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Minister Nathan Guy declares medium scale adverse event - assistance now available

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has declared a medium-scale adverse event for the primary sector in storm-hit  Northland.  Minister Nathan Guy visited Northland this morning and met with NZAGA Rep's Sue Culham and John Cotterell. After seeing the damage on avocado orchards first hand, he declared a "Medium-scale adverse event".  This means that assistance will be available to growers on the ground to clear orchards. This is great news for those affected and we urge you to please take up this offer of assistance.  "The first stage of this is to provide funding for Northland Rural Support Trust (NRST) to deliver help, support, and management advice to farmers and growers. The Trust have been working closely with MPI and local authorities to determine what's required in the clean-up phase after severe flooding and wind damage. "The storm has impacted around 80% of the primary sector in Northland with very high winds and heavy rainfall over a solid four day period. I’ve seen for myself the damage today at an avocado orchard severely damaged by wind and dairy farms near Whangarei under water.  "The local community has done a great [job] of pulling together and helping each other out. Farmers and growers are resilient and will get through this," says Mr Guy.  Rural Support Trust is the main body that will receive the assistance funding and will co-ordinate the clean-up required. What we need from growers is for you to register your orchard through the Rural Support Trust for this help. Please call 0800 787 254 – you need to register as soon as possible. If you already emailed Sue Culham after last week's call for storm damage information, you will still need to register with RST so they can take into account your specific needs.  All growers requiring help to clear fallen fruit, trees, branches etc please ring RST to register. You will need to give them details of what is required for your clean-up, such as:  situation of orchard, number of trees down to be cleared, if fruit on ground is to be cleared? 

Managing your trees after high winds

The severe weather experienced this week has resulted in some orchard damage and fruit fall. Below are some guidelines for assessing and managing trees with damage.  If you have any comments, images or questions please share these on the NZ Avocado Growers' Association Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/nzavocado/ or contact Alvaro alvaro.vidiella@nzavocado.co.nz  Reminder of the protocols for windfall and new season fruit Harvesting avocados off the ground is a breach of industry Food Safety protocols and any fruit which has made contact with an uncovered ground surface will be more likely to develop bruising and rots during ripening. The EMS requirement for export and best practice for the New Zealand market is that fruit which has come in contact with an uncovered ground surface must not be packed for sale as fresh fruit. Quality issues can quickly erode turnover of fruit at retail and consequently diminish the value returned to growers. There is also the issue of new season fruit which has dropped. It is unlikely this fruit will have reached maturity and is therefore unsuitable for sale and consumption. Immature fruit, if presented for sale and consumed can hinder repeat purchase, slow down turnover and negatively impact avocado sales values.  If you are concerned about windfall fruit on your orchard please contact your pack house in the first instance.Full guidelines for domestic market maturity testing can be found here: http://industry.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/technical_resources.csn

New Zealand avocados poised to Go Global

MPI MEDIA RELEASE 17 June 2014:  New Zealand avocados poised to Go Global The first horticultural programme in the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) involving fresh fruit is now underway following a contract signed between the Avocado Industry Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)—marking a significant milestone towards securing the future of New Zealand’s avocado industry.  The NZ Avocados Go Global PGP programme is a five year programme aimed at increasing the productivity and capability within the avocado industry to deliver significant additional returns for New Zealand.  "We’re excited by this new programme.  It’s the first horticulture programme involving fresh fruit in the PGP, which further diversifies the industries involved in the PGP,” says Justine Gilliland, MPI’s Director PGP. "It will also contribute to the government’s economic growth studies for Bay of Plenty and Northland, as the majority of the avocado industry are based across these regions.”  Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of the Avocado Industry Council, says formalising the NZ Avocados Go Global PGP programme is a significant milestone for the avocado industry.  "We’re thrilled to be part of the PGP and now look forward to delivering our programme.  There’s real enthusiasm in the avocado industry to be involved and we’re ready to capitalise on the opportunities that exist for our industry,” she says. The NZ Avocados Go Global PGP programme’s vision is to equip industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023.  "As an industry, our biggest challenge is low and irregular bearing of fruit.  Our PGP programme will enable us to research and develop solutions to this through collaborative research with strong cross industry participation,” says Jen.  "We want to deliver best practice across the value chain, transferred through a network of innovation leaders, rural professionals and growers to achieve widespread adoption, driven by examples of success.”  NZ Avocados Go Global will have a strong focus on knowledge sharing across the avocado industry, which will also be able to be utilised by the recently successful "Avocados for Export” programme, funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and led by Plant & Food Research.  The PGP programme will develop an information portal to strengthen the flow of information and assist in increasing the performance and efficiency of the avocado supply chain.  It will also enable the industry to benchmark their performance.   "This should help to place our industry in good stead to respond to the domestic demand for premium, safe, and healthy produce, but also position New Zealand as the avocado supplier of choice in Asian markets by gaining an early foothold, and a "first mover” advantage in those markets,” says Jen. "Our PGP programme will see the emergence of a globally competitive, high value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand,” she says.  Ashby Whitehead, Chair of Avocado Industry Council, says he’s excited about the potential of the PGP programme to bring together all of the knowledge about best practise throughout the avocado industry.  "By having access to best practice information and encouraging uptake, we aim to drive the growth of the avocado industry and enable a consistent supply of premium avocados,” he says.  "This will be assisted by a unified marketing strategy, based on market research undertaken as part of the programme, which creates a point of difference for New Zealand avocados,” he says. "This programme provides a basis for real cross-industry collaboration and co-investment by bringing together growers, packers, processors and exporters. Our avocado industry will be transformed to an efficient, well-informed, and highly capable industry, supplying premium health food to a number of high-value markets domestically and internationally.” A total investment of $8.56 million has been secured for the programme, with MPI committing $4.28 million through the PGP over five years, and the balance coming from industry partners as a mixture of cash and in-kind contributions. "With NZ Avocados Go Global now underway we have 18 contracted PGP programmes,” says Justine.  "They cover the breadth of the primary industry sectors being wool, dairy, fishing and aquaculture, meat, pastoral, bee keeping, forestry, viticulture and horticulture. "The PGP is all about growing New Zealand’s future—it’s projected to will benefit New Zealand’s economy by at least $6.4 billion in GDP growth by 2025.” 

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Upcoming Events

8th World Avocado Congress

10:00 AM, 13 September 2015

The 8th World Avocado congress will be held in Lima,  Perú from the 13th to 18th of September 2015. The Scientific committee invites you to participate in this event and prepare your research works and submit your abstracts at your convenience. http://www.wacperu2015.com/  If you need more details please do not hesitate to contact the Scientific committee comitecientifico@wacperu2015.com 

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