As the World Avocado Congress wrapped up in Auckland, New Zealand, South Africa was announced as the host of the 11th event to be held in 2027.
Held over three days, local hosts welcomed around 1,200 attendees; with those representing 33 countries joining key members from the local avocado industry. It has attracted the single largest international delegation to a horticulture event on New Zealand's shores. The final event on the program was a gala dinner, and a 'Mexican wave' celebrating the end of a phenomenally successful international gathering of the avocado community.
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Hosts New Zealand has set some bold goals for consumers across the country, to more than double their average avocado intake from 16 avocados per year to 40. Currently, Mexico leads the world, eating its way through 40 avocados (or 10kgs) per person every year, with many other countries averaging around 28 avocados per person. President of the World Avocado Congress Committee and CEO of New Zealand Avocado, Jen Scoular says the sustainability of our local avocado market relies on New Zealanders eating more.
“While 40 a year each seems like a lofty goal, it’s not impossible," she said. "In fact, a percentage of the New Zealand population is already eating an astonishing 16 per month. This is great news for New Zealand growers because we don’t import avocados, we grow enough here for the whole population, so every avocado you eat in Aotearoa supports our local economy. There was excellent discussion amongst all the 33 countries represented at the Congress about the need to drive demand domestically and increase demand in our own countries. We know that 60 per cent of all avocados grown in New Zealand are eaten by just five per cent of our people, so there is huge potential for growth here, we have definitely not peaked.”
CEO of the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM), Armando Lopez says the growers and industry delegates who joined the Congress from Mexico are thrilled that it was possible to travel to the successful event.
“Especially knowing the big effort that the New Zealand team has put in, given the pandemic challenges of the last four years. This is the moment that the worldwide avocado industry can come together to be aligned for the future in sustainability and quality - and the marketing of health benefits of our fruit for consumption,” Mr Lopez said.