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Avocados Australia Guacamole 26 May 2017

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

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Plant bodies unite to bolster biosecurity

Horticulture bodies are strengthening their biosecurity focus by establishing a plant health biosecurity partnership. This involves the nation’s plant Research and Development Corporations, including Hort Innovation. Plant Health Australia chief executive Greg Fraser has been elected as chair, and a management plan implemented. The next step is to determine a list of key threats.

Australian Avocados

Marketing our Australian Avocados

Social media had a bumper month for April, taking advantage of the excitement of the new Hass season and the ongoing digital campaign. The industry’s marketing is managed by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) and funded by the avocado marketing levy. See the latest marketing activity that’s helping consumers connect with (and eat!) Australian Avocados.

Image courtesy of Good Fruit and Vegetables

Hort Connections 2017 success

Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas (pictured, right, with Jenny Margetts, P2P Business Solutions and Simon Drum, LaManna Premier Group) was in Adelaide for Hort Connections. This event was a great opportunity to network with industry leaders and businesses across the entire supply chain. About 2,500 people attended the event which included some interesting conference presentations and an extensive trade display.

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Peruvian Superfoods headed Down Under?

Peru's Trade Minister Eduardo Ferreyros says two-way opportunities exist for agriculture in the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) currently being negotiated in Canberra. Avocados are among the list of nutrient-rich Superfoods of Peru mentioned by Mr Ferreyros this week. Australia and Peru hope to conclude the trade talks by the year's end.

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National Fair Farms initiative rolled out

A program to better inform consumers and growers about the importance of fair farm practices and improve the horticulture industry’s reputation for fair workplace relations was launched at Hort Connections. Growcom Chief Advocate Rachel Mackenzie said the Fair Farms Initiative would give production horticulture growers tools to ensure workers were treated fairly and the ability to communicate this to consumers.

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Horticulture Code of Conduct changes

Changes to the rights and obligations of growers have been outlined in the new Horticulture Code of Conduct, effective from 1 April 2017. It is a mandatory industry code prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Code aims to improve the clarity and transparency of trading arrangements between growers and traders in the horticulture sector. Use this direct link for the Code of Conduct enforcement factsheet.

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Is your avocado orchard on this map?

Check the Web Map to see if your orchard is correctly marked. Click here to access the map and zoom into your area of interest. The currently identified avocado orchards are shaded green. If you think there are errors, or new orchards to include, click “edit” on the top left of the screen, then click the “comments” button and move your mouse back to the map to click on the spot where you need to leave a comment. You can then type in your valuable, up-to-date information.

New video in the BPR Library

Latest "how to" video & workshop notes

There is some exciting new content on the Best Practice Resource (BPR) section of the refreshed Avocados Australia website. 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 use this vital resource. If you are already registered, log into the BPR and click on "What's new on the BPR" on the homepage.

  • A video on how to plant an avocado tree.
  • The Sunshine Coast Study Group event notes from Meeting 3, plus the latest presentations on canopy management principles, new Hass-type varieties, planting systems, and spotting bug management have also been added to the Event Proceedings category of the BPR Library.

The roll out of the reinvigorated Avocados Australia website has led to more than 60 new applications to access the BPR in the last few weeks, from input suppliers to service providers to producers. The valuable content in the growing section BPR is kept up-to-date by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF).



Peak horticulture body welcomes $21 million biosecurity injection. 24/5/17.
Voice of Horticulture has applauded Horticulture Innovation Australia for securing the biosecurity funding injection. The five-year project should give growers and industry tools to identify exotic pests and to be more proactive with management activities.


Redoubling Australia’s bee protection efforts. 17/05/17.

Horticulture Innovation Australia, the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and Grain Producers Australia have joined forces to deliver a $3 million program to bolster bee surveillance at 32 of the nation’s riskiest ports. It includes boosting the number of catchboxes that trap pests at various ports.


Food industry in "state of revolution". 24/05/17.

The future of food retail includes consumers looking for new products, new experiences, their staple grocery items and health conscious options as shoppers and technology continue to change quickly, according to the keynote speaker of this week’s Food and Grocery Australia 2017.


Edible ink offers new label solution. 23/05/17.

A Melbourne-based company has produced a HACCP-certified edible ink that growers or packers can use to label each piece of fruit with a ‘best before’ or ‘picked on’ date, for example. The inks can be visible or invisible to the consumer.


Strong US avocado market continues. 23/05/17.

The US market price on avocados remains strong, a situation likely to remain until the new crop for Mexico begins in September. In the current US fiscal year (beginning 1 November 2016), the US has had 12% less fruit available than a year ago.


Avocados conquer the world but Mexicans can't afford them. 23/05/17.

Avocados have conquered consumers' palates in 34 nations, but they are increasingly moving away from the tables of Mexicans. In Mexico, the world's largest producer of the fruit, the daily minimum wage of 80 pesos barely exceeds the cost of one kilogram of the fruit.


American online media outlet raises avocados' environmental cost. 23/05/17.

American media website Bustle, aimed at millennial women globally and with a readership of 50 million, has warned readers the popularity of avocado on toast is an environmental threat. The site’s recent article highlighted water use and Mexican deforestation as production concerns.


First shots fired in avocado Armageddon. 24/05/17.

According to Style journalist Ed Power of Ireland’s Independent newspaper, avocados win the award for the world’s most controversial fruit. His piece notes avocado hand incidents, concerns over-consumption can negate health benefits, and the involvement of Mexican drug cartels in that country’s production system.


Waitrose 1’s premium line top hit is avocado. 22/05/17.

Extra large avocado is the best seller for the top-tier line Waitrose 1. The UK retailer said the extra large avocados, priced a £1.89/each were the best seller a year after the premium own-label range was introduced. Waitrose 1 has more than 500 products.


Mexico’s avocado army stands up to drug cartels. 18/05/17.

In Mexico, avocado farmers face threats greater than the weather and price swings. When Mexican drug cartels threatened the country’s $1.5bn avocado export industry with extortion and murder, farmers in Tancítaro fought back. There were 8,258 murders in Michoacan state between 2006-2015.


Peruvian scarcity might lead Europe to find other suppliers. 18/05/17.

A sharp decline in Mexican production has provided a favourable situation for the Peruvian avocado industry, if the country can overcome storm damage to export infrastructure. Some crops have left from the south but delays are expected for crops from the north and centre of Peru.


Peru’s avocado volume expected to increase 30-40%. 18/05/17.

When Peru experienced heavy rains in March it pushed harvest back by a few weeks but things are looking better with fruit moving from packing houses to ports. Volumes available are expected to increase 30-40% over the last season. The window for Peruvian fruit is also positive with a smaller Californian crop and Mexico winding down.


New Zealand avocado industry reaches record $200 million. 17/05/17.

The New Zealand avocado industry has experienced a record season, with sales reaching $198 million. That’s an increase of $64m on last season and $62m higher than the previous record of $136m in 2013-14. There was increased demand across all markets, with Australia remaining the largest market.


US predicts 123 million pound holiday weekend consumption. 11/05/17.

It is estimated 123 million pounds of Hass avocados will be consumed for Memorial Day weekend activities, surpassing the volume for Cinco de Mayo this year. The California Avocado Commission is taking advantage of the 29 May date coinciding with their prime production season.


Avocado grower study group workshops are your chance to hear all the latest news & developments!

Avocado grower study group workshops

All growers! Come along to an avocado study group workshop hosted by Simon Newett, QDAF, for access to knowledge that will lead to more consistent high yields of good-quality avocados.

Image courtesy of Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Great turn out for grower workshops

Fifty growers met at Wollongbar, northern NSW, for the latest study group event organised by QDAF’s Simon Newett. Mr Newett said growers reacted positively to the topics on the day (ranging from industry updates to canopy management trials) as well as a visit to Alstonville’s Centre for Tropical Horticulture. Image: NSW DPI's Craig Maddox and Ruth Huwer explaining to growers how to use a fruit spotting bug trap hedge to monitor the pest.

Up next


1 June – CNSW Study Group Meeting (note change of venue)
15 June – South Qld Study Group Meeting
20 June – WA Study Group Meeting (day 1)
22 June – WA Study Group Meeting (day 2)
13 July – North Qld Study Group Meeting
Week of 25 July – Tristate Study Group Meetings 
6-8 September – Asia Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong
5 October – North Qld Study Group Meeting
2 November – CNSW Study Group Meeting
16 November – CQ Study Group Meeting
30 November – South Qld Study Group Meeting

18-20 June - Hort Connections 2018

Horticulture Innovation Australia
Guacamole has been funded through project AV15002 by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the avocado research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government.