New Zealand avocado industry returns for the 2019-20 season will again exceed $150m, according to the country’s peak industry body.
"There are excellent returns on the New Zealand market and solid returns from export markets," NZ Avocado Chief Executive Officer, Jen Scoular said. "A record volume of avocados was sold in New Zealand, demonstrating kiwis growing love of the wonderfully healthy avocado. New Zealand doesn’t import any avocados, all fresh avocados available are grown here. The new crop is looking strong, with a 10-15 per cent increase expected in volume for the 2020-21 season."
It comes as New Zealand responded strongly to the COVID-19 crisis and is fortunate to currently have very low cases in the country. Ms Scoular says international trade lanes have been impacted so we continue to evaluate the risks to shipping, container flow and airfreight to our priority markets.
"Our horticulture industries were deemed essential services so continued to grow, harvest, pack and market-fresh produce," she added. "They responded very well to the crisis and invested heavily to ensure that workers were able to operate safely, and the industry could keep growing and harvesting, so that consumers within New Zealand and overseas customers, could continue to buy fresh, safe, and healthy fruit and vegetables."
The peak industry body says New Zealand industries across the horticulture sector have collaborated to ensure horticulture plays a key role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery.
"Avocados are a part of this collective and are working with key government departments to deliver an industry-led, government enabled post-COVID horticulture recovery strategy," Ms Scoular said.
This year's strong season comes after NZ Avocado won the bid to host the 2023 World Avocado Congress (WAC) event in New Zealand, at last year's event in Columbia. A key theme will be NZ Avocado' ongoing efforts to understand the sustainability of its product, environment and community.
"New Zealand was delighted to be voted by the participants at the congress, an endorsement of their view of New Zealand’s place in the global avocado industry," Ms Scoular said. "This will be the first time New Zealand has hosted the event which is held every four years in different avocado growing countries. A series of stakeholder workshops have been hosted around the avocado growing regions. As a country, NZ is well placed, with excellent food safety and industry systems mandated across growers. New Zealand Avocado is keen to understand areas we are doing well, and those we need to improve on."