As a number of orchards come into production, Australia faces a “tsunami” of avocados hitting the market in the next few years. David Goodfellow, chief executive officer of AustOn Corporation, has stated that more than half the avocado trees planted in Australia are less than five years old, with market prices of avocados likely to fall substantially as they flood on to the market.
Goodfellow said getting the cost of production down to low levels was a key to survival and providing the business case to further invest.
AustOn Corporation is the Australian arm of the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund in Canada. It produces 7500 tonnes of avocados, or 10 per cent of the national crop, in Australia. It has also planted 2600 hectares of almonds, producing 7000 tonnes of nuts.
Avocados Australia chief executive officer John Tyas said the amount of avocados likely to come on to the market in coming years would put pressure on the industry. Avocados Australia is expecting this season’s crop to rise 9 per cent to 95,000 tonnes by April next year.
Mr Tyas said Western Australia was likely to produce its biggest crop and New Zealand — which is a major supplier — was forecasting a “reasonable” crop.
Tyas said the domestic market still had room for growth, with about 70 per cent of households buying avocados. But he said, in the longer term, the industry needed to develop export markets to take production excess to the domestic market.