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Avocados Australia Guacamole 16 March 2018

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

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NQ floods cause minimal delays

Floods in North Queensland have only slightly delayed avocado picking for most growers, and not impacted on fruit quality, says Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas. “Fortunately for consumers, there’s still plenty of avocados in the market as the Central Queensland season is also underway,” he says. The Victorian Country Hour this week reported that transport had been delayed only by a few days, and the rain replenished water tables, a positive for future seasons.


Industry updates coming soon!

Avocados Australia will hold a series of regional meetings during coming months, to provide a general update on industry matters and to hear industry feedback and discussion on key issues. Attendees will also receive copies of new resources developed to support best practice adoption. These have been developed by Applied Horticulture Research using avocado levy funds through Hort Innovation during the past 18 months.

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Avocados boost national land values

The demand for permanent cropping properties, including avocado, lifted the value of horticultural properties last year. Based on the 2017 Australian Farmland Index, near historic highs in horticulture helped fuel an 11.3% jump in land values. Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas says this is good news for the industry, as new players enter and existing members expand. “The key to maintaining this value is, however, a continued focus on the quality of the avocados and continuing to develop the market here in Australia and overseas.”


Hort Innovation performance review

Avocados Australia is encouraging all industry members to provide feedback as part of Hort Innovation's independent Review of Performance. The focus of this review is on the transition from HAL, the delivery of Strategic and Operational Plans and benefits to Australian horticulture industries. Your insights will help guide the Australian Government’s assessment of Hort Innovation. Feedback closes on 6 April. If you cannot take the online survey, please call GHD on (02) 9239 7300.


Have your say on future R&D

Survey closing on 20 March! 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, crop production, precision ag and fruit handling.


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.

Australian Avocados

Social media promotes new season Shepard

In February, the Australian Avocados Facebook page reached more than 950,000 consumers and had more than 1.3 million engagements, keeping avocados top of mind. 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.


Freshstart warning

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre has recently become aware that Grenada Day is promoting herself and her Freshstart courses and materials using a Fresh Produce Safety Centre brand. The Fresh Produce Safety Centre has made it clear that neither it nor any of its affiliates endorse or have any association with Ms Day or the Freshstart courses or materials. As a matter of policy, the Fresh Produce Safety Centre does not provide endorsements for commercial training providers and their materials.


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/.


Food and Grocery Code of Conduct review. 12/3/18.
A review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct will consider whether the federal regulations should remain in voluntary form or become mandatory, with appropriate penalties like fines for non-compliance.


Queensland Government support for flooded areas. 10/3/18.
Financial assistance and support services are now available to residents directly affected by flooding in parts of North Queensland. Click here or call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.


Costa CQ packhouse upgrade. 7/3/18.
North Fresh is one of seven South Burnett (Qld) businesses to receive Australian Government grants via the Regional Jobs and Investment Package. The $495,000 grant goes toward a $990,000 project to expand and modernise the Costa Avocado packing facility in Childers.


Worthy of a Nobel Prize? 7/3/18.
A Weekly Times columnist believes a Nobel Prize should be the reward for researchers who can develop a device that measures avocado ripeness, without damaging the fruit.


ABARES cautions on avocado expansion. 6/3/18.
ABARES’ March report warns lags between establishment and fruit production can result in fruit prices at harvest that are well below the prices at time of establishment.


WA agricultural innovation grants. 27/2/18.
The West Australian Government has opened round three of the Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Program, offering scholarships of up to $30,000 to farmers and sector innovators. Applications close 3 April, 2018.


NZ: avocado growth potential. 13/3/18.
The avocado sector is in a good position for growth, with increasing demand outstripping supply, according to ANZ Agri Focus in New Zealand. Industry expansion is reportedly already underway.


UK: room for growth in avocado consumption. 12/3/18.
Video: There has already been a more than 10% increase in households consuming avocado, but there’s room for growth.


International crowd at Maluma field day. 8/3/18.
Attendees from Israel, Peru and Australia were in South Africa for the 8th annual Maluma symposium. Click here to see images from the day and here to read more about the current South African avocado season.


Students tackle avocado hand. 7/3/18.
A team of UK students have won an award for their prototype tool, designed to prevent the dreaded “avocado hand”; and the Washington Post has published a “how not to hurt yourself” piece.


China hungry for avocados. 6/3/18.
Video: Avocado imports have increased by 50% since 2012, says Shanghai Supafresh. A company representative told Asiafruit the market still had room to grow, with limited expansion into the country’s interior so far.


Chile looking for share of Japanese market. 6/3/18.
In the last 20 years, Japan’s avocado imports have had an exponential increase, going from about US$9.5 million in 1994 to US$212.6 million in 2016.


Peruvian Hass exports soar. 5/3/18.
Peru increased avocado exports by 27% in 2017, exporting 247,000 tonnes worth US$580 million.


Avocado in popular culture
Recently, avocado toast was sent into space by US students, avocado cocktails have been declared a “thing”, Asda introduced “perfect for a proposal” avocado stickers in-store, more avocado art, the Avocard rail pass in the UK might have missed the mark.


Irrigation Australia International Conference

Early bird registration is now open for the 2018 Irrigation Australia International Conference and Exhibition, the largest irrigation event in the southern hemisphere. From Wednesday 13 June to Friday 15 June, the biennial expo is returning to Sydney, at the new International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. The conference theme this year is “Addressing the Big Issues”. Alongside the conference, the free-to-attend exhibition will showcase solutions covering the entire irrigation value chain. You will see the latest in irrigation technology, products and services from more than 165 exhibitors. Avocados Australia has secured a 10% discount for members using the code AVOCADO at booking.


HARPS workshops in March & April

Workshops are being held in across the country, 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 (and in the calendar below) or here for more about HARPS generally. Call 1300 852 219 for more information.



20 Mar – HARPS workshop, Bowen Q
21 Mar – PMA Fresh Connections, Shenzhen, China
21 Mar – HARPS workshop, Brisbane Q (two sessions) 
22 Mar – HARPS workshop, Bundaberg Q
22 Mar – HARPS workshop, Gatton 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, South Johnstone Q
27 Apr - Churchill Fellowship applications close
27 Apr – Efficient Farming Forum, Mareeba Q 
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.