Export Strategy – Impacting the future

The updated long-term forecast suggests Australia’s avocado production is expected to continue to increase to about 170,000 tonnes by 2026, more than double the 2020-21 crop. Finding a market for all this fruit is paramount and effort is underway to try to increase domestic consumption of avocados as well as increase exports (including opening new overseas markets).  The current avocado export strategy (2019-2021) has served the industry well. Avocados Australia is now developing a new Export Strategy (2022-2026) to guide market development over the next five years. With changing supply and market conditions, this is a timely opportunity. The new Strategy will identify, assess and prioritise international market prospects for Australian avocados and identify the required R&D and investment to realise these prospects.

As part of the project, Australian avocado growers, exporters, researchers and other stakeholders are invited to register their interest to have the opportunity to take part in a range of consultation activities that are planned to help inform the final Strategy. This includes access to:

  • Australian Avocado Export White Paper – review & comment (March-April 2022)
    • Draft Export Strategy – review & comment (May-June 2022)
    •    Export Forums (WA and SA) (May 2022)
    •    Export Strategy Webinar (May 2022)
    •    Export Strategy presentation at Avo Connections (June 2022)

To date background work has been undertaken to understand current Australian avocado exports, where the best export opportunities are for Australian avocados, and what work is required to access and successfully build these markets. The project will assess more than 16 international markets to assess their feasibility, and consider any market access requirements and associated R&D. Market development and promotion requirements are also being considered.

So how will the Avocado Export Strategy help avocado growers manage the forecast over supply of avocados?

The Export Strategy will provide guidance so industry can optimise commercial outcomes both in the short- and long-term, recognising the increasingly challenging and globally competitive environment in which it now, and in the future, will operate.

The Strategy will identify the best course of action to grow new markets that can cater for the rapidly increasing production volumes.

Key stakeholders for the project have been identified as Australian growers, packers, exporters, as well as supply chain partners (importers, retailers, food service businesses) and consumers in international markets.

Why is an Avocado Export Strategy important?

The Strategy is important to identify export development and growth priorities for the Australian Avocado industry and provide guidance to stakeholders so that they can plan for the future. This includes growers, exporters, researchers, Government, Avocados Australia, Hort Innovation and other key service providers.

The Strategy is to:

  • Guide export development activity by industry (and inform government), including market access prioritisation and development, industry export capability building, and international market development,
  • Be a resource for growers/exporters looking to develop their export capability, identify international market opportunities, and grow their exports,
  • Be a resource to inform effective R&D and marketing investments by Hort Innovation through levy or frontier funds in export development projects related to market access, industry capability, or international market development,
  • Provide data and information to support the development of business plans required for market access and improvement applications to the International Market Access Assessment Panel (IMAAP) (previously TAP). Note, development of business plans for market access and improvement applications are currently part of the Avocado market access and trade development project (AV20004).

Will the Avocado Export Strategy help avocado growers of all sizes?

Developing a strong export sector will help in maintaining sustainable prices in the domestic market.  Hence growers of all sizes should be looking to support the exporters so that they can deliver product that meets the market/customer requirements in terms of quality, phytosanitary and MRL compliance in international markets. We don’t expect all growers to have the capacity to become direct exporters, and we don’t propose that.  However, all growers should strive to produce avocados that are suitable for exporting and make a long-term commitment to support exporters who are working to develop export markets.  With the current supply projections through to 2026 and beyond, it is in the best interests of all growers that there is strong participation in all export supply chains available to the industry.

Why should I be involved in the development of the new Export Strategy?

Once approved the Avocado Export Strategy will be in effect from 2022 to 2026.  It will be an important tool for guiding the future direction of the industry and Avocados Australia is keen to ensure that the broader industry has a say on its development.

“This Strategy will impact the industry’s future so I would like to encourage growers, packers and exporters to take every opportunity to participate in the consultation process,” said John Tyas, CEO of Avocados Australia.

“We would like to use this consultation process as the opportunity to provide details around the current and expected industry performance.”

“We also want to understand the challenges that you all face as growers, packers and exporters, and identify the opportunities you believe that the Australian avocado sector should be pursuing.”

The project’s leaders would also like your insights and thoughts on how the industry can approach things differently so that they can get better outcomes for the whole sector.

A draft of the export strategy will be made available to Australian industry stakeholders (who have registered their interest with Avocados Australia) in May and stakeholders will have until the beginning of June to respond. Look out for email notifications closer to the date.

The development of the Avocado Export Strategy 2022-2026 is being undertaken as part of the Avocado Export Strategy 2022-2026 (AV21000) project. This project 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.

To register to take part in the consultation process email co@avocado.org.au with your contact details.

For more information about the project, or to provide input, contact John Tyas (email j.tyas@avocado.org.au or call 07 3846 6566) or alternatively contact Jenny Margetts (P2P Business Solutions) email jenny@p2p.net.au or mobile 0418 215 276.

Author: Anna Petrou
Date Published: 19/05/2022