultural products and has worked for Meat and Livestock Australia, the Australian Trade Commission and various private food companies.


HARPS timeline extension

Based on the feedback from low volume producers requesting more implementation time, a number of provisions have been made to the rollout of the Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPS). Tier 2 suppliers that may require HARPS approval will have until 1 January 2019. However, these businesses should register their interest in achieving HARPS approval at www.harpsonline.com.au by 30 June 2018.


Encouraging horticulture industry innovation

Applications are now open! Under a partnership with Hort Innovation, three Churchill Fellowships are being offered annually, specifically for international research on a topic related to horticulture. If you are keen to hear more about Churchill Fellowships generally, the Churchill Trust is hosting an information roadshow across the country through February and March. Click here for the roadshow details.

Australian Avocados

Avocado digital campaign

The results are in! A digital campaign at the end of 2017 reached more than three million potential avocado consumers. See the latest marketing activity that’s helping Aussie consumers connect with (and eat!) Australian Avocados.


Have you listed in the new Avocado Directory?

Avocados Australia is now welcoming listing applications from industry stakeholders for the new Avocado Directory. The directory allows easy access to all sorts of businesses that play a role in the avocado industry. Whether you are a buyer or seller of products or services, this directory can help you. 

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Check out the new & improved Learning module

There has been an exciting major new addition to the Best Practice Resource (BPR) for 2018. The new Learning module provides registered BPR users with access to online learning in six key industry areas: growing, packhouse, retail, ripening, transport and wholesale. You can choose to complete any of the courses, as they are offered individually, for example, if you are a ripener, you may only want to complete the ripening course.

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/.


Avocado supplies in the news
It was another big week of avocado supply coverage. As a sample, this week the story was covered in the New Daily, Sunrise on Channel 7, ABC News Radio, Nine News online, The Land, the Toowoomba Chronicle, and the Sydney Morning Herald.


Taiwan bans Tasmania fruit imports
The discovery of live male fruit flies on Flinders Island and larvae in Tasmania’s north-west has led to a ban on host fruit exports to Taiwan. Trade is continuing to other overseas markets that do not have biosecurity requirements for Queensland fruit fly.


Horticulture property values on watchlist. 29/1/18.
Supercharged activity in several horticulture categories in recent years has prompted Rural Bank to tag the sector as one to watch closely in 2018. In particular, a couple of notable movers are avocados and oranges. It’s been reported Australia farmland values are expected to rise for a fifth consecutive year in 2018.


Avocado boosting Queensland agriculture. 21/1/18.
The popularity of avocado, egg and tomato as the breakfast of choice for people around the country is helping boost Queensland’s primary industry commodities, according to the latest AgTrends report.


New Zealand granted Chinese access. 31/1/18.
NZ Avocado will airfreight a trial shipment to Shanghai in the current season, for a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise arranged event at NZ Central. The first shipments of the 2018/19 season are likely to be in mid to late September.


Avocados from Mexico’s new ad. 29/1/18.
Avocados from Mexico has chosen US comedic actor Chris Elliot for its first commercial of the year. Teamed with the ad is an emoji campaign.

Supafresh expects “vigorous growth” in China. 28/1/18.
China imported 25,000 tons of avocado in 2016, a 57% year-on-year growth rate. Although the 2017 figures have not been released, Supafresh believes the market will now have another “stage of vigorous growth”.


Theft impacts South African growers. 26/1/18.
Lowveld avocado buyers have been urged not to purchase avocados from local markets, due to the high chance the fruit is stolen, and picked well before it’s ready.


Kenya bans avocado exports until February. 23/1/18.
In a move designed to maintain domestic supplies, the Kenyan government has temporarily banned avocado exports. It was a move welcomed by some European import companies but being legally challenged by growers.


Indian demand for New Zealand avocados. 23/1/18.
Thanks to promotions and in-store sampling, Indian consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of Hass avocados.


WSJ predicts move away from avocado
The Wall Street Journal’s has predicted avocado will be removed from the menus of high-end restaurants globally, something the Fresh Fruit Portal, has declared good news. The horticultural publication noted this could mean the avocado has gone “mainstream” and has become instead a regular consumer staple.


2018 APEN Extension Skills Mentoring Scheme

Have you ever considered being a mentor or being mentored? Perhaps 2018 is the year to give it a go through the 2018 APEN Extension Skills Mentoring Scheme. Registrations must be received by Friday, 16 February. You can find more information at www.apen.org.au/mentoring. Those who are successful will be paired with a mentor by mid-March. Contact Jeanette Gellard, the facilitator at jeanette@innovativeinfluences.com.au or Roe at info@apen.org.au or 02 6024 5349.


Hort Connections 2018

Delegate registrations are now open for Hort Connections 2018, which will be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre from 18-20 June 2018. Hort Connections is a joint initiative between AUSVEG and the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), and will be co-hosted alongside a range of horticulture industry bodies. More details are available on the Hort Connections 2018 website



1 Feb - Churchill Fellowship applications NOW OPEN
6 Feb – QAWN Workplace Essentials workshop, Mareeba, Qld
7 Feb – QAWN Workplace Essentials workshop, Bowen, Qld
7-9 Feb – Fruit Logistica Berlin
27 Apr - Churchill Fellowship applications close
14-16 May – China Fruit Logistica, Shanghai
13-15 Jun – Irrigation Australia International Conference, Sydney
18-20 June – Hort Connections 2018, Brisbane
4 Sept – Asiafruit Congress, Hong Kong 
5-7 Sept – Asia Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong
26 Spt – Fresh Produce Safety Conference, Sydney

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.