NZ avocado industry enjoyed record sales in 2016-17

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NZ avocado industry enjoyed record sales in 2016-17

The New Zealand avocado industry has just reported its highest value ever, with sales during the 2016-17 season rising by around half over the previous record to NZ$193 million (US$133 million). 

The figure represents an increase of NZ$64 million (US$44 million) over last season and a NZ$62 million rise over the previous record of NZ$136 million (US$94 million) in 2013-14.

Volume also rose 84% to a record 7.7 million trays in the 2016-17 season.

The country's grower body NZ Avocado said the season saw "significant increases" in demand across all markets, with Australia remaining the industry’s largest market with an almost "insatiable" consumer demand.

Over 70% of avocados are exported, and the organization highlighted demand was rising in New Zealand.

NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular said the industry’s Primary Growth Partnership program - NZ Avocados Go Global - had provided a "major boost" to the sector.

"We are part of an industry that has gone from $70 million in value in 2013 to an impressive $200 million in 2017," she said.

"The Go Global programme gave us the platform as an industry to develop a strategy with audacious goals of quadrupling sales and trebling productivity in ten years. That strategy, and Crown investment has been implemented and resulted in fantastic growth in value right across the supply chain.

"The independent review of the NZ Avocados Go Global programme said the five-year programme had made a major contribution to the New Zealand avocado industry."

She added the review noted the industry had achieved a "step change" in the way it operated, and was now "much more trusting, collaborative, cohesive, communicative and co-ordinated."

Avocado Exporter Council chair Alistair Petrie said: "We saw a superb increase in demand that was matched by excellent planning and supply from harvest through to delivery to customers in market.

"Versatility, health benefits and the amazing taste of avocados are the key drivers for that demand," he added.

Meanwhile, NZ Avocado chair Ashby Whitehead said the industry was in the best state it had been for many years.

"With the huge increase in value from avocados and much higher visibility of the global opportunities, we are seeing strong growth throughout the industry," Whitehead said.

"Demand for new trees has resulted in a near trebling of production at nurseries, large commercial investors in Northland are converting dairy farms to avocado orchards and smaller orchards are maximising the productivity of their orchards.

"Growers will be very happy with their returns and are looking at further investment. It’s a very exciting time to be in the New Zealand avocado industry.”


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