The New Zealand avocado harvest is well under way. Fruit quality is excellent at New Zealand avocado company, Seeka. While the size profile is smaller than the market would ideally like, the fruit itself is very good with excellent packouts. The small size profile reflects the very hot and dry summer across New Zealand.
“Seeka has concentrated on delivering the best quality and our mantra is quality over quantity,” said CEO Michael Franks. “The quality drive for this starts on the orchard and is reflected in every step of our supply chain. Our handlers, wholesalers and discerning retail customers benefit from the better quality. And they know that ours is a product they can rely to make money for them, there is excellent customer demand knowing that our quality is simply the very best. A high proportion of Seeka’s export avocados are presold before they arrive in the market even to the extent that wholesale customers buying fruit in transit ahead of its arrival. And our supply growers benefit from incremental returns.”
Seeka has commenced its domestic promotional programs within New Zealand for the first time and this is receiving excellent response.
“Large and mid sizes are very sought after in all markets,” said Mr Franks. “We expect the fruit sizing will trend smaller as we progress through the season. Some people are selectively picking to try to encourage larger sizes, which to some extend has been successful.”
According to Franks demand in Asian markets is a bit soft at the moment reflecting an abundance of lower priced, low quality fruit from South America, which is making it more difficult for the premium fruit. Seeka are still exporting avocados to key Asian marketing including Thailand and South Korea.
“On the other hand, the Australian market is looking very good, the avocado crop from Western Australia is between 50-70% down which has led to a good demand from premium customers and very good pricing. The first arrivals of Chilean avocados have not affected demand for premium New Zealand avocados. The fruit quality has been poorer reflecting long voyage times.”
Seeka has positioned itself as having the best quality avocados on the market, returning a premium to its growers. Seeka is the only fully integrated grower, packer, marketer and it only packs the fruit it sells – controlling the complete supply chain from orchard to market.