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Avocados Australia Guacamole 2 March 2018

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


Have your say on future R&D

Survey open now! Planning is underway to commission new R&D, focussed on on-farm production, to complement the research already being undertaken. At the end of 2017, Hort Innovation and Avocados Australia hosted an initial forum attended by researchers, experts and industry leaders to identify broad focus areas. This survey will help us refine priorities within genetics and propagation, disease, pests and insects, crop production, precision ag and fruit handling.

Image: Sha Liao

New research spotlight on avocado squeezers

Acoustic tools, laser technology, ultrasounds: scientists are trying it all to stop consumers from bruising avocados when testing them for ripeness. In a survey of Australian avocado consumers, 97% admitted to squeezing the fruit before purchasing it. And research shows consumers ‘test’ three times more fruit than they buy. Avocados CEO John Tyas was interviewed by various media outlets including ABC Sydney about this issue.


Are you interested in being an industry leader?

Avocados Australia, as part of a tropical fruit consortium, has secured seven free places for avocado growers to hone their leadership skills. Avocados Australia Chief Executive Officer John Tyas says horticultural industries need both the current and next generation of industry leaders available. The Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD) program includes residential workshops and webinars.


New member for the Avocados Australia team

Jayne Weedon has joined the Avocados Australia team as the Administration and Finance Manager. Jayne will be overseeing the administration and finance tasks as well as project support to the team. Prior to Avocados Australia, Jayne’s background includes 17 years’ experience in administration management in various settings, including both mining and software.

Australian Avocados

Avocados make everything better

A new television commercial promoting how “avocados make everything better” will be shot this month, as part of the new Australian Avocados marketing campaign. The industry’s marketing activities are funded by your grower levies. See the latest marketing activity that’s helping Aussie consumers connect with (and eat!) Australian Avocados.


Orchard tasks: maintaining root health

We are now approaching the most important window for phosphorous acid application. This window extends from when the summer flush has hardened right through until six weeks from flowering. In the areas west of Mareeba, the Shepard trees will be at this stage of development within the next 4-6 weeks. At the other end of the country, Western Australian growing areas will not be at that stage until late April/early May. Read more from GLT’s Graeme Thomas.


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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Mulching update: new video

Maintaining healthy soil is one of the keys to tree health and productivity. A published study on avocados, found the use of mulch increased yields by 23% and increased fruit weight by 7%, over three years. Learn more about mulching in the new video from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hort Innovation and Avocados Australia in the Growing module of the BPR on the Mulching page.

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/.


Hort Code reminder
A year on from the introduction of the Horticulture Code of Practice, the ACCC is reminding growers and traders of their obligations, including Horticulture Produce Agreements and record keeping.


Costa to acquire Coastal Avocados. 26/2/18.
Costa has reached a conditional agreement to acquire Coastal Avocados farms and packing operations on the NSW mid-north coast, bringing Costa’s avocado growing regions to four. Costa also announced two further avocado acquisitions were completed as of January 2018, the Gunalda farm in Central Queensland and the Burness farm in Far North Queensland.


Peru expects to gain access to Australia for avocados. 22/2/18.
ProHass vice president Daniel Bustamante told Fresh Fruit Portal that as Australia was an avocado producer, the phytosanitary barriers Peruvian growers and exporters would have to overcome were “much more exhaustive”.


Shothole borer now in South Africa. 28/2/18.
Avocado is one potential tree that could be targeted by the polyphagous shothole borer (Euwallacea fornicates), discovered in South Africa for the first time in 2017.


Camposol building Colombian production. 27/2/18.
Camposol plans to build its Colombian production to match that from Peru, as a risk mitigation measure.


Chinese turning vegetarian. 27/2/18.
More and more health-conscious Chinese citizens are taking to a vegetarian diet, all of which has sparked a mushrooming of vegan restaurants in the world’s most populous country.


UK: more than half of over 60s don’t eat avocado. 26/2/18.
It may be popular with millennials, but more than half of the over-60s quizzed in a new study have never eaten avocado on toast.


Fresh fruit combats depression. 26/2/18.
US study shows link between eating fresh produce and whole grains and being less likely to develop depression.


Colombia plans export boost. 23/2/18.
Colombian avocado exports increased by 51%, going from 35.04 million to 52.9 million FOB dollars in 2017. A larger increase is expected in 2018.


Americans willing to pay more for avos. 22/2/18.
“We used to think you had to have avocados under .99 cents to really move them. But this past summer … (consumers) went from paying 0.99 cents to a $1.79 and didn’t really stop buying them,” says a Del Rey Avocado rep.


Global avocado trade increases 12%/year. 21/2/18.
"In the last decade, the trade in avocado has grown by more than 12% per year,” Rabobank Fruit and Vegetable Analyst Cindy van Rijswick says.


Colombia: avocados on way to the US again. 20/2/18.
A new 22 ton shipment of avocados left Colombia for the US on 17 February, the second shipment since the market opened.


Latin America’s avocado markets. 20/2/18.
Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia are the largest exporters of Hass avocados worldwide.


European avocado campaign success. 19/2/18.
The World Avocado Organization has hailed the success of its “unprecedented” pan-European marketing campaign, with sales during 2017 rising by 16% in the continent.


Brazilian production to increase in 2018. 19/2/18.
Jaguacy Brazil is expecting a sharp rise in avocado shipments this year as it continues to invest in new production.


Nature’s Pride releases avocado documentary. 16/2/18.
"The avocado is popular," the group explained. "Avocado consumption is rising and consumers want to find out more and more about this versatile fruit. Nature's pride tells the story behind the Eat Me avocado in a short documentary."


Avocado in popular culture
As well as #smashedav, the avocado is now available as an Easter egg in the UK, while some romantics are using the real thing as part of their marriage proposals but not everyone is a fan.


HARPS workshops in March & April

Workshops are being held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Bowen, Bundaberg, Bunbury, Mareeba and South Johnstone covering HARPS, who needs it, how to implement it and how to register. For growers in other regions, a pre-recorded webinar will be available on the HARPS website. If there isn't a workshop in your area, email harps@harpsonline.com.au to register your interest. New sessions may be run in areas where there is demand. Click here to see a list of events or here for more about HARPS generally. Call 1300 852 219 for more information.



6 Mar – HARPS workshop, Sydney NSW
20 Mar – HARPS workshop, Bowen Q
21 Mar – PMA Fresh Connections, Shenzhen, China
21 Mar – HARPS workshop, Brisbane Q
22 Mar – HARPS workshop, Bundaberg Q
26 Mar – HARPS workshop, Bunbury WA
27 Mar – HARPS workshop, Perth WA
10 Apr – HARPS workshop, Melbourne VIC
11 Apr – HARPS workshop, Mareeba Q
11 Apr – HARPS workshop, Boogan Q
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
2-4 Jul – Northern Australia Food Futures Conference, Darwin
4 Sept – Asiafruit Congress, Hong Kong 
5-7 Sept – Asia Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong
26 Spt – Fresh Produce Safety Conference, Sydney
18-20 Oct – PMA Fresh Summit, Florida, USA

6-8 Feb – Fruit Logistica Berlin 
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.