Avocado Industry News & Events
TheNew Zealand avocado industry has just reported its highest value ever withavocados sales reaching $198 million, an increase of $64 million on last seasonand $62 million higher than the previous record of $136 million in 2013-14.Volumetoo was a record 7.7 million trays in the 2016-17 season - an 84% increase onlast season.Theseason saw significant increases in demand across all markets, with Australiaremaining the industry’s largest market with an almost insatiable consumerdemand. Over 70% of New Zealand avocados are exported with the remainingavocados sold in New Zealand. New Zealanders too are finding more and tastierways to use avocados, and starting to add them regularly to their shoppingbasket.JenScoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, says the industry’s Primary GrowthPartnership programme: NZ Avocados Go Global, has provided a major boost to thesector."Weare part of an industry that has gone from $70 million in value in 2013 to animpressive $200 million in 2017. The Go Global programme gave us the platformas an industry to develop a strategy with audacious goals of quadrupling salesand trebling productivity in ten years. That strategy, and Crown investment hasbeen implemented and resulted in fantastic growth in value right across thesupply chain” says Scoular."Theindependent review of the NZ Avocados Go Global programme said the five-yearprogramme had made a major contribution to the New Zealand avocado industry,”says Scoular."Thereview noted that we’ve achieved a step change in the way the industry operatesand it’s now a much more trusting, collaborative, cohesive, communicative andco-ordinated industry, with a correspondingly greater public profile.” AlistairPetrie, Chair of the Avocado Exporter Council said, "We saw a superb increasein demand that was matched by excellent planning and supply from harvestthrough to delivery to customers in market. Versatility, health benefits andthe amazing taste of avocados are the key drivers for that demand.”AshbyWhitehead, Chair of NZ Avocado, says the industry is in the best state it hasbeen for many years. "With the hugeincrease in value from avocados and much higher visibility of the globalopportunities, we are seeing strong growth throughout the industry. Demand fornew trees has resulted in a near trebling of production at nurseries, largecommercial investors in Northland are converting dairy farms to avocadoorchards and smaller orchards are maximising the productivity of theirorchards. Growers will be very happy with their returns and are looking atfurther investment. It’s a very exciting time to be in the New Zealand avocadoindustry.”
Followingthe detection of the exotic fungus ‘Myrtle rust’ on Raoul Island last month, ithas now been found on New Zealand’s mainland in Kerikeri. Spores of this fungalrust are easily spread by wind and, although not a pest of avocadotrees, attacks plants of the myrtaceae family which includes many New Zealandnatives (pohutukawa, rata, kanuka, manuka and ramarama) as well as some exoticfruit trees like Feijoa.Growers can help by looking out for symptoms on their native myrtaceae treesfor powdery, bright yellow or orange-yellow pustules on leaves, tips and stems.For more information, please see the MPI update.If you think you have seen this fungal disease, please call MPI’s Exotic Pestsand Diseases hotline - 0800 80 99 66.
Plant & Food Research are currently conducting research on the potential to use a parasitic wasp (T. japonicus) as a biocontrol option should a population of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) be detected in New Zealand. In a response, these wasps would be released to seek out and parasitize BMSB eggs. To enable the legal import of this wasp it is important to first understand its potential impact on our native shield bug populations.Plant & Food research therefore need a supply of native shield bugs to test whether T. japonicus parasitizes them and you can help by sending in any shield bugs, in particular they need Schellenberg’s soldier bug, Oechalia schellenbergii,(pictured right).Plant & Food Research asks that the live insects, and some of the plant foliage on which they were found, be placed in a paper bag (or wrapped in paper towelling), then placed in a plastic bag. The plastic bag prevents everything from drying out and the paper absorbs excess condensation.They can then be boxed (for protection) and couriered to:Sophie HuntNew Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research120 Mt Albert RoadSandringham Auckland 1025.Please include a note with collection data (where collected, name of collector etc.).
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