Chile one step closer to accessing Australian market

The Australian Government has today (13 December 2019) published its final report for the import risk analysis for fresh avocados from Chile, that recommends the importation of fresh avocados from Chile be permitted provided they meet the biosecurity import conditions.

Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas says the next step for Chile will be to establish workable quarantine protocols, and while there is no timeframe for that process as yet, access could be achieved as early as 2021.

Click here for the government’s final report and associated industry submissions.

Some key points from the final report:

  • the import of fresh avocados from Chile be permitted provided they meet the biosecurity import conditions
  • all imports must come from commercial production areas of Chile
  • seven quarantine pests associated with fresh avocado are present in Chile and need risk management measures to reduce the risk to an acceptable level
  • risk management measures for Mediterranean fruit fly include area freedom or fruit treatment (such as cold disinfestation treatment) for all cultivars, or hard condition of fruit for the Hass cultivar only
  • risk management measures for mealybug, thrips and Oligonychus spider mites requires a pre-export visual inspection and, if found, remedial action
  • Chile’s export season is primarily September to March.

Mr Tyas said the question for Chile was, would Australians want to eat avocados that had been shipped half-way around the world when Australia could supply plenty of homegrown avocados?

“The Australian market is well supplied already from domestic production and summer imports from New Zealand. In time, we expect that New Zealand supplies will not be required either,” Mr Tyas said.

“With a population of just 25 million, Australia is a minnow compared to Chile’s existing export markets in Europe, the US, and China.”

Mr Tyas said it was important to keep in mind that this was the final report on an import risk analysis.

“The next step for Chile will be to establish workable quarantine protocols and there’s no timeframe on when that process will be completed, but it is possible that access could be achieved as early as 2021,” he said.

The recently completed risk analysis was focused on biosecurity risks, in line with Australia’s international obligations.

The Australian industry has identified three key steps to help mitigate the impact of possible imports from Chile:

  • increase efficiencies to reduce costs
  • develop strong alliances
  • implement an export strategy.

Avocados Australia has been proactive on behalf of industry with regard to helping direct levy-funded research toward quality improvements, efficiencies from the farm to the retail level, and increasing the Australian industry’s own export activities.

Australian domestic avocado consumption is the highest in the English-speaking world, at 3.8kg/person per year, and demand is strong. However, with domestic production at 85,546t in 2018/19 (read our latest industry Facts at a Glance here for more on domestic production) and on the way to more than 115,000t by 2025, there is limited space for another player in the market.

In Australia, avocados are produced all year round due to the range of climates and conditions in eight major avocado growing regions: North Queensland, Central Queensland, South Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Tamborine/Northern Rivers, Central New South Wales, the Tristate (parts of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia), and Western Australia. Avocados are now also grown in Tasmania and the Northern Territory.


Further reading
  • Click here for the Australian Government’s Final report for the review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh avocados from Chile.
  • The link above includes a summary of the report, as well as links to the various submissions made during the review process, including by Avocados Australia.


Author: Lisa Yorkston
Date Published: 13/12/2019