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Latest News

Avocados now 'The Oprah of Instagram'

Avocados have been declared ‘the Oprah of Instagram’ by renowned fashion blogger Leandra Medine and are the most photographed food of our time – just as New Zealand’s new season crop is about to hit supermarket shelves here and overseas. New Zealand’s avocado season begins in September and is likely to send Instagram’s foodies and health and fitness fans into overdrive. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, says the fruit’s rising star status is great news for New Zealand’s avocado industry which is on track to increase production to take advantage of ever increasing global demand. New Zealand sold a record 7.1 million trays worth $135m during the 2014-15 avocado season, of which 2.4 million trays were consumed by Kiwis here at home. About one in five of Nigella Lawson’s recent Instagram posts have featured mashed avocado smothered on toast. Last month actress Emmy Rossum received 27,000 likes for posing in an Avocado Toast t-shirt, while Lena Dunham is another celebrity who likes to regularly snap her healthy avocado snacks. Bloggers and fashion influencers everywhere are leading the trend and avocados are now dominating the brunch and smoothie scene, becoming a must-have on every menu. The UK’s Daily Mail have described avocado as "breakfast’s new superstar” and "the Kendall Jenner of the fruit bowl” thanks to its popularity on Instagram. American blogger Leandra Medine, aka the Man Repeller, compared avocado’s influence to that of Oprah, while Kelly Eastwood of The London Chatter says the obsession is here to stay. "Avocado on toast says: ‘yes, I’m hungover, I haven’t showered yet but, hey, I’m eating avocado at a cool Portobello Road café so I’m still on top of the trend for all things healthy’.” Avocado is revered as a nutrient-dense, cholesterol-free fruit containing healthy fat. They’re a great source of energy, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and are quick and easy to prepare.  About New Zealand Avocado The New Zealand avocado industry is the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. NZ Avocado Growers' Association Inc. (NZAGA) and Avocado Industry Council Ltd (AIC) work with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote New Zealand avocados and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers of which there are over 1,350 based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. For more information visit www.nzavocado.co.nz or follow us on social @NZ_Avocado @Jen_Scoular @Midge_Munro

Collaboration paying off for New Zealands Avocado Industry

Plans to quadruple sales of New Zealand avocados by 2023 is off to a roaring start with the industry almost hitting the half way mark last season with a record 7.1m trays worth $135m harvested during 2014-15 season. Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, Jen Scoular, says the goal is to achieve $280m worth of sales by 2023 through a five year Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). "Confidence is riding high, and the industry is on track to achieve the PGP objectives and significantly boost avocado sales and productivity in less than ten years,” says Scoular. NZ Avocado’s just released annual report is proving collaboration and increased investment is already contributing to the impressive results and is prompting industry members to communicate and collaborate like never before, with work now underway to create the industry’s first information portal. "The idea is to provide a central online hub of information accessible to growers, orchard contractors, post-harvest operators, marketers and exporters. As an industry we want to share data and knowledge and provide people in the avocado industry access to insights that will help improve decision-making and orchard productivity,” she says. Scoular, along with other NZ Avocado representatives, met with growers in Whangarei and the Far North last week to discuss information needs which will form the basis for the functional specifications for the information portal. Further workshops will be held in the Bay of Plenty, and with other avocado industry groups. The move is another sign New Zealand’s avocado industry is maturing into a more cohesive, competitive force on the global stage. Demand from export markets continues to grow, and avocados are more popular with consumers than ever before. Co-operation among exporters delivered excellent results in the Australian market in particular last season, with 3.2m trays of New Zealand avocados sold at stronger than forecast values despite a huge Australian-grown crop also being available. A further 1.2m trays were sold into new and developing markets. Andrew Darling, chairman of the avocado exporters’ council, AVEC, says after some tough years the industry is maturing and working together closer. "We are recognising collectively the potential value of our industry and working on a common industry strategy to achieve greater growth,” he says. "As exporters we are competitive but collaborate on planning and volume forecasting. The Australian market remains crucial to New Zealand and planning our supply into Australia is a critical requirement which affects us all. "We did this very well in 2014-15 which is reflected in the strong returns for growers. Across Asia we leveraged the generic collateral for ‘Premium Avocados from New Zealand’ which we co-brand with our individual in-market brands. "The 2014-15 result shows we are growing stronger as an industry. We are able to promote ourselves to create demand, and supply a high-quality product to meet that demand,” says Darling. NZAGA and AIC Chair Ashby Whitehead says the board was very pleased with the "excellent results” reported in this year’s annual report and was looking forward to the AGM on 26 August. "We have made fantastic progress towards our PGP goals in the last 12 months. Increasing investment in the industry reflects the growing confidence in the opportunities for New Zealand avocados in both our export and domestic markets.” Investment has also ramped up in our avocado nurseries, with an 18 month wait for delivery of trees,” Whitehead says. Scoular says consumers can’t get enough of avocados. "We’ve just launched a new campaign in MiNDFOOD magazine to help educate the public about where their avocados come from as food traceability is a very current issue, and an area we excel in. "Overall we are very happy to be working together as an industry to satisfy the demand for premium avocados from New Zealand,” she says.

An update from Jen

A quick update from my team on  activities we are working across... Bevan and Midge have been working very closely with exporters and New Zealand marketers on applications for the Contestable Promotions Fund. We introduced this last season and extended it this year to include the New Zealand market. It’s a great way for us to get closer to the activity individual marketers are undertaking and ensures grower promotional levies are strongly supporting marketers activity. This year with an external marketing expert involved, we are increasing our capability around effective marketing activity - it ensures your promotional levies are invested most effectively. Exporters and packers need to have their grower contracts approved by us, so I have seen lots of those contracts come across my desk. Hopefully you take the time to read the detail of the contracts you are signing. I make sure the contracts include what the EMS requires them to include, however, we can’t check their suitability to your personal circumstances – you will need to check that. Michael and Jay have set up our export registration and data systems for the new season. At the same time we are looking for improvements in the way we collect and share data. Export registrations are open and the first exports were shipped last week. Midge got the annual report off to the printer last week, ably assisted by Jodi – a massive job to make sure the information and financials is well reported, accurate, and relevant. Media have been very interested in our results - I hope you have seen reports of the strong returns from our record high volumes. Edwina will begin the AGM pack mailout this week as soon as the report is off the press. I had a Fruit Fly Council meeting in Wellington last week and Brad and I have had several conference calls in regard the collective industry and MPI framework for Fruit Fly readiness and response. Midge has been a filmstar again, shooting a video produce handling video for Countdown in-store with Bevan in Petone, Wellington. The majority of the filming occurred after the supermarket had closed and they finished shooting at 1am. Alvaro has been a fantastic resource for Midge as they have negotiated a better stand for us at the World Avocado Congress in Peru in September. Wonderful to have a Spanish speaker in the team. Alvaro, Phillip and Danni will be at Warwick and Mary Coles' orchard for the Aongatete Avocados Ltd. open day on Thursday (23 July). The orchard has been recently pruned and it will be a very interesting follow up to our field day there a few weeks ago. Please see the events listing below for more information. The research team has also been reviewing and updating our temperature monitoring network in the Bay of Plenty as part of the MBIE project which is aiming to investigate the effect of temperature on fruit set and fruitlet development. Glenys has held preseason workshops with packers in Northland and Bay of Plenty, she has also held Spray Diary tutorials for growers and is fielding questions as packhouses gear up for the new season. Phillip and I attended a workshop on Monday, offering to Maori "investors” our expertise of the suitability of avocado as an investment. A very interesting and inspiring day. Midge and I head to Whangarei and Far North next week for the creation of the next three articles for MiNDFOOD. The August edition has a great article about the successful avocado enterprise of Maria and Andrew Watchorn. Click here to see the full story. And to finish, a fun tweet back from Jerome Kaino after the All Blacks win against Argentina. I asked if the success was due to eating avocados and he tweeted:Hey Jen:  "It definitely was! Gotta have the avocados on game day 👌👌” Regards, Jen

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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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