Costa chief Sean Hallahan is calling on the federal government for assistance in gaining greater access to the Japanese market as a “matter of urgency for the greater good of the avocado industry”. In Australia, retail avocado prices have plummeted due to excess supply and Costa Group’s revenue from its avocado business fell 16.4 per cent in the first half of 2022. The company suffered a non-cash $2.2 million goodwill impairment as a result.
The Japanese government accepts only Hass avocados from areas officially recognised as free of Queensland fruit fly. This means only avocados from Western Australia, Tasmania and parts of South Australia can be sold to Japan, but not avocados from Queensland or NSW.
“It is vitally important for the new Albanese government to prioritise export market access for horticultural products into key markets, most prominently Japan. A whole of government approach is needed to gain access to Japan for eastern seaboard grown avocados,” said Hallahan, adding this was a federal, not a state responsibility.