Targeted quality monitoring & extension coming with project transition

Industry projects AV18000 and AV19003 that have been monitoring and supporting avocado industry quality improvements since 2019 concluded in March. Both projects have advanced industry’s quality performance through increased knowledge and advice in quality monitoring and management. Key project outcomes shared in the final reports are now available (links below) includes:

  • The primary causes of suboptimal post-harvest quality were found to be: ineffectiveness of in-field disease control programs and coverage; the poor health of trees; unfavourable periods of weather; poor tree nutrition, the lack of postharvest fungicide treatment; and longer transit times in the supply chains (read more in the AV18000 final report here)
  • Hass fruit quality (Australian and imported) at retail increased to 85% acceptable fruit in 2020-22 from 78% in 2008-15. Similarly, Shepard improved to 97% acceptable fruit in 2021-23, up from 90% in 2008-15. (read more in the AV19003 final report here)

These projects have identified significant further potential to increase industry quality performance by working in a more coordinated and targeted manner under a new project AV22011 Monitoring avocado supply chain quality. AV22011 will deliver 3 years of further monitoring and support services from 2023 to 2026. Avocados Australia will lead this project in partnership with Applied Horticultural Research and the Queensland Government, seeking a further 10% increase in the proportion of fruit samples that meet industry quality standards (fruit samples with <10% internal defects).

The new industry quality project AV22011 will see both more targeted monitoring and more targeted extension services to realise this objective. Changes to industry quality monitoring will include increased retail quality sampling during periods of oversupply and transitions between varieties, and changes to wholesale maturity monitoring and storage challenge assessments based on individual supply chain quality results from previous (to be followed by updated) project report data. Changes to industry quality management extension will also include adjustments to traceback support services and quality performance reviews based on individual supply chain quality results. Industry quality management resources will also have some adjustments, including the development of a self-assessment process that will allow industry to undertake their own tracebacks, and additional webinars on project monitoring outcomes and management advice.

More information on this topic will appear in future email communications.

This article appears as part of the Guacamole 12 May 2023 issue.

Author: Anne Larard
Date Published: 11/05/2023