WELCOME TO THE
OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR
NEW ZEALAND AVOCADOS
Take me to the Consumer Website >
AIC on YouTube AIC on Twitter AIC on Facebook Follow us on >

Articles found: 151Avocado News

Send in your bugs

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 Hunt New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research 120 Mt Albert Road Sandringham  Auckland 1025.  Please include a note with collection data (where collected, name of collector etc.). 

Horticulture represented in Police & Rural Stakeholders Partnership

HortNZ recently approached Ashby Whitehead to ask for a grower nomination to join the Police & Rural Stakeholders Partnership. Dave Flett, a BOP grower and a NZAGA & AIC Board member, has accepted this position.  Dave has a background in sales and marketing and made the move into horticulture five years ago when he and his wife, Julie, purchased an avocado orchard in the Bay of Plenty. The Police & Rural Stakeholders Partnership, chaired by Bay of Plenty farmer Rick Powdrell from Federated Farmers, promotes a collaborative approach between rural communities and the police to raise visibility for agriculture crime and reduce issues for farmers and growers.   "Avocados have been impacted severely at times by thieves”, says New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular. "The New Zealand Police provided excellent support for growers at the time but it is important that industry is involved going forward in solutions to protecting avocado crops. "The increasing value of avocados and the shortage last season created a real problem in April and May this year, with avocados being stolen in the dead of night by what may have been gangs of thieves.  "Avocados are not the only crop affected and thieves regularly target horticulture, especially when there are crop shortages and as a result, prices are high. It is important that horticulture is able to contribute to solutions devised by the New Zealand Police and so we welcome Dave Flett joining the Police & Rural Stakeholders Partnership,” Ms Scoular says.

Taste of Auckland - a great success

We celebrated our amazing product and enjoyed mixing with foodies at the recent Taste of Auckland festival at Western Springs, Auckland held 17-20 November. We used it as a fun team building event, where seven of the team were involved in preparing and sharing over 7700 delicious samples for more than 6,000 visitors to our stand. It was great to have Nadia Lim join us on the Saturday and Sunday to interact with visitors to our stand and demonstrate three terrific avocado recipes – avocado bliss balls, avocado chocolate mousse and avocado pina colada smoothies. Nadia told her audiences about her love of avocados, her favourite ways to eat them or feed them to her 7-month old baby Bodhi, and her key avocado ripening and storing tips. Taste of Auckland is the largest food and wine festival in New Zealand and is held during the main part of the avocado season, so it’s perfect for promoting our avocados. This was our third year at Taste and it was a great success. We receive incredibly positive feedback from guests who loved our avocado samples and showed a real interest in the industry. For more images from the event check out our Facebook page www.facebook.com/nzavocado and for the recipes we shared check out our website http://www.nzavocado.co.nz/online/recipes.csn.

Development scholarships for women leaders

Scholarship initiative to support leadership development for women in the Horticulture sector – Limited opportunities for 2017 intake available. Opportunities are available for women in the Horticulture sector to access up to $8,000 in scholarship funding to assist them to participate in a number of Australasia’s premier women’s development programs. The initiative is part of a nationwide push to support and elevate women leaders throughout the Horticulture sector.  Scholarships will be used to assist women leaders to participate in Women & Leadership Australia’s (WLA’s) flagship development programs, a number of which will be launching for the first time in New Zealand in early 2017. Please note scholarships are limited.  Scholarships are available at three management levels: Experienced senior and executive leaders are eligible to apply for an $8,000 partial scholarship to assist their participation in the Advanced Leadership Program. View the Advanced Leadership Program brochure here  Mid-level managers are eligible to apply for a $4,000 partial scholarship to assist their participation in the Executive Ready program. View the Executive Ready Program brochure here  Early career managers are eligible to apply for a $3,000 partial scholarship to assist their participation in the Accelerated Leadership Performance Program. View the Accelerated Leadership Performance Program brochure here  Please note: WLA programs are highly exclusive developmental experiences and admission into these programs requires successful application. Annual intakes are limited. To make a scholarship enquiry Click here for an Expression of Interest form. Please note: Following submission of your expression of interest form, a WLA scholarship advisor will make contact to provide further information.  Should you wish to discuss the initiative in more detail please contact WLA’s head office on 1300 735 904 or via info@wla.edu.au. 

BOP Water Quantity proposed plan change open for submission

The Water Quantity plan will affect growers who take water from rivers, streams and aquifers as it will set the rules around the allocation, take and use of surface and ground water. You can find the proposed plan changes and other supporting documents on the Regional Council website. The Council are also maintaining a list of frequently asked questions. Some of the important changes for growers include: The registration of all permitted water takes. Enhanced water metering and reporting requirements. For properties less than 5 ha the amount of groundwater able to be taken without resource consent (permitted take) reduces from 35 cubic metres per day per property to 15 cubic metres per day per property NZ Avocado and NZKGI are supporting Horticulture NZ in the development of a submission to the proposed changes and would like to hear from affected growers. Submissions will be open for 40 days closing 14 December 2016.

Managing Scale insects

Up until now monitoring scale has been optional under the AvoGreen Programme. As we have begun sending our avocados to a greater range of markets, scale has been identified as a phytosanitary pest for many of our markets and when found during fruit inspection excludes fruit from being exported to those markets. The crawler stage of the scale lifecycle has two peak periods of abundance, November/December and April/May, so the next two months while crawlers are present is the best time to take action as sprays have little effect once they develop their hard cap/cover. What can you do?Proactively respond to any reports from your packhouse indicating they have found scale on your fruit during packing.When you are undertaking pest monitoring on your property make sure you are looking for scale on leaves and fruit particularly during the peak crawler stage.If scale is reported to you by your packhouse you can apply one free spray under the AvoGreen programme. Diazinon can be used to kill crawlers but is highly toxic to bees so must not be used when bees are in the orchard. If you have thrip as well as scale you can apply Calypso which has a label claim for scale in other crops. Remember to refer to the label and follow best practice and bee safety when applying all agrichemicals. For reference, there is an article on scale in the November 2016 Avoscene issue due out shortly. If you have any questions please contact glenys.parton@nzavocado.co.nz or brad.siebert@nzavocado.co.nz.

Blanket dispensation for Far North region

Blanket Dispensation for the requirement of a Maturity Test for the Far North Region shall apply as from Wednesday October 4th. The Far North Region covers the territory identified under the Far North District Council for this purpose. 

The impact of the consistent recent rainfall

Consistent recent rainfall has resulted in many orchards experiencing very wet, waterlogged soils. Our recommendations:  Advise you to work with packer/exporter to determine how to minimise the impact of heavy machinery, including hydraladas on your sodden orchard. Try to encourage any surface water off your orchard as quickly as possible. Ensure your drainage is maintained to a standard that allows water to move away swiftly, i.e. clear of debris.  Revaluate your orchard management in light of the effect of waterlogging has had on the soil and trees especially with regard to Fertiliser, Phosphonate injecting, Pruning Excess soil moisture can cause problems such as:  Reduction in tree vigour through reduced soil aeration reducing root and shoot growth. Increases the impact of Phytophthora infection. High rainfall may cause an increase in nutrient leaching from soils Increased risk of nutrient imbalances. Many growers will be experiencing waterlogged soils throughout the country following what feels like unprecedented rain over the past month.  For the full article, click here.

Updates to Library Tray data

Library Tray data from the analysis of library trays taken between July to September 2016 is now available for growers who have submitted fruit during that period. To access this information, please visit www.agfirstbop.co.nz. Details to log into the Eurofins website: Although there has been a company name change, the website is still www.agfirstbop.co.nz. If you have not registered with Eurofins before, please email support@eurofinsbop.co.nzand include the following contact details: Contact name Landline Mobile phone number Email PPIN/s (please include all PPINs you own so that you can be linked to them all) You should receive your user login details within 24 hours, excluding weekends. If you have forgotten your password there is a "Forgotten your password?” link underneath the User Login. This will prompt you to type the email that you initially registered with, and an email will be sent enabling you to reset your password. If you have forgotten the email you registered with and/or your username, email support@eurofinsbop.co.nz or phone 075491044.

Selfie photos with Ollie Avocado at in store tastings

This season NZ Avocado is undertaking avocado sampling sessions in 80 of NZ's largest supermarkets as part of our NZ Avocados Amazing Anytime promotions campaign. Shoppers are offered samples of avocado, prosciutto and tomato which are the key flavours in Nadia Lim's avocado pizza recipe. Over the next two weeks shoppers in selected stores will also be encouraged to take a "selfie" with Ollie Avocado to enter a competition on the New Zealand Avocado Facebook page.  The competition has been running for three days and has already reached an online audience of over 23,000 New Zealanders!   The activity is creating great engagement with NZ shoppers both in store and online. For more pictures of kiwis enjoying avocados, visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nzavocado/  

Supercharge your kids lunchbox with avocado

Back to school means getting back into a lunchbox routine. There s one superfood which will provide your kids with the essential nutrients they need to keep them full of energy at school.  Avocado is an increasingly popular addition to school lunchboxes as parents come up with clever ways to encourage their kids to eat it.   Including avocado in wraps, sandwiches or bread rolls; using it in place of mayonnaise, butter or margarine; and including it as a healthy ingredient when baking muffins, brownies and cupcakes, are all great ideas to up your kid s intake of this superfood.    Avocado bliss balls are also a lunchbox winner as they are easy to transport, kids love them and they pack a big nutritional punch in a small package.  Our avocado bliss balls recipe is delicious and super easy to make!  And it s well worth the effort. The protein, fibre and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat contained in avocados help create stable energy levels.  The oleic acid found in avocados helps tell your brain that your stomach is full, while the fibre and good fats take longer to digest so you don t feel hungry as often this also means kids are less likely to reach for sugary foods.  Avocados are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and B complex vitamins which contribute to a healthy nervous system and improved brain function including memory, focus and learning.  Opting for unprocessed foods like avocado will also reduce the overall amount of trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup your kids might eat during the day. Fresh food is always best to keep kids energy levels balanced and help them maintain their concentration.   So what are the best avocado lunchbox ideas?  You could pre-cut avocado into little cubes, prepare a small container of guacamole for them to dip crackers or carrot sticks into, or include it in their sandwiches, wraps or rolls.   To keep avocado fresh, just squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the top.  When baking, replace the butter in your recipe for the equivalent amount of mashed avocado instead. It s a healthy and creamy addition that will result in soft, moist cakes, muffins and other baked goods. Try making avocado brownies, avocado muffins, or avocado chocolate cake. Your kids won t be able to resist!  This amazing superfood delivers a host of other health benefits including boosting your immune system, promoting healthy vision, aiding healthy digestion and building strong muscles.   So when you re packing school lunchboxes this term, remember you re feeding more than just kids tummies. Give them food that is going to fuel their minds and benefit their bodies at the same time.

Green carpet rolled out for launch of New Zealand Avocado's biggest season ever

There s only one fruit with enough star power to attract a high profile crowd and shine at its own official season launch party New Zealand s amazing avocado. A "green carpet event was held at Ostro s Screening Room in Auckland on 17 August to celebrate the beginning of the 2016-17 avocado season. Attending guests include New Zealand celebrities, influential social media bloggers, high-profile chefs and New Zealand magazine editors - all of whom are influential New Zealanders who love avocados. Avocados are set to return to our lives in a big way. Avocado trees bear fruit biennially, meaning they can produce a small crop one year which is often followed by a large crop the next. Thankfully this summer is set to deliver a whopping 7.6 million trays nearly double the volume available last year. NZ Avocado Chief Executive, Jen Scoular says this launch celebrated not only the biggest crop they have ever had, but also the fact that they are nearly half way to achieving their sales goal of $280 million by 2023. "Our nation is full of diehard avocado fans, so for many Kiwis 2016 is the year of the New Zealand avocado!  It s also perfect timing for the All Black s test this weekend, as we all know they are big avocado fans and the country can enjoy avocado dips and goodies while supporting our men in black. NZ Avocado hosted the launch party to celebrate the fruit s enormous popularity and showcase its great flavour, versatility and health benefits. Guests were served five different avocado dishes to help whet their appetite and inspire new ideas about how to serve and enjoy this delicious fruit. Popular author and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist Claire Turnbull spoke at the event about the incredible health benefits avocados have to offer. Avocados can legitimately be called a "superfood . They re full of healthy monounsaturated fats which are great for your heart and cholesterol levels, and help keep your appetite under control. They re also packed with a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, are low in sugar and sodium, and are a good source of dietary fibre. Thanks to a growing body of scientific and nutritional research, avocados have never been more popular. They re now the star attraction on breakfast menus worldwide, and have been called the "Oprah of Instagram thanks to the number of snaps people post of their favourite avocado creations.  "The social media buzz and excitement around avocados returning to our supermarket shelves is unbelievable, so we want to grab this opportunity to showcase and celebrate everything we love about this amazing fruit, says Scoular.

New Zealand avocados back on the menu soon

New Zealand restaurants and cafes are being encouraged to follow global health and food trends with the inclusion of avocados on their menu, as a way of attracting more customers through the door. There is good news for café owners and restaurateurs in that over the next month avocado supply will build with a forecast record crop this season, which will ensure plenty of avocados are available for everyone to enjoy this spring and summer. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado says avocados are trending everywhere and by July there will be plenty available to be included in café and restaurant menus. "Avocados have become a versatile and innovative ingredient on breakfast, lunch and dinner menus worldwide. Diners love to see the healthy avocado being used in different ways and what makes New Zealand avocados even better is that all fresh avocados sold in New Zealand are grown in New Zealand. Avocado sushi, smoothies, avocado fries, hummus, pasta sauce and salad dressings are all trending, while classic combinations such as smashed avocado on toast, with eggs, in salads and sandwiches are reaching new culinary heights. Mikey Newlands, Executive Chef of Bracu Restaurant in Auckland loves using avocado in his dishes.  "As they are super nutritious, using New Zealand avocados in cooking is a great way to add vitamins and minerals to dishes.  Many of my customers say that dishes that utilise avocado are clean, light and easy to eat and something they could eat everyday rather than leaving them feeling heavy or overfed.   Avocados and Mexican food are strongly linked and there has been a visible rise in the popularity of Mexican restaurants in New Zealand including franchises Mad Mex and Mexicali Fresh.  Mad Mex New Zealand Group Managing Director, James Tucker, says that on average they use around a tonne of fresh avocados weekly. "Our amigos love our freshly prepared guacamole that is made from real avocados every single day and proves to be a very popular extra on our menu.   "Avocado makes for a very healthy, nutritious and authentic add-on to any of our menu items. Whether added to burritos, tacos or as a side served with tortilla chips, guacamole is a key component to Mexican cuisine and is served all year round.   New Zealanders are obsessed with this delicious healthy fruit, following a world-wide foodie trend to enjoy avocados at any time of the day or night and international chefs are now going to great lengths to showcase this super fruit on their latest menus, using their expert knife skills to prepare delicate avocado roses and shaved avocado ribbons. These visually-stunning tricks are re-inventing the way diners can eat avocado on toast or enjoy avocado as a salad, sandwich or pizza topping. Die-hard avocado lovers are always looking for inventive new ways to enjoy their favourite fruit, and almost all cuisines can now incorporate avocados into their menus in one form or another. Sweet avocado dishes are also growing in popularity including brownies, cheesecake, ice-cream, chocolate mud cakes and a range of other desserts and baked goods. One of the reasons avocados have become so immensely popular is their amazing health benefits. Diners know that choosing an avocado dish off the menu is a guilt-free way of treating themselves to a delicious meal. Avocados are packed full of healthy monounsaturated fats which are great for cardiovascular health and help keep you fuller for longer. They are also low in sugar and sodium, are a good source of dietary fibre, and contain vital nutrients such as vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin C and potassium. Consumer research conducted late last year showed 90,000 more New Zealand households bought avocados last season (2014-15) compared with the year before and avocados produced record-breaking domestic sales of $41 million during the 2015-16 season.  "More people are savouring avocados every season and in our increasingly health-conscious society, that trend is only going to continue. Says Scoular. "We re looking forward to seeing what new avocado-inspired ideas New Zealand s food service industry can serve up this year to wow their customers and take things to another level.

NZAGA Executive Committee and Board elections

At the 2016 NZAGA & AIC Annual General Meeting, the term of office will be complete for three of your NZAGA & AIC Grower Directors and four positions will be available for nomination of an NZAGA member - one for Far North, two for Mid North and one At Large.  We have had three nominees for the Mid-North positions and four nominees for the At Large position.  There will be an opportunity for NZAGA members to meet the candidates on the 26 July in Te Puke, 27 July in Whangarei and 28 July in Katikati. Click here for event details.  To find out more about each candidate, please see the resource listed below.

AIC Grower Export Registration for 2016-17 Season

All growers intending to export avocados in the current season must be registered with Avocado Industry Council (AIC) as set out in the industry Export Marketing Strategy (EMS).    You can complete this registration online at the NZ Avocado website. Please see instructions below.    Grower export registrations completed and paid by 15 August are $150 GST. Registrations made after this date will be $300 GST.   If you are unable to register for export online then please contact the NZ Avocado office if you need to register manually and we will arrange a paper registration form for you. Please be aware that a $30 GST administration fee will be added to your export registration fee for a manual registration. In your internet browser window, type www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry into the website address bar and press ENTER on your key board. Login using the "Industry Member Sign-In your username will be in the format of firstname.lastname and your password will be what your currently use to sign on to the industry website. Once signed in, click the Spray Diary and Industry Tools link at the top right of the screen. You will now be in the Industry Tools section of the New Zealand avocado website. In the list of login types, click Grower AvoTools. Select your 5-digit PPIN (e.g. P12345) that you wish to register for export. Click Open. Click the Grower Export Registration link. AvoGreen compliance - You must be AvoGreen compliant to be eligible to register for export.  You will be asked to verify this compliance (either you are an owner-operator or your orchard is monitored by an operator or by another owner-operator). Click the two tick boxes at the bottom of the screen to verify your compliance then click Proceed to next step. If you are not compliant, a message will show on screen asking you to contact us for assistance.     Terms & conditions before registering you need to agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions, and to comply with the EMS and the Grower Responsibilities section of the AIC Quality Manual. The EMS and Terms and Conditions are available to view in this screen. Click on the tick box at the bottom of the screen to accept then click Proceed to next step. Your details - check that the details held on file for you or your company are correct and amend any incorrect details. Please ensure that your email address is up-to-date as it will be used to send your registration confirmation, yield estimate and intended packer choices.    Yield estimate This section has automatically populated your yields from the previous season.  You must type in your crop estimate for export and local market for the current season, if you are unsure please check your packer agreement or talk to your packer.  Orchard hectares This section has automatically populated your orchard hectares, please check this information and amend if it is incorrect.  If you are a new grower, please add this information - there are calculation instructions on the right hand side of the screen.  Intended packer choices - select your intended packer. If you select a packer, your registration will automatically be emailed to that packer once your registration is completed. If you do not select a packer during registration then it is your responsibility to provide your later chosen packer(s) with a copy of your registration.  Payment choose your payment method (credit card, direct credit or cheque). Your registration will not be confirmed and verified until AIC receives your payment in full. Please note: If paying by direct credit please use your PPIN number as the reference. A credit card transaction will incur an additional 2.8% transaction fee. If paying by cheque, please include your PPIN number on the back and post it to: Avocado Industry Council, PO Box 13267, Tauranga, 3141 Confirmation- Once details are checked and the payment has been received then you will be sent a confirmation email with an attached copy of your registration form (which acts as a tax receipt). If you have any issues online registration, please call 0800 AVOCADO for assistance.

Updated tool-kit to help farmers improve health and safety

An updated tool-kit designed to help farmers better manage risks on their farms will be distributed at National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.  The tool-kit, which provides practical advice and resources to help farmers improve health and safety on their farms, has been developed by Safer Farms, ACC and WorkSafe New Zealand s health and safety programme designed with farmers and the wider agricultural sector.  Beef Lamb New Zealand and Federated Farmers were among the groups which provided input to the tool-kit. Beef Lamb New Zealand, in addition to working with WorkSafe on the new tool-kit, is working with sheep and beef farmers to help them meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Beef Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Sam McIvor, says that by the end of June, the organisation will have run over 70 health and safety workshops for more than 2,100 attendees around the country. "There s no question that as an industry we need to make sure we have good health and safety practices in place on our farms, says Mr McIvor. "We ve been working closely with WorkSafe and farmers to get these systems in place on sheep and beef farms. Tools, like those promoted on the WorkSafe website, give farmers good practical information to make their farms safe places to operate, McIvor says. Al McCone, WorkSafe s Agriculture Programme Manager says that while many farmers recognise that proactive planning is needed to make sure they can keep healthy and safe, they find it difficult to know where to start with changing their approach. He reassures farmers that this doesn t need to be hard. The easy-to-use tool-kit concentrates on those things that make a difference on farm, which are also at the heart of the new Health and Safety at Work Act - involving everyone on farm, recognising health as well as injury risks, and working with other businesses to make sure overlapping risks are managed. "Fit and healthy people are a critical factor for successful farming. In 2013, around 20 per cent of agricultural workers made a farming-related injury claim to ACC, at a cost of over $26 million. Some of those injuries will keep costing for several years. Keeping everyone on your farm safe and healthy helps ensure a farm is productive and profitable. "The new tool-kit can help farmers keep safe and keep farming, says Mr McCone. For a hard copy of the tool-kit, visit Worksafe at the Mystery Creek Field Days site E64-F63, phone 0800 030 040, or go to www.saferfarms.org.nz We have some of the tool-kits available at our NZ Avocado office - growers are welcome to pop in and see us to pick up one. 

New Zealand Avocados break record for New Zealand sales at $41 million

New Zealand s love affair with avocados has produced record-breaking domestic sales of $41 million during the 2015-16 season. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, today announced impressive end-of-season results of $134 million in industry value from export and New Zealand market sales. Strong global demand also delivered outstanding returns from the Australian market and strong returns from the Asian export markets. Scoular says the value returned to the industry is an exceptional achievement almost matching the $135m posted for the 2014-15 season despite a much lower crop. But it was the $41m value of the New Zealand market that broke records."Five years ago the New Zealand market achieved between $15m and $20m annually, without ever getting much above that. This year s return of $41m is 25 percent above last year s return of $31.8m and shows year on year growth of 17 percent since 2011, she says. Scoular credits strong collaboration across the industry, good communication, information sharing and jointly implemented promotional activities. "In New Zealand, demand is growing at a phenomenal rate and we are seeing the emergence of diehard avocado lovers. Avocados are becoming a highly valued fruit due to their amazing health benefits, says Scoular. Avocado production has irregular swings in volume. This year 4.2m trays were sold, versus 7 million trays sold the year before. Of the 4.2m trays, 2.6m trays were exported, 1.2m trays were sold as fresh in New Zealand and 380,000 trays were processed into avocado oil and other products. "The great news for consumers is that the 2016-17 season will start in New Zealand in late June with what is predicted to be a bumper crop, says Scoular. The industry has added significant resource to the New Zealand market through the Primary Growth Partnership programme NZ Avocado Go Global , working alongside marketers and retailers to provide supply chain education and consumer education through PR and social media. Efforts by the industry are raising the visibility of the amazing health benefits and versatility of this New Zealand-grown fruit. Andrew Darling, Chair of the Exporter Council, says the Australian market performed very strongly, with increased demand for the healthy avocado. He stressed the importance of strong relationships across the industry in New Zealand as well as with partners in export markets. Ashby Whitehead, Chair of NZ Avocado, says growers will be very happy this season. "The industry has worked very well across the supply chain to deliver an exceptional result in a moderate volume year. Grower returns are very good this year. As growers we are very happy with the success of our industry. Consumers in New Zealand can look forward to a much greater supply of avocados when the 2016-17 export season begins in August. The first crop estimate for the new season is 7.6m trays nearly double the volume available last season.  "Our avocado industry is well on track to become a significant export earner and contributor to New Zealand s economy, Scoular says. "As an industry we are looking forward to breaking more records when the new export season starts in September. About New Zealand Avocado The New Zealand avocado industry is vibrant and growing with a vision and strategy in place to quadruple sales to $280m and triple productivity by 2023. The industry is pursuing exciting opportunities in both export and the New Zealand markets, supported by innovation and collaboration with stakeholders and with new partnerships with the Crown and Crown Research Institutes. New Zealand currently produces just 2% of the global supply but is the ninth largest international avocado exporter. There are over 4,000 hectares of avocado trees planted in New Zealand, primarily in the Bay of Plenty and Northland.For more information visit www.nzavocado.co.nz or follow us on social @NZ_Avocado @Jen_Scoular

Early season New Zealand market dry matter maturity testing

The AIC early season New Zealand market maturity testing initiative is open for 2016 and will apply to all new season avocados collected and tested from now until 31 July 2016.  An independent review of avocado maturity sample size was undertaken in 2015 on behalf of the AIC Quality Standards Review Working Group. As a result of a recommendation from this review, a sample size of 20 fruit will be required in order to qualify for payment of collection and testing under the AIC New Zealand market maturity testing initiative in 2016.  AIC will pay the cost of Agfirst collection and testing for new season New Zealand market avocados that: Are collected and tested by Agfirst Have an average dry matter content across a 20 fruit sample of at least 23% Fruit that passes must be ethylene ripened using the AIC Ethylene Ripening Protocol, however if the 20 fruit sample averages 24% dry matter or greater, ethylene ripening is not compulsory.  To order an early season maturity test, you should contact you pack house or Agfirst.  It is important that consumers who are purchasing new season avocados early in the season have a positive experience with the ripening and taste of their fruit.This initiative has been developed to make it easier for all avocado growers to assess the maturity of their fruit prior to harvest and help ensure a positive consumer experience.

Call for Remits to the 2016 NZAGA and AIC AGM

The NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc. (NZAGA) 2016 AGM will be held at 3:30pm Thursday, 1 September at the Club Mount Maunganui, 45 Kawaka Street, Mount Maunganui and will be preceded by the NZ Avocado Grower Forum. To submit a remit to be presented at the AGM, please download the form below. Please note, we will call for items of general business in the AGM pack being posted to members the week of 27 July. For more information on remits, click here.

Kiwifruit harvest is under way - talk to your neighbours before you spray

NZ Avocado is encouraging growers to be mindful that the kiwifruit harvest season is underway. Growers should be talking to neighbours before spraying to identify if any neighbours have kiwifruit that are scheduled for harvest. Please ensure you are implementing smart spraying decisions and practices. Caution is advised with regards to the use of products such as Carbaryl and Calypso at this time especially if there is any potential for drift onto neighbouring kiwifruit. Consultants are advising if you have kiwifruit on the boundary to use pyrethrum and oil until harvest is completed. If you have any concerns or questions please contact your consultant.

Severe weather in North Island - links to tree management tips

The weather is currently severe over much of the North Island with wind, rain and hail over the past 24-48 hours causing some major damage and disruption.  Reports show this starting to clear across all regions of the upper North Island from this evening into Friday. Once it is safe to do so it is important for growers to get out into your orchards and assess the damage.There is a step-by-step guide with short videos available for growers on our website https://industry.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/storm_damage.csn to help you with assessing the storm damage in your orchard and letting you know how to manage this. The two main factors that you will need to address are waterlogging of the soil and damage from the strong winds. Some key things to consider are:        Is your orchard safe?  Are there leaning trees/branches? Are there fruit and branches on the ground that may present hazards? Aim to reduce the amount of soil moisture as quickly as possible. Any young trees that have been blown over will want to be attended to asap. The longer they are left before they are straightened, the more damage will have been done to the root systems. If it s not possible to straighten them quickly, consider leaving them to grow as they are. Damage to large trees needs to be assessed, this includes exposed roots. Debris from larger trees will ideally be removed, although this is not urgent but is good orchard hygiene. Remember to consider your irrigation at this time you may need to turn it off for a little while.  If any significant damage has occurred remember to continue to reassess the situation over the coming months. Most importantly make sure it is safe to go back into your orchard before you venture out there to do anything.

Unconsented Water Takes

Regional Council would like to thank the 100 land owners who have already registered their properties as potentially having unconsented water takes.  We will not be holding any further open days however you are still able to register your property online through the Water Take Registration Form or by email or phone (see contacts below). As part of the registration process you will be asked to supply contact details, location of orchard, type of crop and water source. This information will be supplied to the Regional Council.  The closing date for registrations has been extended to 31 April 2016. Following this, all properties will be grouped into water catchment areas. By establishing these water catchment areas growers can be brought together to discuss; the allocation status of the water source, the information required to apply for consent and the consenting process.  For users above the permitted take, and needing to apply for consent from Regional Council, you will not be required to stop using water for the 2015/16 season. However, you will be required to use water efficiently, have an accurate water meter installed and record your daily use. If requested, you must be able to supply those records to Regional Council. For further information or if you have any questions please get in touch with one of the contacts below.  Bay of Plenty Regional Council Scott Mahupuku, scott.mahupuku@boprc.govt.nz, 0800 884 881 extn 8320 Avocado growers Brad Siebert (New Zealand Avocado), brad.siebert@nzavocado.co.nz, 0800 AVOCADO (07 571 6147) Kiwifruit growers Ross Bawden (Te Puke Fruit Growers), ross@bawden.co.nz, 0274963381

Big crops need extra consideration

We are aware that many orchards are experiencing very large crop loads, placing extra demand on the trees. This increases the importance of proactively managing stress on the trees to not only support the current crop but to encourage a good return crop for the following season. The specific measures that growers should be implementing will vary between orchards however the crop load should be factored in to your orchard management decisions. Things to keep an eye on: Soil moisture in your orchard, including surface moisture. Excessive soil moisture can suffocate root systems and promote Phytophthora infection. Pest and pathogen pressure. Monitor regularly to keep on top of pests. Nutrient availability, fertiliser programmes should be reviewed now that the majority of fruit drop has occurred and there is a clearer indication of crop load. Consideration should be given to minerals as well as nitrogen. Soil testing is an important tool for identifying needs, leading to cost-effective application of nutrients. In light of the big season that we are expecting, maintaining the quality of fruit will be important while ensuring the trees have enough resources to set a good amount of fruit next season. These things need to be considered and actioned before we head into winter. We recommend working closely with your technical advisers to ensure your trees are properly supported to achieve good quality fruit this season as well as next. Feel free to contact our R&D team if you have any questions, concerns or need any help.

Chinese delegation visit Tauranga to improve collaboration in Primary sector

Eleven representatives from China Entry & Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) arrived in Tauranga on Friday 18th March to learn more about the New Zealand avocado, kiwifruit and also pipfruit industries for three days. NZ Avocado warmly welcomed the delegation from China and led the visit in collaboration with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Zespri and Pipfruit NZ. "China as a market is very important to New Zealand avocados as we increase productivity and volumes of our amazingly healthy fruit. We do not yet have phytosanitary access to China but wish to understand the market and build relationship for the future. We strongly support the negotiations being led by the Ministry for Primary Industries with the Chinese officials, says Jen Scoular NZ Avocado CEO. CIQA is an administrative body of the AQSIQ which ensures collaboration between government and commercial/industry members and safeguards China s industry and agriculture. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to make connections with Chinese people and present our horticulture industry to them. All three industries, avocado, kiwifruit and pipfruit, are committed to delivering the highest quality, premium, safe fruit to the Chinese consumer, says Scoular. The tour began with a visit to John and Cindy Cotterell s avocado orchard in Katikati where the delegation walked around the bountiful trees and were demonstrated the use of a mobile elevating platform used to pick avocados. CIQA heard presentations from NZ Avocado, Zespri, Pipfruit NZ and MPI and travelled to Plant & Food Research (PFR) in Te Puke for a tour of their facilities. "From our perspective, this is an excellent opportunity to network with officials and commercial people from China, to learn about their business and to share information about our businesses and industries. "It is very positive to be able to offer the delegation a cross-industry perspective, and to share the tour across the three industries in the Bay of Plenty, says Scoular. About New Zealand Avocado The New Zealand avocado industry is vibrant and growing with a vision and strategy in place to quadruple sales to $280m and triple productivity by 2023.  The industry is pursuing exciting opportunities in both export and the New Zealand markets, supported by innovation and collaboration with stakeholders and with new partnerships with the Crown and Crown Research Institutes. The New Zealand avocado industry is currently working towards gaining access to China.

Avocado industry joins GIA Biosecurity Partnership

Today NZ Avocado Growers Association Incorporated (NZAGA) signed the Deed of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity Readiness and Response in Tauranga, becoming the seventh Signatory to sign the Deed.   The signing was attended by the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy, NZAGA Chair Ashby Whitehead, NZ Avocado CEO Jen Scoular, and representatives from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), the GIA Secretariat and the avocado industry.  "Working in partnership with Government will enable us to deliver the best biosecurity outcomes that we can for the New Zealand avocado industry, says Whitehead.  Avocados are New Zealand s third largest fresh fruit export industry, with a Free on Board (FoB) value of $135M from sales to export markets and the New Zealand market in the 2014-15 season.   There are over 1300 avocado growers, with production spread across three main growing regions: Bay of Plenty (65%), Mid North (22%) and Far North (13%).  "Signing the GIA Deed will give the avocado industry the opportunity to influence how we are impacted in the event of a biosecurity response, and influence readiness activity, says Scoular.  GIA Secretariat Manager, Steve Rich, welcomed New Zealand Avocado to the partnership saying the new addition will further strengthen efforts to better deliver biosecurity outcomes.   "It s pleasing to see more industry groups joining the growing partnership. GIA now has the critical mass to begin delivering improved biosecurity readiness and response activities .  "The development of the GIA partnership has taken time and great commitment from participants, but we are now beginning to see the benefits of the collective strength of participants working together to achieve common goals, says Rich  New Zealand Avocado joins Kiwifruit Vine Health, Pipfruit New Zealand, New Zealand Pork, New Zealand Equine Health Association, Onions New Zealand and the New Zealand Forestry Owners Association, along with MPI representing the government as GIA partners. About Government Industry Agreement (GIA) GIA operates as a partnership between industry and government to manage pests and diseases that could badly damage New Zealand's primary industries, our economy, and our environment. It aims to improve biosecurity outcomes and give everyone the confidence that the best decisions are being made.

Food Act into effect 1 March 2016

The Food Act 2014 came into effect on Tuesday 1st March 2016. The aim of the new Food Act is to strengthen food safety in New Zealand. What do avocado growers need to do? If you are currently in the business of selling avocados, no further action is required at this stage. Existing horticultural food businesses will transition to the new requirements between 1 July 2018 and 28 February 2019. If you are a new grower that commenced business of selling avocados after 1 March 2016, you need to apply to MPI or your local council immediately to register your National Programme Level 1 business. The requirement to register as a national programme business does not apply to the sale of avocados from a grower directly to consumers. If you are only selling your own avocados at the gate, personally selling at a Farmer s market or personally selling at a roadside stall, you are not required to operate under a national programme for the sale of these avocados. National programmes Working with a national programme is the way that lower-risk food businesses operate under the Food Act 2014. There are three levels of national programmes, which are based on the food safety risk of the activities that a business does. Horticultural food producers and horticultural packing operations (packhouses) are deemed lower risk and are classified under national programme Level 1. All national programmes require: Record keeping to show you re selling safe food Registration of business details with your local council One or more visits from a verifier recognised by MPI Existing food safety programmes Existing GAP and food safety schemes are being assessed by MPI for equivalence to the requirements of National Programme Level 1. This process is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the transition period in July 2018. Transition period The Food Act 2014 comes into force on 1 March 2016. It applies to all new food businesses from that date but existing horticultural food businesses will transition to the new requirements between 1 July 2018 and 28 February 2019. Further information Further information on the Food Act 2014 and National Programme Level 1 registration process can be found at www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014 If you have questions about registering as a national programme level 1 business for avocados, please contact Bevan Jelley, bevan.jelley@nzavocado.co.nz or phone 07 571 6147.  

Avocados cholesterol lowering properties

They are a great addition to a salad or smoothie. But for many, the avocado has come to be seen as a guilty pleasure. Though classed as a fruit, it is not typical in the fact that rather than being high in carbohydrate, avocados are high in fat. Fat has long been hailed the dietary enemy number one, but as the tables turn and the scientific spotlight shines more acutely on sugar, so the benefits of the humble avocado are being realised.  A new study has revealed adding the green fruit to your diet can aid weight loss.    Furthermore, the fruit reduces a person s risk of heart disease, according to scientists from the Hass Avocado Board, in California. Emiliano Escobedo, executive director, said: This study supports the body of research showing the many benefits that fresh avocados have to offer when consumed in everyday healthy eating plans. The findings fall in line with recent recommendations from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines stated that making small shifts in food choices can make a difference including shifting from solid fats to oils, such as the oil in fresh avocados. The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, confirmed that swapping solid fats for avocados can significantly change lipid profiles'. Scientists analyzed 10 unique avocado studies with 229 participants. The researchers assessed the impact of avocado on cholesterol levels. They found that consuming one to one-and-a-half avocados per day significantly reduced total cholesterol'. Additionally, it also limited the 'bad' low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides when substituted for sources of fat. Corresponding study author Dr Sachin Shah noted that the results showed that even healthy study subjects showed significant reductions. Dr Nikki Ford, director of nutrition for Hass Avocado Board, said: Fresh avocado, as part of a balanced diet, and as a cholesterol-free substitute for solid fats, can help be part of the solution for maintaining normal cholesterol levels.   Beyond their naturally good fats, avocados are also a delicious way to boost fiber and fruit intakes, both of which are under consumed in American diets. Having high levels of bad cholesterol is known to be a major risk factor for heart disease, according to the study. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for one out of every four deaths and it is the number one killer of men and women. Heart disease is also one of the leading causes of disability. The study noted that additional research must be conducted to look at the impact of avocados on major adverse cardiovascular events. Furthermore, the optimal amount of avocado and frequency of use needs further evaluation, the scientists noted. Mr Escobedo said: 'Clinical studies are currently underway to investigate the relationship between avocado consumption and risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, support of weight management and healthy living.'

El Nino update

Soil moisture deficits for the main growing regions haven t been too bad but the effects of El Ni o are predicted to continue through to March meaning vigilance is still needed.  Sporadic rainfall has kept soil moisture levels reasonably topped up with levels similar to historical averages. NIWA s regional predictions for the January to March period in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty are for temperatures to be above average, rainfall to be below average and soil moisture to be below average. We encourage growers to monitor their soil moisture levels with whatever equipment they have available to ensure trees have enough water but are not over irrigated. Digging a few holes with a spade is better than nothing and your trees may thank you for it.  For growers with tensiometers you should be starting to think about irrigating when your 30cm tensiometer is reading 15 - 20 kPa in sandy soils and 25 - 40 kPa for clay loam soils. Stop when your 60cm tensiometers is reading between 5-10 kPa for both soil types to prevent overwatering.  For more information on irrigation refer to page 36 of our Growing Productive Trees guide, which can be found on our industry website under the Orchard Mngt tab or by clicking here.

Tau fly under investigation in Auckland

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single Tau fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Manurewa. The Tau fly can be a pest of Cucurbitaie crops. This pest does not impact avocados, pip and stone fruit or kiwifruit.  Please see the media release here http://mpigovtnz.cwp.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/tau-fly-find-under-investigation/ Further details and the controlled area notice that contains a map of the affected area can be found on the MPI website www.mpi.govt.nz/tau-fly

Young leader from NZ is awarded a bursary to participate in the PMA Emerging Leaders Program

Midge Munro, Communications Manager at New Zealand Avocado, has been awarded a bursary to attend the 2016 Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Emerging Leaders Program, to be held in Arizona, USA. This bursary has been supported by PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited and Nuffield Australia for a young emerging leader from the horticultural industry. Midge s career with New Zealand Avocado, the peak body for the export of avocados from New Zealand, spans seven years. She sets the strategy for the delivery of information to the industry s 1350 growers, and works with marketers and exporters to promote avocados to consumers in New Zealand, Australia and Asia. She is delighted to have been selected as the inaugural recipient of this bursary. "I see my participation in the program as an exciting opportunity to learn, engage, collaborate and build my own capability to perform and deliver real value in the horticulture industry, she says. "The demands on my role have increased following the establishment of the Primary Growth Partnership, the ongoing work to gain access to China for New Zealand avocados and increasing consumer demands for safer and healthier food . "The global networking and engagement offered by the program, the opportunity to understand finance and the real demands of managing a business will be extremely valuable and enable me to provide greater support to the growers and exporters I work with, she says. Midge aspires to be a highly capable leader in the produce industry, which she is passionate about. "I believe that the PMA Emerging Leaders Program will provide the step change I need to set that pathway in place . The PMA Foundation Emerging Leaders Program is a multifaceted, rigorous program for 36 potential leaders from all segments of the global produce and floral supply chain to embrace responsibility and manage the challenges and opportunities inherent in future leadership roles within the industry. The program includes a four-day "on campus component, online modules and a capstone course at PMA s Fresh Summit, a primary platform for connecting with the horticultural supply chain.

Picture perfect at Taste of Auckland

From 5-8 November, a team from NZ Avocado interacted with more than 6000 attendees at the Taste of Auckland festival held at Western Springs, Auckland. Over the course of six sessions during the four days of the festival, attendees who visited NZ Avocado s stand were treated to an Instagram worthy setting where we performed cooking demos, handed out recipe cards and booklets, as well as various delicious and beautiful looking avocado samples.     During the weekend we aimed to connect with avocado loving consumers and inspire them to try new avocado recipe ideas. We also gave them tips on how to pick the right avocado and how to correctly store avocados at various stages of ripeness.   Our stand was designed to look like a real life kitchen & bright, modern and eye catching. One wall of the stand was covered in images of delicious looking avocado dishes, while the other wall depicted a kitchen background with a window looking out onto an avocado orchard. Our Amazing Anytime bright blue was everywhere on our stand, making it one of the first stands that attendees eyes were drawn to as they walked through the festival entrance. The "kitchen was artfully decorated with avocados displayed in glass bowls, cut flowers in vases, and various complementary ingredients for the samples being shared & making our stand look a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.  Clean-eating, avocado loving and MotivateMe NZ founder Makaia Carr joined us during the Friday and Saturday afternoon sessions. She spent her time chatting to the audiences about her love for avocados while she demonstrated three trendy avocado recipes & a breakfast smoothie, avocado bliss balls and guacamole.  We had a selfie competition running during the weekend to invite interaction via social media. Visitors to our stand were encouraged to take a selfie somewhere on our stand, post it to social media and use the hashtag #nzavocado & by doing this they went into the draw to win an amazing avocado bliss ball prize pack.  Over 20,000 keen foodies enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather throughout the entire weekend. Those who visited our stand were eager to try the delicious avocado samples we had on offer & avocado with either cherry tomatoes or smoked salmon on toast, an avocado and blueberry breakfast smoothie, guacamole, avocado bliss balls, avocado and white chocolate tarts, and avocado cr me filled cherry tomatoes. We had a lot of support from our loyal Friends of NZ avocados & Go Nutz, Vogels, and NZ King Salmon & as well as support from new Friends of NZ avocados & Beekist, Whitakers, Sujon Berries, RealFoods NZ, Down at the Farm, and Fire Dragon Chillies.   We received fantastic feedback from visitors in regards to our stand and everyone seemed to enjoy the avocado samples they tried & we had people coming back for more! Visitors to our stand had many questions about avocados and were very interested in our industry.

Queensland Fruit Fly eradicated from Auckland

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has now announced that the Auckland fruit fly operation was successful and have confirmed the eradication of the Queensland fruit Fly from New Zealand. There are no longer any restrictions on the movement of fresh fruit and vegetables in Auckland. The successful eradication is a huge relief to many of New Zealand horticulture industries and NZ Avocado would like to congratulate MPI, GIA partners and all those involved in the response for the successful outcome. The Grey Lynn community also deserve a big Thank You for their cooperation during the response. Read the Media release here: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fruit-fly-eradicated-from-auckland-and-restrictions-lifted/

Water Quantity Plan change - final submissions due 1 December 2015

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is proposing changes to the way water is managed and allocated within the Regional Water and Land Plan. NZ Avocado has now finalised a submission to the proposed changes which you can view by clicking here. We also encourage growers to send in individual submissions. To assist, click here to see the council feedback form with some limited details already added. Feel free to use the full avocado industry submission as a reference when adding further detail. Further information and fact sheets on the councils approach to water allocation and use can be found here: http://www.boprc.govt.nz/environment/water/freshwater-futures/water-quantity-plan-change/ Please contact Brad Siebert at NZ Avocado on 07 571 5773 with any questions.

Regional maturity clearance

Blanket dispensation for maturity testing is now in place for the Far North, Whangarei (Mid North) and South Auckland regions. Orchards in these regions no longer require maturity clearance testing for export.

Blanket maturity clearance for Bay of Plenty

Blanket dispensation from the requirement to obtain an independent Maturity Test in the Bay of Plenty region shall come into effect as of Friday 6 November 2015. This now means that all regions are cleared for maturity.

Data on new cultivar trials available on industry website for members

New Zealand Avocado is running three new cultivar trials (planted 2009-2013) in commercial orchards in the Bay of Plenty and Whangarei, and a further two orchards containing new cultivars are involved in the trial assessment programme. Trees in the trial blocks are assessed regularly in order to evaluate their performance and determine their suitability for commercial use in New Zealand conditions. In order to make information more widely available, in collaboration with the working group, profiles have been created for each of the trial orchards containing information on the trial and assessment data. These can be found on the industry website under the Orchard Mngt tab or at the link below.  Please ensure you are signed in as a member to view this material.   http://industry.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/new_cultivars.csn  If you have any feedback or questions about this material please contact Danni van der Heijden, Research Associate, NZ Avocado dannielle.vanderheijden@nzavocado.co.nz

MPI Organophosphate and Carbamate Reassessment as applies to avocados

Overview As a result of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) reassessment of organophosphates/carbamates, MPI has undertaken a reassessment to consider: Revision of labels such as revised use patterns and removal of claims, and Acceptability of food-producing claims from a dietary intake exposure perspective. Label changes arising from the MPI reassessment, including new use patterns and withholding periods (WHPs), are effective immediately. However, revised maximum residue limits (MRLs) will not be promulgated until the MRL round starting in July 2016. This notification is to allow labels in the marketplace to be replaced over the coming season and reduce unintentional MRL non-compliance by users. Revised use patterns are available on product labels approved after July 2015. Diazinon (Dew 500, Dew 600, Diazol) The EPA control has set maximum use rates, with a maximum application frequency of 2 times per crop cycle. Current HSNO approvals for diazinon-containing substances will be phased out by 1 July 2028. Off-label use has been prohibited by MPI. This includes following exact use pattern directions i.e. rate, timing, WHPs and target insect(s). The following New Zealand MRLs will be proposed in July 2016: Avocado & 0.1 mg/kg (currently 0.5 mg/kg) Maldison (Malathion, Fyfanon) EPA controls: Maximum of 2 applications per crop cycle. For the 500g/L EC formulation, there is a maximum application rate of 4500 gai/ha. Off-label use is allowed as dietary intake is unlikely to exceed the PDE (food) set by the EPA in their reassessment. WHPs remain unchanged. See labels (post July 2015) for approved use patterns. It is proposed that the existing MRL will be changed, with a proposed avocado MRL of 2 mg/kg (currently 8 mg/kg). Any proposed MRL change will not be made until the Maximum Permissible Limits (MPL) review is completed in late 2016. Acephate (Lancer and Orthene) Acephate is no longer on the avocado industry approved list of chemicals for use in avocados. Use of this product is by dispensation only.

Call for submissions to 2016 2017 Export Marketing Strategy EMS

As part of the annual review of the Export Marketing Strategy (EMS), we are now asking for your submissions. Submissions can be given at any time but must be received by Edwina at NZ Avocado by 29 January 2016 for consideration in the 2016-17 EMS. Please use the submission form which can be downloaded from the industry website www.nzavocado.co.nz/industryunder Export > Export Marketing Strategy (EMS) > EMS Review For more information on the EMS and to view the current document, go to the industry website www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry> Export > Export Marketing Strategy (EMS) Please note below the EMS process timeline for your information: 29 January 2016- Grower, packer, exporter submissions due 4 February 2016- EMS working group meeting (1) 9 February 2016- Discussion document loaded onto website with submissions - call for feedback 17 February 2016- EMS working group meeting (2) 19 February 2016- Discussion document loaded onto website - call for further feedback 23 March 2016- Board meeting - approve EMS Mid April 2016- HEA Board - approve EMS Late April 2016- EMS loaded onto website and distributed, call for Exporter and Packer contracts

Update from Jen

Government Industry Agreements (GIA) update: how we will seek your feedback and take your views into account in joint decision making NZAGA is in the final stages of having our application to enter GIA approved by the Minister. We want to ensure that we have clearly set out to you as growers, the way in which we will consult with you in joint decision making in regard biosecurity and GIA. Growers approved by postal vote that NZAGA should become a signatory to the GIA and implement a biosecurity levy. Once the Deed is signed, biosecurity activity for readiness and response is delegated by the NZAGA Executive, via AIC, to me as CEO to implement and manage as part of the normal activity. We will continue to update growers and seek feedback about biosecurity in the same way we consult about all activity funded by growers levies and fees. These include updates like this one via AvoConnect, my CEO updates and other articles in AvoScene, updates at roadshows and field-days and of course the Annual General Meeting where we invite feedback from growers on any activity. Specifically, we will ensure that we communicate on biosecurity matters, invite feedback and take your views into account in joint decision making under GIA. I welcome your feedback by next Wednesday (11 November) on this communication, feedback and decision making process. Governance of biosecurity, as with all industry activity is undertaken by your grower elected Executive, and the AIC Ltd Board. Update across the NZ Avocado team  Midge and Jodi are furiously organising avocados and other ingredients, recipe cards, stand equipment suppliers and people to staff the NZ Avocado stand at Taste of Auckland starting tomorrow night and going until this Sunday. Last year was a hit, despite very inclement weather & fortunately, this year the weather is looking great and we are expecting to be run off our feet for the 3.5 day festival. The Taste festival is a great way to demonstrate new avocado recipes and ideas for over 25,000 foodies. I have been networking across industries, taking some great ideas away after the Kiwifruit Innovation Symposium in Tauranga last week, and having the opportunity to network with five Ministers, ambassadors and business leaders at another kiwifruit event at Parliament the week before. Brad was one of the speakers on biosecurity at the Symposium, and is collaborating very well with kiwifruit, pipfruit and other horticultural industries to ensure we are well placed on biosecurity. I attended the Transitional Deed Governance Group meeting in Wellington yesterday as an observer, anticipating our invitation as a full member once we have signed the GIA Deed. Glenys is actively ensuring the export systems manages our fruit efficiently, including the new rules on Thailand which were gazetted by Thailand last week and apply to product arriving in Thailand on or after the 25 November. Danni is in the process of preparing results of the cultivar trials to be uploaded to the industry website this week & adding to the information we share with growers to enhance the resources you have to improve productivity. Phillip and Danni have worked closely with the Plant & Food Research team to select two orchards, one in Aongatete and one in Te Puke for the next MBIE pruning trial. The next field days are being planned, aiming for 16-18 November in the Bay of Plenty - dates for further North are to be confirmed. We are working with packers to jointly host field days & trying to be more efficient about the logistics involved.Michael has collated the next crop estimate & unfortunately down 300k trays since the previous estimate. With demand running so high, what a shame the estimate is going the wrong way. I encourage you to attend the field days being planned. With the success we are seeing in increasing demand for our avocados & we need you to work towards increasing supply to match that demand. We have received some excellent applications for the R&D Manager role. We have made a shortlist and are in the process of interviewing those candidates. We do not anticipate getting someone new on board until the new year. In the meantime we are utilising support from Plant & Food Research, and Phillip and Danni are managing the current projects. We have also added Cameron Wallace to the team, as our Research Analyst. He is looking at better utilising the data we hold about fruit, sprays and maturity. Jay, Michael, Midge and Jo have been handling the roll over to the updated sign in system to our industry website and online services, a few technical hiccups along the way but the new process, once we all get used to it will serve as a much easier access point to the website without the need for multiple usernames and passwords. We thank you all for bearing with us while we make the change. Midge and I are meeting with the promotions agencies in Sydney next week to talk about next seasons promotions plan in Australia. We need to continue to make sure grower funds are invested for the best return. It was well reported recently in the Australian media that the 12 month marketing of avocados has influenced very well the demand for avocados, which we see in great pricing and returns this season. New Zealand s investment into the Australian programme is during the summer months which helps to extend the programme through the full year. The fortnightly exporter conference calls are a very effective way to get a consolidated picture of real time market conditions. Congratulations to the exporters for implementing and participating in that regular call. Bevan and Jodi hosted the NZ marketers meeting in Auckland last week. The New Zealand market is going very well, with strong pricing and good communication across the marketers. I trust this finds you well, and active in your orchards Jen

Border Clearance Levy announced

The Government has announced the establishment of a Border Clearance Levy on passengers entering New Zealand from 1 January 2016.   The levy comes into effect on 1 January 2016 and will be NZ$18.76 + GST for air travelers and those arriving and departing on private craft, and NZ$22.80 + GST for cruise passengers.   With passenger volumes forecast to increase to 13.3 million by 2018-19 the levy will provide sustainable funding to address New Zealand s increasing biosecurity risks as more and more passengers enter New Zealand.   Click here for more information on the Government s website.

HortNZ appoints new CEO

Horticulture New Zealand president Julian Raine yesterday announced the appointment of Mike Chapman to role of the organisation s chief executive. Mike has been chief executive of Kiwifruit Growers Inc since June 2005. Mike is interim chair of the industry s National Labour Governance Group, serves on a number of kiwifruit industry committees and is a Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Councillor. Mike trained as a lawyer and his previous appointments include Defence Force Solicitor as part of Mike s career in the Royal NZ Navy, Chief Counsel at the Commerce Commission, Professional Standards Director for the Auckland District Law Society and Chief Executive of Kiwifruit NZ. Mike will start his role with HortNZ on January 18.

Water advisory groups appointed

Three new Freshwater Futures community groups, established to advise the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on decisions about water management in the Rangitāiki, Kaituna/Maketū and Pongakawa/Waitahanui catchments, have met for the first time this month.  The groups will help identify local community values for fresh water, inform local limit setting for water quality and quantity and assist in developing solutions for managing water in their catchment. Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder said that the group members represent a wide range of interests in fresh water, as well as different stakeholder views. "The groups will play an important role in helping us to implement the government s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. We look forward to hearing their views and ideas as we work towards setting local water allocation limits, managing over-allocation and ensuring water is used efficiently, Mr Leeder said. "We ve started with the Rangitāiki, Kaituna/Maketū and Pongakawa/ Watahanui catchments this year but similar work will roll out in other Bay of Plenty catchments from 2017/2018, Chairman Leeder said. Group members were appointed following a call for expressions of interest. Chairman Leeder said the groups will meet regularly over the next two years to share knowledge and perspectives about fresh water in their catchment.  The outcomes of Freshwater Futures group discussions will be collated and shared with iwi and the wider community for their feedback. Public open sessions have been scheduled to follow community group workshops in each catchment as follows: Rangitaiki, 4.00-6.30pm Wednesday 18 November at Galatea Hall         Kaituna/Maketū, 4.00-6.30pm Tuesday 1 December, The Orchard, Te Puke Pongakawa/Waitahanui, 4.00-6.30pm Monday 14 December, Pongakawa Hall Regional Council will use feedback gathered from the new community groups, iwi and wider public to inform draft policies and rules in the Regional Water and Land Plan. Freshwater Futures community group members are: Kaituna/Maketū Barry Roderick Cor Verwey Hendrik Metz Hohepa Maxwell Ian Schultz Jessica Dean John Fenwick Julian Fitter Maria Horne Maria By de ley Mary Dillon Murray Linton Nick Webb Marc Fauvel Peter Ellery Richard Fowler Vivienne Robinson Warren Webber Morgyn Bramley Paula Thompson (Regional Councillor)  Pongakawa/Waitahanui Andre Hickson Bernie Hermann Bev Nairn Bruce Cameron Colin McCarthy Darryl Jensen Dennis Walker Geoff Rice Grant Rowe John Meikle John Garwood JC Cameron Julian Fitter Kevin Marsh Kura Paul-Burke Melv Anderson Mike Maassen Paul van den Berg Te Awhi Anderson Manahi Wilma Foster Jane Nees (Regional Councillor) Rangitāiki Alamoti Te Pou Alan Law Atamira Nuku Bill Kerrison Bill Clark Cathy Brown Christina Bunny Daryl Christie Gareth Boyt George Johnston James Doherty John Gibson Kirsty Joynt Larry Wetting Linda Conning Mark Ross Matt Osborne Matt Gow Ngapera Rangiaho Nick Doney Robert Pouwhare Steve Brightwell Tom Lynch Wetini Paul Norm Bruning (Regional Councillor)  See www.boprc.govt.nz/freshwaterfuturesfor more information about the community groups and the Regional Council s freshwater management work. For further media information please contact Prue Sisam, Communications Partner, on 0800 884 880. Background information on Freshwater Futures programme: Through the National Policy Statement for Freshwater (NPS), central government has directed Bay of Plenty Regional Council to set limits and rules that will ensure: Our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and the estuaries they flow into are healthy for people to enjoy Water allocation decisions are well informed, sustainable, efficient and based on agreed limits         Te Mana o te Wai (the unique relationship iwi have with fresh water) is recognised and protected         Native plants and animals thrive in healthy fresh water habitats Catchments Nine catchment areas have been identified as practical geographic units for managing freshwater in the Bay of Plenty. They're based on a range of factors, including physical surface catchments, iwi cultural boundaries, Treaty settlement, major project areas and where people live. Key challenges for managing water in the Bay of Plenty include: Quantity:There is only so much water available for use, but the demand for it is increasing Quality:The region's fresh water quality is good compared to national standards. However, fresh water resources are under pressure with water quality declining and the mauri of water degraded in parts of the region Land use:How we're using the land can affect water quality and quantity Climate change: Changes in our climate could affect land use, timing, amount and intensity of rainfall. Sea level rise may impact on aquifers and streams. There may be changes in demand for and availability of water.

Upgraded facility for signing into industry website

A reminder that NZ Avocado has upgraded the security of, and the sign in process for the industry website www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry and associated online applications.   To sign in you will use your unique username which is your firstname.lastname - for example john.smith Your password is what you currently use to sign into the industry website. If you cannot remember what this password is then there is a forgotten password function in the new sign in screen which will allow you to reset this easily. If you are having issues signing in, please ensure you are using a preferred internet browser - these are listed in the sign in instructions... It is advised that you update your browser to ensure you are using the latest version as this is good security practice. You may also find that your general browsing experience is improved by using one of the following browsers: Chrome - Download: https://www.google.co.nz/chrome/browser/desktop/   Firefox - Download: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ Please click the document below for instructions for signing into the website.

Update from World Avocado Congress 2015, Lima Peru

The wider NZ Avocado team is just starting to arrive back in New Zealand after an exhausting but terrific week in Lima, Peru. A huge amount of energy and passion was expended, and we arrive home proud of our participation.We learnt a lot, we networked and engaged, and certainly significantly raised the visibility of the New Zealand avocado industry. The eighth World Avocado Congress opened on Sunday 13 September and attracted 1,500 delegates. Presentations were from 8.30am to after 6pm every day except the field and cultural day on Wednesday. The New Zealand pavilion, supported by NZ Avocado, Plant & Food Research and Compac Sorting Equipment stood in the middle of the exhibition area, an excellent visual show of our industry. It proved an excellent meeting point for all of us as well as a great place for others to come and meet us. Our selfie competition was a huge hit & with 130 delegates having their photo taken with one of us on the stand, and emailing that photo to us as their entry to the competition to win two return flights to New Zealand, sponsored by Air New Zealand.    Fifteen presentations were given by NZ Avocado & by Plant & Food Research: Jen Scoular - NZ Avocado New Zealand Avocados Go Global Alvaro Vidiella - NZ Avocado  New colonal rootstocks are showing their value Productivity research in NZ, moving towards a collaborative learning environment Phillip West - NZ Avocado Pruning flowers and fruit to reduce alternate bearing in New Zealand Collaborative research on tree decline. Old problem, new approach Midge Munro - NZ Avocado The rise in fame of the amazing New Zealand Avocado Helen Boldingh - Plant & Food Research The potential for the production of "successful fruit on Hass avocado (Persea Americano Mill.) trees is reflected by the carbohydrate content of the style Allan Woolf - Plant & Food Research  Hpp treated avocado pulp: physicochemical, volatile and sensory changes during storage Pre- and postharvest factors affecting fatty acids, tocopherols, phytosterols and pigments in avocado and avocado oil Nick Gould - Plant & Food Research Effect of crop load on tree yield and return bloom in New Zealand Hass avocado orchards Jeremy Burdon - Plant & Food Research Controlled atmosphere storage of New Zealand Hass avocado fruit Kerry Everett - Plant & Food Research The cause of avocado black spot Systematic orchard survey to determine regional and seasonal variation of fruit quality in Michoacan avocados Towards commercialisation of avocado rot prediction Edouard Perie - Plant & Food Research Integrated research to deliver sustainable benefits to small-holder avocado farmers in Kenya After the success of the New Zealand theme reception in Cairns in 2011, we hosted over 100 guests in a rooftop bar of the Radisson hotel on Tuesday evening. We overcame the challenge of not being able to buy New Zealand sauvignon blanc in Lima by asking the New Zealand contingent to add a few bottles to their luggage. A brilliant move, the sauvignon blanc very well received, and went well with the New Zealand Villa Maria pinor noir we were able to source. This was just one of the little challenges of arranging a congress in Peru. Three weeks before we left we found out we couldn t ship any of our collateral over, so again, had to share that around and bring it in our luggage.Our theme for our bid to host the 2019 Congress was "Discover your slice of New Zealand , and we displayed that theme across every presentation and very clearly across the New Zealand pavilion. There was huge passion from right across the New Zealand contingent for engagement, for stories about our industry and about New Zealand. We had polo shirts printed with our congress branding and "Vote New Zealand , which we wore as often as the laundry allowed. Our competitor was Colombia, who also put up a bid to host the 2015 Congress but lost to Peru. Early in the week we felt pretty confident, we were certainly better prepared in our bid, Colombia seemed to be silent about it, but that all changed on the last couple of days when Colombia came out much more strongly. There was a very strong Spanish speaking contingent, and the loyalty of South Americans to another South American nation was pretty clear. But it was friendly competition, I photo bombed a group of Colombians the morning of the vote, running across the room to get into their photo, and they reacted very positively, trying to get me to wear their colours (don t worry I didn t). After the final lunch & which the Colombians sponsored, so had their Ambassador persuading votes their way, and the way the Colombians seemed to have arranged to speak four times of the last day (we had all been slotted in earlier in the conference) & I had started to feel we were going to get whipped by Colombia, they certainly appeared to have strong South American support for another congress in their region. Just before the bid presentation on the last day, the head of the Columbian delegation said to us, if we win, please come to Colombia, if you win we will come to New Zealand. Ashby took the draw to decide who would present first, and won so we chose to present second. The room was packed, there would have been 700 or 800 people, with a large number having to stand. Colombia showed a tourism video, interestingly similar to ours, in the way it showed off the landscape and nature. Alvaro and I presented our pitch & starting with the Tourism NZ video, then a summary of the congress we would organise in New Zealand. The atmosphere was electric, we both felt as if we were on a political rally & I have never experienced that sort of positive anticipation before. I presented and Alvaro translated & a real asset to have Alvaro as our native Spanish speaker on the team, and very much appreciated by the English speakers in the audience. The Colombian presentation had no translation, nor had the opening of that session. We added a little action into the presentation, with Ashby coming on stage and throwing out a bunch of rugby balls, which was the signal for the rest of the strategically placed New Zealand contingent to throw a couple. It was a great fun play to add in. We got rapturous applause, and truthfully must have won back quite a number of votes. The vote took ages, with each of the near 700 voting delegates lining up to put their ice block stick into the New Zealand or the Colombian box. When the lids were taken off, I truthfully didn t know which box was more full. The final result, based on the weight, was New Zealand 321 grams, Colombia 335 grams. So close, but not enough to win. Very disappointed, but we knew we could not have done more. To Midge in particular, an amazing thanks. Her effort over the past month and over the six days was amazing, and everything was carried out with huge professionalism and impact. The support and enthusiasm of the NZ growers and stakeholders traveling with us was terrific. Collectively we made the biggest impact of any nation & with a wonderful demonstration of passion for our industry. I am immensely proud of the week s work. The New Zealand avocado industry was wonderfully represented, was wonderfully supportive of each other, we participated strongly in every event and increased significantly our capability with the presentations and networking. We have certainly established our industry as a global player. Regards, Jen

MPI launches online tool for food businesses

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew has launched an online tool that will help food businesses discover how they will be affected by the new Food Act 2014, which comes into force in March next year. The tool moves through a series of yes/no questions to identify which requirements businesses will need to follow. The new Food Act comes into force 1 March 2016. Existing businesses will be given a three-year transition period to move to the new rules. People can find out which rules will apply to their business, and when they will need to transition to the new rules, on the MPI website: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/where-do-i-fit/

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.

AvoGreen Pest Monitor refresher training

AvoGreen trainers in all regions are running refresher training over the coming months for those owner-operator Pest Monitors requiring this training.  Please register your interest with a trainer near you - click here to see the list of AvoGreen Accredited Trainers.

Avocado Problem Solver Guide now available

For those who ordered a copy of the Avocado Problem Solver Guide, they have arrived and are now ready for purchasing through the AvoShop.  Click hereto go to AvoShop.

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

Exciting opportunity to profile our industry

New Zealand Avocado is working with the New Zealand distributed magazine MindFood to produce, over the coming season, four grower and industry profiles.  These articles will showcase the amazing people in our industry, promote the health and use of our fruit and as an additional bonus will create collateral that can be used to tell the NZ Avocado story in Asian markets.  The first of these profiles has been completed for the August issue of MindFood, which is soon to hit shelves & check out page 108  which features Bay of Plenty grower Andrew and Maria Watchorn and their son Caleb. This article focuses on the lifestyle of growing avocados but also the hard work, dedication and significant investment it has taken to get them to where they are today & running a successful orchard and enjoying a lifestyle centred on their family.  We thank Andrew and Maria for their time in putting this awesome story together. We really appreciate the involvement and support of passionate growers in promoting the industry and promoting the amazing New Zealand avocado - please continue to be involved.   We can t wait to develop the next three stories and to share them with you.  Click here to view the MindFood article with Andrew and Maria Watchorn.

AIC Grower Export Registration for 2015-16 season

All growers intending to export avocados in the current season must be registered with Avocado Industry Council (AIC) as set out in the industry Export Marketing Strategy (EMS).  You can complete this registration online at the NZ Avocado website. Please see instructions below.  Grower export registrations completed and paid by 17 August are $150+GST. Registrations made after this date will be $300+GST. If you are unable to register for export online then please contact the NZ Avocado office if you need to register manually and we will arrange a paper registration form for you. Please be aware that a $30+GST administration fee will be added to your export registration fee for a manual registration. Instructions for registering online: Please note that you can also watch a video tutorial of how to register for export by visiting this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cil-ErQffAA&feature=youtu.be In your internet browser window, type www.nzavocado.co.nz/industryinto the website address bar and press ENTER on your key board. Then click the "Spray Diary and Industry Tools link at the top right of the screen. You will now be in the AvoTools section of the New Zealand avocado website. In the list of login types, click Grower. Enter your 5-digit PPIN (e.g. P12345) and passwordthen click Login. Once logged in, click the Grower Export Registration link. AvoGreen compliance - You must be AvoGreen compliant to be eligible to register for export.  You will be asked to verify this compliance (either you are an owner-operator or your orchard is monitored by an operator or by another owner-operator). Click the two tick boxes at the bottom of the screen to verify your compliance then click Proceed to next step.            If you are not compliant, a message will show on screen asking you to contact us for assistance.          Terms & conditions & before registering you need to agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions, and to comply with the EMS and the Grower Responsibilities section of the AIC Quality Manual. The EMS and Terms and Conditions are available to view in this screen. Click on the tick box at the bottom of the screen to accept then click Proceed to next step. Your details - check that the details held on file for you or your company are correct and amend any incorrect details. Please ensure that your email address is up-to-date as it will be used to send your registration confirmation, yield estimate and intended packer choices.  Yield estimate & This section has automatically populated your yields from the previous season.  You must type in your crop estimate for export and local market for the current season, if you are unsure please check your packer agreement or talk to your packer.  Orchard hectares & This section has automatically populated your orchard hectares, please check this information and amend if it is incorrect.  If you are a new grower, please add this information - there are calculation instructions on the right hand side of the screen.  Intended packer choices - select your intended packer. If you select a packer, your registration will automatically be emailed to that packer once your registration is completed. If you do not select a packer during registration then it is your responsibility to provide your later chosen packer(s) with a copy of your registration.  Payment& choose your payment method (credit card, direct credit or cheque). Your registration will not be confirmed and verified until AIC receives your payment in full.  Please note: If paying by direct credit please use your PPIN number as the reference. A credit card transaction will incur an additional 2.8% transaction fee.  If paying by cheque, please include your PPIN number on the back and post it to: Avocado Industry Council, PO Box 13267, Tauranga, 3141 Confirmation- Once details are checked and the payment has been received then you will be sent a confirmation email with an attached copy of your registration form (which acts as a tax receipt).  If you have any issues online registration, please call 0800 AVOCADO for assistance.

Horticulture industry celebrates Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower success

Click here to view a highlights video of the day's event More than 280 people from around the horticultural industry came together on Wednesday night to celebrate the 2015 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower competition which saw 26 year old Craig Ward from Apata take out the 2015 title at a sold-out gala dinner. Craig beat seven other competitors in a series of competitive events and tests during the day and a quiz and speech competition in the evening. Craig will now go on to represent the Bay of Plenty at the national competition run by Horticulture New Zealand in Christchurch on 12-13 August. This year s competition received a huge amount of support from the horticultural industry through sponsorship and other contributions. "This competition develops skills and fosters leadership. Today s competitors are a great example of young people who are passionate about the industry s future and their role in it, said New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc (NZKGI) President, Neil Trebilco. "It was fantastic to see so many local industries and organisations recognise this and come together to demonstrate their support for our future leaders. "All eight contestants gave it their all and I m sure the decision for the judges was a difficult one. Another special event coinciding with the Young Grower of the Year competition was this year s inaugural Cultivate Your Career event. Over 150 students in years 11, 12 and 13 attended to hear from employers about the many career opportunities in the horticulture sector and about the skills they need to develop, from effective communication to critical thinking and problem solving. The gala dinner in the evening included a special charity auction which raised almost $5,000 for the people in Vanuatu who were affected by the devastating Cyclone Pam in March. "The kiwifruit industry employs over 500 people from Vanuatu under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme. This month saw it launch a wider campaign to raise $100,000 to help with the recovery of Vanuatu. "The funds raised will be channelled toward projects in communities where workers from Vanuatu in the kiwifruit industry come from, said Neil. The Young Grower of the Year is an annual competition run by Horticulture New Zealand to select the finest young fruit or vegetable grower in the country. The competition involves four regional events and the winners from each region go forward to contest the final. The Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower of the Year was sponsored by the following companies and organisations: Gold: Apata Grow and Zespri Silver: Aongatete Coolstores, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, DMS, Eastpack, Farmlands, Horticentre, Katikati Fruit Growers, NZ Avocado, Pacific Coast Technical Institute and Te Puke Fruit Growers. Bronze: Carter Holt Harvey, OPAC, Trevelyan s, Radford s Software and ASB. For more information about the event, including sponsors, supporters, events and photos go to www.bopyoungfruitgrower.co.nz NZ Avocado would especially like to thank Aongatete Coolstores Ltd for their involvement in the NZ Avocado Young Grower challenge and Locus Research for their participation with Cultivate Your Career.

Support our leaders at the BOP Young Fruit Grower of the Year competition

Come along to the BOP Young Fruit Grower of the Year competition, 24 June - Mills Reef Winery, 143 Moffat Road, Bethlehem.   NZ Avocado, on behalf of the 2015 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower competition organising committee, invites growers and all those involved in the horticulture industry to come along and cheer on the young leaders in our industry. Check out the website for more details http://www.bopyoungfruitgrower.co.nz/   Spectators are welcome at the day event which starts at around 9am. Attendance is free and the Mills Reef Restaurant will be open. We have a great outdoor venue this year complete with mature avocado trees to put the eight contestants to the test. There will also be orchard equipment demonstrations and supplier stands for orchardists to peruse.  Young Grower challenges: Phytophthora control & injecting avocado trees - NZ Avocado & Aongatete Avo-Ject Agrichemical knowledge - Farmlands Motor mower use - R&R Tractors Tractor and implement use - Horticentre Trailer challenge - Toyota Fertiliser knowledge - Horticentre Orchard shelter and sward identification and management - BOP Polytechnic Sugar testing wine - Mills Reef Biosecurity - Kiwifruit Vine Health Orchard accounts - KPMG Hortisports - Primary ITO Cultivate Your Career  Along with the BOP Young Grower Competition is a programme for high school students & Cultivate Your Career. This event will run alongside the Young Grower Competition. We welcome growers and industry people to come along and listen in on these presentations too. Initiative and entrepreneurship - Locus Research & NZ Avocado Critical thinking and problem solving - BOP Polytechnic Collaboration - Plant & Food Research Effective communication - Kiwifruit Vine Health Accessing and analysing information - Zespri Curiosity and imagination - House of Science Agility and adaptability (Hortisports) - Primary ITO Displays and demonstrations New 2016 Toyota Hilux Farmlands Police Tractor Pro Pruner loppers - 45min pruning demonstrations at 10am and 12pm - please register your interest to attend with Ken Scott, Lakewood Products lakewoodproducts@xtra.co.nz Programme 8:50am-10:25am - Young Fruit Grower contestant challenges + Cultivate your career modules 10:45am - 12:20pm - Young Fruit Grower contestant challenges + Cultivate your career modules 12:50pm - 2:40pm - Young Fruit Grower contestant challenges + Cultivate your career modules 3:00pm - Day's events conclude 5:30pm onwards - Dinner and awards SOLD OUT

New Zealand avocados achieve record sales volume

TAURANGA, Thursday 11 June 2015: New Zealand s largest ever avocado crop has been successfully harvested, packed and marketed with a massive 7 million trays sold during the 2014-15 season. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, today announced the new record volume which was 43 per cent higher than last season, and up from a previous industry high of 6.1 million trays sold in 2011-12 and a great industry return. "Growth in the consumption of avocados in our key markets continues to be very impressive. The Australian market performed very well for us, with strong matching of supply and demand by our exporters.  Demand for our premium produce is growing in emerging Asian markets like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. The New Zealand market performed well, with new collateral and increased engagement within the sector. To have achieved sales of $135m in our largest season to date, is a fantastic result and a credit to the hard work across the industry. Avocado trees bear fruit irregularly so crop volumes vary each year. When high volumes are produced, sales returns have historically decreased. But the industry has almost matched last season s record sales of $136m thanks to strong consumer demand, a collaborative strategy across exporters and New Zealand marketers and efforts to manage volumes and develop new markets. "The New Zealand avocado industry is in great shape.  We are working well together, jointly developing collateral and new markets, collaborating with resources and information and seeing real value being created across the industry, Scoular says. "Growers, packers, marketers and exporters are collaborating and sharing information which is helping improve orchard performance and drive sales growth. We re very pleased with this season s return. A new orchard performance benchmarking system has been developed over the past two years to help measure R&D initiatives and motivate growers to produce higher and more consistent yields. "People are motivated by other people s success and this system gives growers an incentive to improve their own orchard s productivity, Scoular explains. This season also marks the first year of the avocado industry s visionary Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The programme, called "New Zealand Avocados Go Global , aims to triple productivity and increase avocado sales to $280m by 2023. "NZ Avocados Go Global is a five year programme and based on this year s results we believe this forecast is achievable. We have an extensive R&D programme now in place. We have a strong partnership with Plant & Food Research, and have secured additional research funding through MBIE.  Through these programmes we are analysing a number of factors such as irrigation, canopy management and tree health to develop and implement best practise to increase productivity. Scoular says scientific trials are now underway in the Far North, mid-North and Bay of Plenty, and valuable data is being gathered and disseminated. New Zealand avocados are marketed overseas as a premium, safe, and healthy fruit, and for the first time exporters of New Zealand avocados were invited to apply to a new contestable promotions fund. Communications Manager Midge Munro says NZ Avocado made $150,000 available which resulted in $350,000 worth of promotional activity being carried out. "Exporters are making good use of the New Zealand avocado category story collateral, from use of the beautiful imagery for in-store tastings to the innovative wrapping of a van which drove through the streets of Tokyo and offered avocado smoothies and samples to consumers at farmers markets and other busy weekend spots, Munro says. Australia was once again the industry s biggest export market, taking 3.2 million trays this season. But Scoular says Asia remains the future focus. The region bought 1.3 million trays this season & almost double the previous record set in 2011-12. "We showcased New Zealand avocados at Asia s largest fresh produce trade show, Asia Fruit Logistica, in Hong Kong last September and had a terrific response. Our marketing collateral is being used successfully by exporters and at industry events in Singapore, Japan, Korea,  Thailand and India and we ve had lots of positive feedback from current and potential in-market partners. Gaining access to the Chinese market remains a top priority. Ashby Whitehead, Chair of New Zealand Avocado Growers Association and Avocado Industry Council, attended the iFresh Produce Fair with Scoular in Shanghai last month. "Avocados are the top priority for horticultural product access to China being negotiated by MPI. We are putting plans in place on the basis we can meet the protocols required by 2016 so we re working closely with MPI to get all the technical information that China requires to progress our application, Whitehead says. Here at home, New Zealanders consumed a record 1.8 million trays of avocados this season, up from 1.2 million trays the year before. Scoular says local retailers and consumers are learning to recognise the amazing health benefits and great taste that avocados offer. "Our public relations programme across print and social media has played a big role in promoting and sharing recipes and health information about avocados. We introduced television commercials for the first time this season and received great support from food writers about avocados. There has been a noticeable rise in consumption and interest in avocados which bodes well for our industry s future success, she says. NZ Avocado also invested more into the New Zealand market with new collateral, retail education tool kits and development of new avocado recipes. "Avocado nurseries are experiencing huge demand, and have sold out now for the next 18 months.  Orders for future seasons are strong, and the outlook is very bright for increased investment in this exciting industry.  We are seeing real investment in new and existing orchards, and as an industry are committed to turning avocados into a major export earner for New Zealand. 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 1,450 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 -ENDS-

How does your orchard performance compare

How does your orchard performance compare?  We'd like to share with you a chart showing how your orchard performance compares to the industry.  NZ Avocado set the industry a number of five year goals as part of the Five Year Plan which was approved by the Board in 2012. When we looked at how we wanted to measure the achievement of those goals, we recognised that we did not have a way of measuring the performance of our orchards over time. As we developed the business case for our Primary Growth Partnership, we included the development of what we now call our "Orchard performance benchmarking .  Growers were introduced to this at the NZ & AU Avocado Growers' Conference in September 2013 where all grower delegates received a print out of the orchard performance benchmarking chart with their data showing how they compared to the rest of the industry.  Before we are able to share this data, we need to make sure we have correct data about your orchard. The easiest way to do this is for you to send us (by post, email or fax) a copy of your final return from your packer/exporter for the 2014-15 season as well as the 2013-14 season. In return we will send you a chart showing your orchard performance versus the industry.   The below information explains ways we derive your performance benchmarking information and chart.  Orchard performance benchmarking  Orchard performance benchmarking allows us to define the performance of all orchards at one time, as well as measure performance variations from that. With an approved R&D programme to increase orchard productivity, we are now able to measure the success of the R&D programme in increasing productivity & consistency.Please see our first article of Orchard Performance on page 15 in the December 2013 AvoScene. We set "baseline as the four year average performance of all orchards registered with NZ Avocado based on both yield and irregular bearing. That baseline four year average is the four season to 2012-13; i.e. the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. The yield is the total volume in tonnes (volume exported, sold on the New Zealand market and processed) divided by the hectare information provided each year by the grower during the registration process. Where an orchard is not registered (because of lack of crop), the hectares are pulled from the previous producing season.  Irregular bearing index   Irregular bearing index is an internationally accepted calculation of the impact of irregular yields and is calculated as follows:IBI = ABS((Y1-Y2) / (Y1 Y2)) x 100 Where Y1 is the yield in one year and Y2 is the yield in year two. ABS means absolute value, so all IBI s are positive numbers. (We have added an argument in this calculation and recognise that if an orchard yield goes up for three years in a row, ie, meeting our industry objective, the IBI is 0.) The calculation of IBI allows the orchard performance chart to be calculated for the whole industry. Based on the performance for the four years to 2012-13, we segmented orchards by their performance into three bands; Best Good Standard Each season after baseline (2012-13), we recalculate the yield and irregular bearing index for the four years (again a four year average), and measure how the industry has performed against baseline.   Orchard performance chart  We are now in the second year of comparative information, and can start to see changes in orchard performance, within each segment and region. You will be seeing reports on that over the next few months and at the grower forum.We do acknowledge that our data is only as good as the information we receive. Annually we reconcile the information received throughout the year with packers and exporters to make sure our data aligns with theirs. To date, what we haven t done is then reconcile our data with the information that growers have. In particular, growers may have updated their productive hectares and/or had GPS mapping of their orchards which suggests the hectare information we hold is incorrect or needs to be updated. We may need to come back to you if your hectares have changed, to confirm how you have measured your hectares.   Where does your orchard sit?   If you would like to see a chart showing where your orchard sits compared to the industry, please send us (by post, email or fax) a copy of your final return from your packer/exporter for the 2014-15 season as well as the 2013-14 season - or feel free to drop in to the office if you are passing by or bring a copy to one of the upcoming field days.  Email: info@nzavocado.co.nz Fax: 07 571 6145 Post: New Zealand Avocado, PO Box 13267, Tauranga 3141 Deliver in person: Harrington House, 32 Harington Street, Tauranga  We are not sure how many of you will take up this offer, and it will take time to get reports for a lot of orchards, but we have arranged for some students to process this in late June/early July, or if we haven t received all the request by then, again in early September.   Our objective is to develop best practice able to be implemented by growers, which leads to improvements in orchard performance and productivity. We also want to measure how well we are meeting that objective. We hope that you too will be adopting best practice to increase your productivity in terms of yield and consistency.

BOP Young Fruit Grower of the Year competition

We invite growers and all those involved in the horticulture industry to come along and cheer on the young leaders in our industry. We re really pleased to confirm the following eight contestants for this year s BOP Young Fruit Grower competition. This year s entrants include one from Whangarei and four who competed last year: Reuben Wallis, Onyx Capital (Whangarei) Courtenay McBride, Baygold Greg Brown, Seeka Samantha Mansell, Seeka (competed last year) Chris Clement, Apata Group (competed last year) Simon Bowker, EHC Orchard Management (competed last year) Aaron Hokopaura, Aongatete Coolstores Craig Ward, Apata Group (competed last year) The 2015 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower competition aims to inspire and acknowledge the talents of young people employed in the fruit sectors in the Bay of Plenty. We have some of the best fruit in the country so it goes without saying that there are also a number of very talented young fruit growers in the region.  We have a great outdoor venue this year complete with mature avocado trees to put the contestants to the test. There will also be orchard equipment demonstrations and supplier stands.Contestants have the opportunity to compete for the title 2015 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower and the following prizes: WINNER $1,500 cash 1ST RUNNER-UP $1,000 cash 2ND RUNNER-UP $500 cash The winner of Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower 2015 receives a one-day media and presentation course in Wellington, as well as an all-expenses paid trip to Christchurch to compete for the title of NZ Young Fruit Grower and Young Grower of the Year. Click here for more information about the competition, dinner tickets and sponsorship opportunities. Cultivate Your Career Along with the BOP Young Grower Competition is a programme for high school students & Cultivate Your Career. This event will run alongside the Young Grower Competition and will involve speakers from Zespri, Plant & Food research, MPI and more. We welcome growers and industry people to come along and listen in on these presentations too.

Fruit thefts - growers urged to be extra vigilant

Growers are reminded to be extra vigilant throughout the next few months as we approach the period in the season where avocado theft from orchards traditionally increases. If you see something & say something. New Zealand Police recommend the following: Be extra vigilant and take steps to prevent theft, including increasing security around your orchard. If you witness any suspicious behaviour contact your neighbouring orchards to ensure others are also keeping a look out. If a theft takes place the New Zealand Police encourage reporting in all instances: If witnessed at the time of theft call the Police emergency line on 111 immediately. Try to take as many details as you can of the thieves including their appearance and any vehicles and vehicle registration numbers etc. If you discover fruit has been stolen but you did not witness the theft, contact your local police station. If you have had fruit stolen recently but have not yet reported it, contact your local police station. If you are approached by anyone trying to sell car boot loads of avocados, take a description of the person and their vehicle registration and report the activity to your local police station.

Nominations for avocado industry awards

Do you know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the avocado industry? We would like to recognise those individuals who have helped to advance our industry - we are calling for nominations from all NZAGA members for the following awards: Life Member Avocado Award Service Award Award Criteria Life Members: There is a limit of five life members at any one time (we currently have three: Grahame Ross, Ron Bailey and Hugh Moore). The purpose of this award is to acknowledge and recognise leadership contributions and input into the NZ Avocado Growers Association which materially advances the association to the benefit of members. Life membership of the association is restricted to members of the Association. Avocado Award: This award is to acknowledge and recognise contributions to the avocado sector that change or alter the business resulting in advancement forward in the avocado sector. The purpose of this award is to recognise contributions in all areas of the sector, including but not limited to marketing, research and development and product and production innovation. This category of award is open to any industry stakeholder or participant. Service to the Sector: The Service Award provides recognition of service to the sector by an NZAGA executive committee member who has served two or more terms. Any member of NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc. can propose nominees for the awards.  All nominations are to be sent by email to Edwina Aitchison at edwina.aitchison@nzavocado.co.nz by Friday 12 June. Please download and use the form below.

Call for Remits to be presented at the NZAGA and AIC Annual General Meeting 2015

The NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc. (NZAGA) 2015 AGM will be held at 3:30pm Wednesday, 26 August at the Club Mount Maunganui, 45 Kawaka Street, Mount Maunganui and will be preceded by the NZ Avocado Grower Forum. To submit a remit to be presented at the AGM, please use this form. Please note, we will call for items of general business in the AGM pack being posted to members the week of 20 July.

Nominations open for Executive Committee and Board

Nominations are now being accepted for the NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc. Executive Committee and the Board of Avocado Industry Council Limited. Ensure your nominations are submitted to the NZ Avocado office no later than 29 May 2015. At the 2015 Annual General meeting the term of office is complete for two representatives and four vacancies exist; Listed below are the regions and regional representatives who have completed their term of office or otherwise. Bay of Plenty/Rest of NZ: 3 seats vacant and requiring representation Ashby Whitehead -Term complete & available for re-election John Cotterell - Term complete & available for re-election John Schnackenberg - Resigned 27 November 2014 in 1st year of term. The new appointee will be appointed for a 2 year term to be re-elected in 2017 for 3 years to maintain the rotation as detailed in the NZAGA Rules. Mid North: 1 seat vacant and requiring representation Sue Culham - Resigned effective 2015 AGM after completing 1 year of term. The new appointee will be appointed for a 2 year term to be re-elected in 2017 for three years to maintain the rotation as detailed in the NZAGA Rules. Voting: If more nominations are received than current vacancies, a ballot will take place in June/July. The Executive Committee is announced as soon as the results are known but does not take office until the close of the 2015 AGM. For further information on the elections and to download a nomination form, please visit the NZ Avocado industry website: www.nzavocado.co.nz

Early season domestic market maturity testing initiative 2015-16

In the 2014-15 season AIC introduced an independent early season domestic market dry matter maturity testing initiative. Under this initiative 41 lots of fruit were submitted for testing of which 28 lots passed. Growers, packers and domestic marketers have all indicated ongoing support for this initiative and it will be offered again in the 2015-16 season. Details of the programme are as follows: AIC will pay the cost of Agfirst collection and testing for early season domestic market fruit that passes the domestic market maturity testing requirements. Fruit must be both collected and tested by Agfirst to qualify for payment. Payment period covers early season 2015-16 fruit that is collected and tested prior to 31 July 2015. The maturity requirements are: Average dry matter content across a 10 fruit sample is at least 23% Fruit must be ethylene ripened using the AIC Ethylene Ripening Protocol Any fruit that averages 24% dry matter or greater will not need to be ethylene ripened To order your early season maturity test please either contact your pack house or log in to the Agfirst website using your log in details.

Talk to your neighbours who grow kiwifruit

Kiwifruit harvest is in full swing. We are encouraging all avocado growers who have neighbours that grow kiwifruit to be talking to them to find out about their residue clearance and planned kiwifruit pick dates. If you need to spray your avocados you do not want to risk being responsible for any residues that may be detected on your neighbour's kiwifruit after they have received a residue clearance to pick. Please talk to your neighbours about any of your orchard activities that may affect this and if you follow the notification guidelines and good agricultural practice there should be no problems. You can find a spray plan template at the following link. www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry > Export > AvoGreen > Technical Forms > Preparing your property spray plan template

Agri Gate News from the Primary Growth Partnership

Please find attached issue 16 of the Primary Growth Partnership newsletter Agri-Gate.  Our PGP programme New Zealand Avocados Go Global is the subject of the "Programme Spotlight on pages 2-3.

Horticulture production exceeds $7 billion

New Zealand s horticultural production has exceeded $7 billion for the first time, according to the latest edition of the industry statistics publication Fresh Facts. In the year to June 2014, produce from New Zealand s horticultural industries was calculated to reach $7.16 billion, with exports of close to $4 billion. Wine is the largest horticultural export, valued at $1.3 billion, with kiwifruit the largest fresh fruit export, valued at $930 million. Apple exports exceeded $500 million for the first time, with more than 20% (by weight) being New Zealand-bred cultivars such as Jazz and Envy brand. In addition to the success of New Zealand s crops, record numbers are now being trained in horticultural fields - with the Primary Industries Training Organisation reporting a 58% increase in trainees to 7,449 in 2014 - and investment in horticulture, both on and off-farm, calculated to be in excess of $36.5 billion. "New Zealand s horticultural land is highly productive, with the value of horticultural exports equating to more than three times the comparative return achieved by dairy merchandise exports, says Peter Silcock, CEO of Horticulture New Zealand. "The horticulture industry focuses on efficiency and providing products for high value markets, such as Asia. We are confident that the success of the industry will continue and that we will reach our target of $10 billion of production by 2020. "New Zealand s success continues to be the result of hard work and a keen understanding of our markets, says Peter Landon-Lane, CEO of Plant & Food Research. "Science and innovation are employed throughout the value chain, allowing our sectors to deliver produce that commands a premium, meets increasingly stringent phytosanitary and sustainability requirements, and offers safe, convenient, high quality food for discerning consumers. Key facts Horticultural produce is valued at $7.16 billion (year to 30 June 2014), including $3.9 billion of exports.          The largest horticulture export categories are wine ($1.3 billion), kiwifruit ($930 million), apple ($536 million), frozen potato ($105 million) and avocado ($93 million). Top export destinations are Australia, USA, Japan, UK, Europe, and China. Asian destinations receive 30% (by value) of New Zealand s horticultural exports. Horticulture exports are valued at $3.9 billion from 123,000 hectares of land, versus dairy exports of $16.9 billion from 1.7 million hectares. Copies of Fresh Facts 2014, as well as previous editions, can be downloaded from freshfacts.co.nz. Fresh Facts 2014 is published by Plant & Food Research and Horticulture New Zealand from data compiled by Martech Consulting Group, with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries, Irrigation New Zealand, Potatoes New Zealand, the New Zealand Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust, the Horticentre Trust, Pipfruit New Zealand and United Fresh.

Fighting nature with nature: New research investment aims to examine the sex habits of avocado pest

A new research investment into sustainable pest management controls might soon offer avocado growers an effective new non-chemical control for the most common pest of avocado crops in New Zealand, Leafrollers. The research is being conducted by scientists at Plant & Food Research aims to use the pests own sex pheromones to disrupt the mating process in an effort to maintain populations.  "Sex pheromones, the natural chemicals released by the females of many insect species to attract mates, can be used to disrupt communication between insects says Plant & Food Research Scientist Dr Max Suckling.  "By reducing their ability to identify mates, we re able to reduce the number of leafrollers as well as the reliance on chemical controls, saving growers money and reducing environmental impacts.  Mating disruption (MD) technology has already been demonstrated to work against several leafroller species in New Zealand horticultural cropping systems, including apples and summerfruit. Four apple pests in New Zealand, codling moth and three leafroller species are currently managed using pheromones previously identified and isolated from the four species by the Plant & Food Research team.  It is hoped that, like the controls for the pipfruit industry, new pheromones and methods for artificially synthesising these in the laboratory can be found in order to create a MD control similar to the combination ISOMATE®4Play dispenser - developed by Plant & Food Research for manufacture by Shin-Etsu Fine Chemicals (Japan) and marketed by Etec Crop Solutions Ltd - that is now used on the majority of the 2,000 hectares of New Zealand s apple orchards.  "Mating disruption tools for use in the avocado industry is an exciting prospect. Applying effective non-chemical controls is an innovative alternative approach to meet both the strict phytosanitary requirements and the ultra-low residue targets of premium markets. However, our R&D Manager, Alvaro Vidiella, and his team are conscious that there is still a long way to go before mating disruption becomes a valid alternative for leafroller control for avocados. says New Zealand Avocado CEO, Jen Scoular.  "Applying effective non-chemical controls is an innovative alternative approach to meet the strict phytosanitary requirementsof premium markets.   "We see the use of core funding investment by Plant & Food Research to initiate this research as a great decision. NZ Avocado will also be contributing funds and looks forward to working together and using the research to support the growth of the avocado industry in New Zealand . 

Quality Standards 2015 Submissions feedback welcome

The Quality Standards submissions discussion document is now loaded onto the industry website along with the submissions. All stakeholders are welcome to provide feedback to Edwina at the NZ Avocado office edwina.aithchison@nzavocado.co.nz by Monday, 13 April 2015. Click here to review all documents.

Grower vote supports the avocado industry signing the GIA Deed

New Zealand s avocado growers have supported their industry Board s proposal to sign the Government Industry Agreement Deed and establish a Biosecurity Act levy, following a voting process which concluded on 31 March. The result comes after the NZAGA Executive & AIC Ltd Board unanimously recommended that signing the GIA Deed was in the best interests of the industry. "We have a duty of care to ensure the necessary levels of protection are in place to mitigate industry risk while minimising industry costs. Working with the Government will enable us to deliver the best biosecurity outcomes that we can for the New Zealand avocado industry, says NZAGA & AIC Chair Ashby Whitehead. Following the positive result from the voting process, the avocado industry will prepare an application to the Minister for Primary Industries seeking his agreement that we have a mandate to represent the industry and can, therefore, sign the Deed. "Signing the GIA Deed will give our industry the opportunity to influence how our industry is impacted in the event of a biosecurity response, and influence readiness activity, says NZ Avocado CEO Jen Scoular. The industry has already been involved in discussions on the development of an operational agreement for fruit fly.  If the application for mandate to sign the GIA Deed is agreed, NZ Avocado will work closely with MPI to develop appropriate plans that specifically focus on the needs of the avocado industry. Voting result For: 2,500 - 87% Against: 369 - 13%

NZAGA Rule change supported

Following discussion by the NZAGA Board on the membership of the Executive, it was resolved that the NZAGA go to a postal vote to seek grower support for a rule change in the NZAGA Rules for the reduction of two At Large Rep's and the addition of two extra BOP Rep's to achieve 1 Far North, 2 Mid North, 3 BOP and 2 At Large representation. Further to this, in order to ensure all growers have a voice, the BOP constituency will be extended to include Rest of NZ, so will become BOP/Rest of NZ. This ensures that a grower from Rest of NZ is able to stand and be elected to the Executive, and would fill a BOP/RoNZ seat. The voting process concluded on 31 March with growers voting to support this change. As a result the following changes will take effect at the 2015 AGM - Executive representation will now consist of 1 Far North, 2 Mid North, 3 BOP and 2 At Large representatives.  John Cotterell s At Large position becomes a BOP/RoNZ position John Schnackenberg s At Large position becomes a BOP/RoNZ position David French s Rest of NZ position becomes an At Large position Roger Barber s At Large position becomes a Mid North position Voting result For: 2,828 - 98% Against: 70 - 2%

World Avocado Congress, Lima, Peru 13-18 September 2015

The 8th World Avocado Congress is being held in Lima, Peru in September.  While the specific details of this event are yet to be posted on the congress website, we know that this is sure to be an amazing event and also a chance for you to check out the cultivation methods of one of the worlds larger producer countries. Registration The online registration facility for the congress is not yet available however we have been advised of the prices to expect: Earlybird: until 30 May & 900 USD Standard: from 31 May  to 12 August & 1100 USD Late: from 13 August to 12 September & 1300 USD Programme The specific programme is unavailable at this time but you can expect presentations on: Genetic resources/Nursery Management Pest and diseases Culture management and techniques Post harvest/processing Human health and nutrition Marketing/commercial stream Flights and accommodation If you are interested in attending the conference and have not already arranged your itinerary, please register your interest with Midge at the NZ Avocado office midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz or phone 0800 286 2236We are currently liaising with a travel agent and have a group rate which is more affordable than individual booking prices from what we have compared.  We need at least 10 people who will travel to Lima on the same flight to secure this rate - your return date is totally flexible - it is only the departure flight that must be the same as the group which is currently pencilled in for 11 September. We are also researching various levels of accommodation near the congress venue. Tours and options for further travel will also be presented to you in the package but you will be free to organise your own as well as seek your own accommodation if you prefer.

Do you have a property spray plan?

When it comes to sprays, concerns and difficulties can be avoided if neighbours talk to each other. Part of this is having a documented spray plan which lists the details of your neighbours, your crops and sprays used and the precautions you take to avoid causing any problems with neighbours. A copy of your spray plan must be given to your neighbor if they ask for it and needs to be updated each year. A model spray plan form is included in a document on Property Spray Plans on the industry website www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry >  Export  > AvoGreen  > Technical Forms > Preparing your property spray plan template Please contact Glenys at the NZ Avocado office if you have any questions.

NZ Avocado Spray Diary tutorials in Whangarei

These tutorials are for growers who have some challenges and questions around using the spray diary and for growers new to using the spray diary. Hosted by: Glenys Parton, Industry Systems Manager, NZ Avocado Tutorial 1 Date: Tuesday July 7th, 2015 Time: 5.30pm & 7.30pm Venue: Whangarei location TBC Tutorial 2 Date: Tuesday July 7th, 2015 Time: 1.30 & 3.30pm Venue: Whangarei location TBC Please email: jo.nunn@nzavocado.co.nz with you name contact details and indicate the tutorial you would like to participate in.

Are you the next BOP Young Fruit Grower of the Year

The 2015 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower competition aims to inspire and acknowledge the talents of young people employed in the fruit sectors in the Bay of Plenty. We have some of the best fruit in the country so it goes without saying that there are also a number of very talented young fruit growers in the region. Although this is titled as the BOP competition, this event is open to young growers in regions that do not have their own local event - Patrick Malley of Whangarei won the BOP event in 2014. If you are employed full time in the fruit industry, have a minimum of three years' experience in this field and will be 30 years of age or under as at 31 December 2015 then you meet most of the criteria to enter this competition - for full criteria and entry details please click here. Contestants have the opportunity to compete for the title 2015 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower and the following prizes: WINNER $1,500 cash 1ST RUNNER-UP $1,000 cash 2ND RUNNER-UP $500 cash The winner of Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower 2015 receives a one-day media and presentation course in Wellington, as well as an all expenses paid trip to Christchurch to compete for the title of NZ Young Fruit Grower and Young Grower of the Year. Would you like to get behind this event with sponsorship? The organising committee is seeking sponsors to become part of an industry family - all of whom compliment each other and have a commitment to the industry and competitions. Various levels of sponsorship are available starting at $1000, but there are also plenty of non-monetary ways in which this event needs support such as marquees, equipment and prizes for our contestants.  Click here to view the sponsorship prospectus. If you would like to be part of this exciting event, please contact Tania Swain at NZKGI on 07 574 7139 or email info@nzkgi.org.nz. Fancy a ticket to or table at the gala dinner and awards presentation?

Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive Resigns

Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive Resigns  Horticulture New Zealand president Julian Raine has accepted the resignation of the organisation s long-serving chief executive Peter Silcock.  "We are sad to see Peter go and will miss his industry knowledge and experience. He has served our industry very well.  "Peter has worked for grower representative organisations for 30 years.  He played a key role in the establishment of Horticulture New Zealand in 2006 and in the development of the industry s development strategy, 10/2020.  "He leaves on the very best of terms and with our good wishes.  Peter is pursuing new challenges and has accepted a CEO role with another national organisation outside of the primary industry.  "The board is moving immediately to commence the process of finding a replacement CEO, Julian says. 

Plant Market Access Council: a Government Industry partnership that works

The Plant market Access Council (PMAC) is a council, made up of Industry and Government agencies that work in partnership to optimise market access for the Horticultural and Arable (plant) industries.  PMAC provides a forum where market access issues are freely discussed between Industry and Government representatives allowing them to agree strategies to remediate and improve market access.  Attached is a report of the history of this organisation.

Get your votes in for GIA before 31 March

Thank you to those who have already returned their voting papers to us. I did a call around this week, and am hearing there are still a number who are yet to vote & so this just a reminder that your vote does count. We look forward to receiving lots over the next few days. I did also call a few growers to make sure we had provided enough information on GIA. We didn t have a huge turn out at the roadshows, but they provided a good opportunity to hear growers concerns, positive and negative. As we set out in the information papers provided, we believe that signing the GIA and implementing a Biosecurity Levy for responses is our best option. We do not have the opportunity to challenge GIA, it is already legislation, industries have already signed the Deed.  We do have the opportunity though to influence how our industry is impacted in the event of a biosecurity response, and influence the readiness activity to better ensure incursions don t happen or are discovered very quickly and contained. I am an active participant of the Interim Fruit Fly Council, a group of horticulture industries and MPI, jointly developing an Operational Agreement for fruit fly. We as the avocado industry are able to influence the detail of the Operational Agreement, making sure it works for our industry. We accept there are those opposed to GIA and welcome views on either side. Click here to view a letter we received from Ewan Price, a Whangarei grower, with his view set out, and our responses to that. This letter and other information on GIA is on the Industry website: www.nzavocado.co.nz/indusry > Risk Mngt > Government Industry Agreements In summary, our key messages on GIA are set out below: The NZAGA Executive & AIC Ltd Board have a duty of care to ensure the necessary levels of protection are in place and mitigate industry risk while minimising industry costs. Having looked at all options the NZAGA Executive & AIC Ltd Board unanimously recommended that signing the GIA Deed was in the best interests of the industry. Although this has been imposed on industry, the simple fact is that signing the GIA deed is the only way to limit the long term financial liability of industry. Yes, we will sign up to share in readiness and response costs, but we also sign up to participate in decisions that will impact our industry. MPI have undertaken to develop the Deed based on legislation and if the industry does not enter into a GIA partnership, we don t get to decide what happens during a response and growers will still get sent a bill for costs. It is not the industry s role now to challenge the principles of the Deed but work under the framework set by the Crown to develop Operational Agreements that work to protect the industry and minimise costs. Either way we pay. Response costs are shared by signatories to an Operational Agreement. But we can limit the amount we pay via setting a fiscal cap for each Operational Agreement. If an industry has decided not to sign the GIA, the growers in that industry may get sent a bill for their share of any costs. There is no limit set on the level of the bill those growers may be sent, and be obliged to pay. It should be noted that industries signed up to GIA will almost certainly insist Ministry for Primary Industries recover applicable costs from the non-signatory industries. We want to ensure you have enough information to make an informed decision. Brad Siebert, our Biosecurity Manager and I are available most times of the day or evening if you want to call.We look forward to receiving your vote. Regards, Jen Scoular 021 741 014 Brad Siebert 021 804 847

Fruit Fly Response February 2015 - Update

MPI has confirmed another male fruit fly has been found in a pheromone trap within the Grey Lynn Controlled Area, bringing the total number detected to five. Although small numbers of flies may continue be captured over the coming weeks, MPI is confident that this remains a small isolated population that will be successfully eradicated. NZ Avocado and all other potentially affected industry groups continue to be involved in daily conference calls with MPI where industries have the opportunity to stay updated and provide feedback. GIA signatories, Pipfruit NZ and KVH, are providing additional direction to response efforts as part of the Response Strategic Leadership team. NZ Avocado has also been ensuring that all avocado exporters and New Zealand marketers who may need to transit through the Auckland Controlled Area are aware of the movement controls. Significant ground operations are continuing. A detailed operations update is on the MPI website (click here to view) and highlights are below: Field teams are also applying insecticide bait throughout the Controlled Area, informing residents about the controls and inspecting gardens and rubbish bins. Insecticide bait is being applied to fruiting trees and plants throughout the Controlled Area. This bait contains a protein that attracts both male and female fruit flies and a small amount of fipronil insecticide, which is an insecticide used most commonly in pet flea collars. About 5-6 spots of the bait are applied per property (with the fruit fly host trees only). Approximately 126 field staff are out today (from MPI, operations provider AsureQuality and partners, including Auckland Council and horticulture industry). Approximately 80 people are working on the operation in MPI s Wellington Head office. A Controlled Area was established on Wednesday 18 February with the issuing of a Controlled Area Notice. This restricts the movement of fruit and some vegetables out of the specified area. In total there are 544 disposal bins deployed throughout the Controlled Area. These bins are cleared regularly. Approximately 1300 kilos of produce waste is collected from these bins daily and safely disposed of. Since the discovery of the first fruit fly, MPI has placed 307 traps to lure any male fruit flies present in Zone A. There are 193 traps in Zone B. Traps in Zone A are checked daily and those in Zone B are checked every 3 days. As above, there have been no further positive finds over and above those already publicly notified. MPI is running a field laboratory identifying any insects trapped and also cutting and testing fruit and vegetables collected from properties in the Controlled Area. Yesterday MPI scientists sliced and inspected 36.56 kilograms of fruit. To date there have been no restrictions applied to horticultural exports from New Zealand. We are receiving questions from some importing countries, but their responses to date have been measured. No commercial avocado orchards have been identified within the Auckland Metropolitan area however NZ Avocado welcomes any details of avocado production sites within 25 km of Grey Lynn. Contact Jen or Brad with any information or questions - 0800 286 2236. Full details of the Auckland Fruit fly response are maintained on the MPI website http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/queensland-fruit-fly 

Fruit Fly Response February 2015

MPI has confirmed the discovery of an isolated population of Queensland fruit fly in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn. Adult fruit flies have now been found within traps and on a lemon tree, along with larvae infested fruit, on a property near the original detection. MPI and GIA partners are now deploying significant resources to respond to this localised incursion and are confident that planned treatments will successfully eradicate this population. Treatments are likely to include targeted ground-based spraying of areas under fruiting trees and additional baits and traps will also be used to attract and kill female fruit flies. For members of the public, the existing controls on fruit and vegetable movements remain largely the same for the 1.5km Controlled Area. An additional export restriction zone now extends for 3.5km from the location of the last detection. Produce susceptible to fruit fly cannot be exported from within this zone. There is no commercial avocado production in this zone. Key trading partners have been made aware overnight of the most recent developments through direct communication with MPI staff. The avocado Industry is reminded that in these situations importing countries can change their import requirements without notice so it is vital that any updates to the Media are accurate and in line with MPI s official notifications. NZ Avocado requests that no grower or industry representative discusses the response with media. Please direct all media enquiries to Jen Scoular, CEO NZ Avocado. jen.scoular@nzavocado.co.nz or 021 741 014. Further information about the Queensland fruit fly, the exclusion zones and MPI s media releases are on the MPI website at: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/queensland-fruit-fly

NZAGA Rule change consultation and grower vote

The Board has been reviewing the NZAGA rules and the membership of the Executive. Currently the rules provide for eight members, one from the Bay of Plenty, one from the Far North, one from Mid North, one from Rest of NZ and four At Large representatives. During the discussions some At Large Rep s said that because they did not have a constituency they did not feel aligned to any growers, nor feel they had the opportunity to represent all growers as they didn t travel very often to all regions. Ashby as the single Bay of Plenty Rep as well as being Chair was by far the most active across all regions. Discussions suggested that with 60% of volume in the BOP there needed to be more than one BOP representative. It was also noted that the Rest of New Zealand constituency, currently represented very well by David French, was an area that stretched nearly as far as the At Large area. The Board was presented with statistics of the past three years export production and hectares which suggested that a better allocation would be to have one Far North, two Mid North, and three Bay of Plenty rep s leaving two At Large positions. As a consequence of the discussion the Board resolved at the November Board meeting: That the NZAGA go to postal vote to seek grower support for a rule change in the NZAGA Rules for the reduction of two At Large Rep's and the addition of two extra BOP Rep's to achieve 1 Far North, 2 Mid North, 3 BOP and 2 At Large representation. Further to this, in order to ensure all growers have a voice, the BOP constituency will be extended to include Rest of NZ, so will become BOP/Rest of NZ. This ensures that a grower from Rest of NZ is able to stand and be elected to the Executive, and would fill a BOP/RoNZ seat. Any change would take effect from the 2015 AGM. We will be seeking your support for this NZAGA rule change via a postal vote in March - at the same time as we seek your support to sign and implement the Government Industry Agreements (GIA).

GIA and Biosecurity Act levy consultation and grower vote

NZ Avocado Growers Association (NZAGA) is seeking a grower mandate to become a signatory to the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity (GIA) and to establish a compulsory Biosecurity Act Levy. A grower referendum via a postal ballot will be held during March 2015 to ascertain support for both GIA and the associated Biosecurity Act levy. Consultation is on-going with information outlining the proposal on the NZ Avocado website www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/government_industry_agreements.csn An information pack will also be accompanying the ballot papers being posted to all PPIN holders. All growers currently producing avocados for export or local market are eligible to vote. To have your say please ensure the NZAGA has your contact details. If you are not currently registered with NZAGA and would like to vote, please contact NZ Avocado on 0800 286 2236. Meetings to discuss the GIA and levy proposal are being held throughout March 2015 & we encourage all growers to come and ask questions and provide feedback. GIA consultation meetings Please call us or email Jo jnunn@nzavocado.co.nz to register for any of the below meetings. Bay of Plenty - Monday 9 March Te Puke - 9:00am - The Orchard Church (Café area), MacLoughlin Drive Omokoroa - 12:00pm - Omokoroa Settlers Hall, Omokoroa Road Katikati - 3:00pm - Katikati Community Resource Centre, Beach Road Northland - Friday 13 March Whangarei - 9:00am - Kingsgate Hotel, Riverside Drive Kaitaia - 2:30pm - Houhora Fishing Club, Far North Road The significance of having a well-resourced and effective biosecurity system has been highlighted with Vietnam looking to block Australian fruit imports from 2015 due to insect concerns. Australia's management of fruit fly has come into question and no one horticulture industry has been singled out. Therefore all fruit fly host industries within Australia (including avocados) will potentially lose market access from the beginning of 2015. The Vietnamese market is worth over US$40 million to Australia s fruit exporters and these significant trade impacts re-enforces the NZAGA s board view that being part of a GIA and helping to maintain NZ s pest freedom status is a priority for the New Zealand avocado industry. More information can be found here: http://www.freshplaza.com/article/133051/AU-Time-running-out-for-access-Vietnam-market We welcome feedback on GIA so please contact us or make a comment in the NZ Avocado Growers' Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/nzavocado

Food Act 2014 - MPI proposal for regulations release for comment

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking feedback regarding proposals for regulations under the new Food Act 2014. The proposal documents can be found at this link http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/proposals-for-regulations-under-the-food-act-2014/ These proposals apply to food businesses covered by the food sectors in Schedule 1 (Foods subject to Food Control Plans) and Schedule 2 (Foods subject to National Programmes) of the Food Act. They cover a range of areas, including requirements for registration and auditing of businesses, ensuring food is safe, food importing requirements, infringements, exemptions and how existing businesses will make the transition from the Food Act 1981 Act to the new Act. Submissions can either be given using the MPI's submission form (found here) which contains particular questions to be answered. Deadlines for submissions are: 5pm 20 February 2015 for responses to the cost recovery proposals (section 7 of the document) 5pm 31 March 2015 for all other proposals

Important notifications regarding spray, registrations and spray diaries

Are you picking over the Christmas - New Year holiday? Ensure your registrations and compliance are up to date... If you are intending to pick over the Christmas - New Year holiday period then please ensure your PPIN applications, Export Registrations and Spray Diary verifications are completed by 8am Monday 22 December 2014 to ensure timely processing by the NZ Avocado office. CAUTION WHEN USING CHLORPYRIPHOS (e.g. Lorsban) Growers are cautioned when using chlorpyrifos (e.g. Lorsban) on trees that still have fruit to pick over the remainder of the export season. Currently the MRL (maximum residue limit) for chlorpyrifos (e.g. Lorsban) is 0.5mg/kg for Australia and 0.2mg/kg for New Zealand. The WHPs (withholding periods) are 14 days and 35 days respectively. We strongly advise growers to contact their packhouse prior to application of chlorpyrifos (e.g. Lorsban) to discuss their intended pick date and their options. PLEASE NOTE: If chlorpyrifos (e.g. Lorsban) has been applied together with oil and/or as a high concentration/low volume spray, a clear residue test is required prior to harvest. NZ Avocado staff contacts over Christmas - New Year The NZ Avocado office will be closed from Midday 24 December 2014 and will open again 5 January 2014. Should you have an urgent query during this time, the following staff are available: Jen Scoular 021 741 014 Glenys Parton 0274 99 70 81

Why the Amazing Avocado Will Help You Curb Cravings

Research shows adding a few slices of avocado to your lunch will slash your desire to eat over the next three hours by 40 per cent compared to eating the same meal without it. A study, published in Nutrition Journal*, focussed on overweight adults to see if avocado consumption helped them feel more satisfied and reduced their desire to eat in the following few hours. Researchers at Loma Linda University in the United States conducted randomized single-blind crossover trials where participants ate a standard breakfast followed by one of three test lunches & one without avocado, one that included avocado and one where extra avocado was added. The volunteers glucose and insulin responses were measured, along with their feelings of satisfaction and desire to eat over the next five hours.The study found those who added half a fresh avocado to their lunch reported a 40 per cent decrease in desire to eat again over the next three hours, and a 28 per cent decrease in the following five hours. Participants also reported feeling more satisfied (26 per cent) during the course of the afternoon following their avocado lunch.Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to snack between meals, said Dr Joan Sabaté, Chair of the Department of Nutrition who led the research team at Loma Linda University. It was also noted that though adding avocados increased participants' calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the standard lunch. This leads them to believe that avocado s potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation. The study was funded by the American-based Hass Avocado Board. New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular says there are many international studies underway to uncover the health benefits of avocados. "Other research published in Nutrition Journal found people who regularly eat avocados weigh 3.4kg less on average, and have waistlines around 4cm smaller, than those who don t, Scoular says. "Avocados are rich in monounsaturated ( good ) fats and are a low GI (glycemic index) food, so they will help you to feel fuller for longer. Another reason avocado will help fill you up is they are packed with fibre. Half an avocado will provide more than 25 per cent of your daily recommended fibre intake. "They re an absolute powerhouse when it comes to providing your body with the nutrients it needs each day. They also help your body absorb more nutrients from other fruit and vegetables you eat with avocado, Scoular explains. Boosting your avocado intake is easy as this home-grown fruit is extremely versatile. You can add a few slices to your favourite omelette, sandwich or salad, or eat them on toast at any time of day. "You can also blend them into smoothies or use them as a butter and oil substitute when baking or making desserts, she says. "Their creamy texture makes them perfect for mousses, ice cream and cheesecakes. Delicious and healthy! URL: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-01/fl-nre010714.php About New Zealand Avocado Avocados are the third-largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. New Zealand Avocado works with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote avocados from New Zealand and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers, of which there are more than 1600, based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. www.nzavocado.co.nz www.facebook.com/nzavocado www.twitter.com/NZ_Avocado www.instagram.com/nzavocado www.youtube.com/nzavocado For media assistance, please contact: Midge Munro Communications Manager Avocado Industry Council midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz 64 27 306 7089 64 7 571 6147 Bridgette Paton-Tapsell Village Public Relations | Marketing b@villagenz.com 64 27 553 3929 64 7 572 1608  

Taste of Auckland: the wild and wonderful

From November 13-16, Midge, Bevan and Corrie engaged with foodies at Taste of Auckland, a three and half day culinary extravaganza. The NZ Avocado stand was an inviting garden party themed space where attendees were treated to delicious avocado samples, as well as recipe books, live music and cooking demonstrations. The goal was to get as many people as we could inspired to get creative with avocados, and boost their nutritional knowledge of the fruit.  Nadia Lim and gluten-free chef Jimmy Boswell joined us in holding Masterclasses where they created awesome dishes such as Avocado Chocolate Mousse, Avocado & Feta Dip, and Avocado Cream on Cucumber just to name a few. We battled the wind and rain for half of the festival but our marquee stood up to the weather and provided an inviting space for the bedraggled attendees. Guest numbers were affected on Thursday night and Saturday due to the wet and windy conditions but Friday and Sunday (which was given extended opening hours), showed us what an awesome event Taste is for getting in front of a large number of enthusiastic foodies & final numbers for the show will be available from the event organisers in the next couple of weeks. We received incredibly positive feedback from guests and the Taste organisers in regards to our stand. People loved our samples and there was a real interest in the industry.  We had lots of support from our "Friends of NZ Avocados & NZ King Salmon, Vogel s, NZ Hothouse, Go Nutz, and Tahi Honey.  We went through over 450 avocados and 60 loaves of Vogel s plus a number of other fresh ingredients to make up more than 5000 samples of avocado toast, guacamole, smoothies, dip, mousse and various canapés. To view images from this event click here. To view a 90 second video of the event click here.

Korea free trade agreement welcomed

The announcement a free trade agreement has been finalised between the Republic of Korea and New Zealand marks a watershed in the trade and commercial linkages between the two countries, says Eric Barratt, Chairman of the Korea New Zealand Business Council. The deal, which comes after five years of talks, was announced at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, and will see duties on most exports eliminated within 15 years of signing. "These negotiations have been in train for many years, with sensitivities in the Korean agricultural sector in particular having had to be taken into account, says Eric. "That they have been able to be overcome is a great tribute to the negotiators of the two countries. The Council appreciates too the critical interventions on occasion by the Leaders and Ministers of the two countries." Mr Barratt says although Korea is already a major market for New Zealand's goods and services, the provisions of this agreement mean there will be greatly enhanced opportunities in the very sophisticated Korean market for New Zealand exporters of goods and services. Importantly, the disadvantages from which many New Zealand exporters have suffered vis-a-vis exporters from other countries with which Korea had already signed free trade agreements will be overcome. KNZBC council member and Jack Links CEO, Maurice Crosby, says "Jack Links New Zealand is a good example of a New Zealand company already exporting beef jerky to Korea but struggling with a 72% duty. This is great news; it provides light at the end of the tunnel for our business in Korea and gives us the opportunity to eventually compete on a level playing field with other Jerky in the Korean market place . The Council looks forward to working with the Government and its agencies to help promulgate and promote the advantages and gains this FTA will bring for many New Zealand companies doing, or seeking to do business with Korea. Trade Minister Tim Groser is expecting a significant expansion of New Zealand exports to South Korea during the next decade as a result of the agreed free trade deal. Tariffs on kiwifruit will be phased out in six years, most dairy products in 10 years, and beef across 15 years.Exporters will save an estimated $65 million in duties in the first year alone. But some goods, such as milk powder, will still incur some levies.Mr Groser says the agreement is a good deal but it will be tough getting it ratified, due to anticipated opposition from Korea's powerful agricultural lobby. Talks to achieve the deal resumed late last year after a four-year hiatus, with Korea's reluctance to open its agricultural markets too much being a main sticking point. Two-way trade between the two countries was worth $3.6 billion dollars in 2013.Exporters pay $229 million in tariffs each year to Korea, including 89 per cent on butter, 45 per cent on kiwifruit and 40 per cent on beef. Trade analysts said South Korea had already signed free-trade deals with many of New Zealand's rivals, and the agreement meant exporters will not be disadvantaged by paying higher tariffs than their competitors. The wider New Zealand Horticulture export sector is also welcoming the announcement of a trade deal with the Republic of Korea. New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority CEO Simon Hegarty says: "This much anticipated trade deal is a significant achievement that will provide tangible benefits to the majority of NZ horticulture export sectors and Korean consumers demanding our high quality, healthy food products. New Zealand exports approximately 60 per cent of its horticulture production at a value of NZ$2.4 billion and Korea is the destination for almost 3 per cent of that. It is the New Zealand horticulture sector s 7th largest export market in value terms with exports in 2014 amounting to NZ$64 million. However, these exports attracted an estimated NZ$25million in tariffs at an average 39 per cent of the value and this has contributed to the decline in trade to this market in the past two years. The 45 per cent tariff on kiwifruit alone amounted to a cost of $20m or an average $7,820/grower, while the cost to the 40 buttercup squash growers was $2.9m or an average of $73,000 per grower. Korea is one of a few particularly high tariff markets -- reflecting its strongly protectionist approach to imports.New Zealand exporters currently face tariffs in Korea ranging from 18 per cent for prepared potatoes (French fries) up to 45 per cent for kiwifruit, tomato juice and apple juice.   "This negotiation commenced in 2009 and has been an extremely frustrating and difficult one for the New Zealand negotiating team, given the strongly protectionist approach of the Koreans, says Simon. "While the final deal is less comprehensive (in terms of product coverage) than we would like, it is worth noting that 93 per cent of the current $25million tariff costs will be eliminated after 5 years. "Having secured this agreement is a major step toward our objective of eliminating trade distorting tariffs in our key export markets and maintaining our competitiveness in the international markets we service.

New Zealand Avocados Set to Inspire at Taste

Chocolate avocado mousse and a whole new take on Pina Coladas are just some of the creative avocado inspired dishes people will be able to try at Auckland s top food festival, Taste, later this week. The four day-long foodie celebration promises to deliver bigger, bolder and tastier flavours than ever before, and New Zealand Avocado s inaugural appearance will certainly set taste buds alight. New Zealand Avocado ambassador and celebrity chef, Nadia Lim, will deliver two master classes on Friday at 6:30pm and Sunday at 1pm, while internationally-renowned chef Jimmy Boswell will also be on hand throughout the festival. Together they will create a range of delicious and simple recipes using avocados for people to try. "Kiwis love avocados but some people may not have experimented with them beyond slicing some into a salad or putting them on toast, Nadia says. "They are not only an amazing healthy and versatile wholefood but they re also extremely versatile & you can use them in baking, desserts and smoothies and create some amazing dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Jimmy, who is a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador for New Zealand, is also eager to see more people eating avocado as part of their everyday diet." As a chef I focus on using real food. Avocados have been part of my life since I was young and I love their fresh taste and texture. They re easy to work with and are super healthy. "I am excited to be with New Zealand Avocado this year at Taste of Auckland. I ll be bringing some easy-to-plate dishes and ideas that I have been making for many years that will inspire and impress people dining at your table. Visitors to New Zealand Avocado s stand and cooking demonstrations will be treated to an urban garden party theme. A relaxed seating area will be set up where people can sample Nadia and Jimmy s unique creations, and an acoustic musician will perform at regular intervals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular says Taste is a great chance to show Kiwis just how versatile and delicious avocados are. "This summer New Zealand is set to produce its biggest ever avocado crop. This is a fantastic opportunity to show foodies new ways to use avocado. We know they ll go home inspired to get more creative in the kitchen, and discover new dishes and taste sensations with avocados, Jen says. Festival-goers will also have the chance to win all the ingredients needed to make Nadia s amazing avocado, lime and coconut cheesecake at home. To enter they just need to visit New Zealand Avocado s selfie corner , create their own background using a hashtag magnet board, and upload their pic to social media sites. Over 20,000 people are expected to dine their way around the Taste of Auckland Festival, which will be staged for the first time at Western Springs from Thursday 13th November until Sunday 16th November. For more information visit http://www.tasteofauckland.co.nz/ About New Zealand Avocado Avocados are the third-largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. New Zealand Avocado works with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote avocados from New Zealand and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers, of which there are more than 1600, based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. Twitter: @NZ_Avocado Facebook: NZ Avocado www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/ For media assistance, please contact: Midge Munro Communications Manager Avocado Industry Council midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz 64 27 306 7089 64 7 571 6147 Bridgette Paton-Tapsell Village Public Relations | Marketing b@villagenz.com 64 27 553 3929 64 7 572 1608

Resignation accepted for John Schnackenberg

In October, AIC Chair Ashby Whitehead accepted John Schnackenberg s resignation from the NZAGA and AIC Boards, effective 30 November. NZ Avocado join Ashby in thanking John for his seven years of service to the industry as a member of the Board, including five years as Chair.  At the coming Board meeting, the Board will discuss the options for this vacancy. We wish John well and look forward to his continued involvement in the industry as a grower.

NZ Avocado at Taste of Auckland Festival

The versatility and nutritional benefits of New Zealand avocados will be highlighted to more than 20,000 foodies at the Taste of Auckland Festival this November. In urban garden party style, NZ Avocado joins a new world of bigger, bolder and tastier flavours at this year s festival, held at Western Springs from November 13-16. The festival is expected to draw in 25,000 people, with key New Zealand food personalities Josh Emett, Nadia Lim, Peter Gordon, Matt Stone, Robert Oliver and Matt Skinner among the attractions. For NZ Avocado, the event is a chance to promote the "NZ Avocados Amazing Anytime concept & educating guests on the numerous ways to enjoy the fruit at any time of day. NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular says Taste is a great chance to inform and excite people on the versatility of New Zealand avocados. "This is a fantastic opportunity to show New Zealand s top foodies new ways to use avocado. We know they will go home inspired to get more creative in the kitchen, and discover new dishes and taste sensations with avocados," says Jen.  "Taste is a high profile event, which is aligned with our promotional strategy, and puts New Zealand avocados alongside the country s premium food products. New Zealand Avocado Ambassador Nadia Lim and world-renowned chef Jimmy Boswell (pictured above) will perform live masterclasses throughout the festival, creating delicious and simple recipes using New Zealand avocados. Jimmy, who is a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador for New Zealand, is 100 per cent behind getting more people eating New Zealand avocados. "As a real food chef avocados have been a part of my life since I was young and I love their fresh taste and texture. As a real food they are easy to work with and are super healthy. "I am excited to be with NZA this year at Taste in Auckland and I will be bring some easy to plate dishes and ideas that I have been making for many years that will inspire and impress people dining at your table. NZ Avocado s Urban Garden Party will include themed sessions throughout the festival, and a selfie corner will encourage visitors to take create their own background using NZ Avocado s hashtag magnet board and post to social media sites. The Taste of Auckland Festival runs November 13-16 at Western Springs.

Growers needed for PGP working groups

Growers with top performing orchards along with rural professionals are needed to participate in a number of PGP working groups. Growers meeting set criteria will carry out trials and test research findings on their own orchards to help develop industry best practice. Membership criteria can be found at this link:  http://a.smartmailpro.com/file/mf2gu6i/i1o7k8hiyg/Working Group Rules of Engagement.pdfThe establishment of PGP working groups will allow growers and rural professionals to plan and participate in on-orchard trials and research aimed at analysing growing conditions and management strategies across a range of successful orchards. Research will address the areas where the most on-orchard impact can be made involving grower participation. These areas include: Understanding and validating new canopy management strategies  Evaluating new cultivars Optimising tree decline management This research will be linked to the MBIE-funded Avocados for Export programme being carried out by Plant & Food Research and will ultimately contribute to the development of best practice guidelines for the industry. Please send any questions or expressions of interest to Phillip West: Phillip.west@nzavocado.co.nz.

Blanket maturity testing dispensation from 27 October 2014

A blanket dispensation for independent maturity testing will be in place from Monday, 27 October, 2014 for all regions. This means that from this date there will no longer be a requirement for an independent maturity test before picking avocados. For further information on regional maturity monitoring click here. If you have any questions about blanket maturity clearance please contact Glenys at NZ Avocado on 0800 286 2236. 

New Zealand Avocados on Show Across Asia This Month

New Zealand s biggest ever avocado season is now underway and the industry is staging three significant events across Asia this month. New Zealand Avocado will showcase new season fruit to high profile chefs, influential media and consumers in Japan, Singapore and India during October. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of New Zealand Avocado, says the industry s new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme with the Ministry for Primary Industries aims to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023. "Increasing our exports to Asia is a significant part of that plan, and we are involved in a series of events in key markets to raise the profile of amazing New Zealand avocados. The first event, held last week, saw up to 80 Japanese media and trade sample fresh and healthy dishes such as avocado and potato croquettes and avocado cheesecake at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo. Japanese model and beauty journalist Sakura and well-respected nutritionist and author Erica Angyal took part in a talk show at the event, highlighting the health and beauty attributes of avocados. "These women are very influential and Japanese consumers pay close attention to their advice. Erica has over 70,000 Facebook fans and her subsequent social media posts about New Zealand Avocados are a huge coup for us. The second event, organised by Singapore s national health board to promote healthy living, was held on October 4th & 5th. New Zealand Avocado ambassador and Masterchef winner, Nadia Lim, shared her secrets on how to create healthy and delicious avocado dishes at the popular annual event s Nutrition Zone. "Singaporeans are being encouraged to embrace healthy options so it s the perfect chance for New Zealand Avocado and AVANZA Ltd (who collectively market most of our avocado exports to Asia) to show consumers why they should choose our fruit. The third event, on 10th October, will be held at the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi, India. Chefs from the nation s leading hotels, including Indian celebrity chef Kunal Kupar, will join media and guests of MFAT and NZTE to sample mouth-watering avocado dishes. "Chef Kupar is a big draw card in India, explains Tony Ponder, Vice Chair of NZ Avocado and Director of Avanza. "He is one of their most well-known restaurateurs and is a host and judge on MasterChef India. He loves New Zealand and his endorsement of New Zealand avocados offers huge credibility to our product. These three events follow New Zealand Avocado s successful participation at Asia Fruit Logistica last month. The Hong Kong event is Asia s leading fresh fruit and vegetable trade show, attracting 7000 trade buyers and visitors from more than 60 different countries. Scoular says New Zealand aims to become the avocado supplier of choice throughout Asia. Raising awareness among buyers, suppliers and service providers across the fast-growing region is key to achieving that goal. "There is growing global demand for premium, safe and healthy produce. We are positioning our industry to take advantage of that by emphasizing the pristine environment in which New Zealand avocados are grown, and the amazing attributes from a nutrition and versatility perspective, Scoular says. As well as a significant New Zealand market, avocados are also exported to Australia, USA, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and most recently, India. But Scoular says there is enormous potential to increase sales further. About New Zealand Avocado Avocados are the third-largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. New Zealand Avocado works with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote avocados from New Zealand and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers, of which there are more than 1600, based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/ About the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) The PGP aims to boost the productivity and profitability of our primary sector through investment between government and industry. It provides an essential springboard to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of primary sector innovation. There are currently 16 PGP programmes underway with two recently completed. PGP programmes are generally long-run programmes of five to seven years duration and are subject to oversight and monitoring by an independent panel (the Investment Advisory Panel) and MPI. Monitoring requirements include programme steering groups, quarterly progress reporting, annual plans, audits, and progress reviews, along with evaluation of the overall programme. Funding is only released to programmes on receipt of invoices for work completed in accordance with programme plans. For media assistance, please contact: Midge Munro Communications Manager Avocado Industry Council midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz 64 27 306 7089 64 7 571 6147 Bridgette Paton-Tapsell Village Public Relations | Marketing  b@villagenz.com 64 27 553 3929 64 7 572 1608 Brad Young Senior Communications Advisor, MPI media@mpi.govt.nz 64 4 894 0884

New Zealand Avocado 2014 season launch in Japan

A successful NZ Avocado season launch was held at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo yesterday. The event was well attended with 80 enthusiastic trade, media and Embassy and NZTE representatives filling the reception room in the Embassy to capacity. "The atmosphere was very lively and the media showed a real interest in New Zealand avocados," says Jen Scoular who represented the industry at the event, presenting on the industry and the benefits of avocados from New Zealand. Everyone who attended was given a kit on arrival which included a recipe booklet, media release, fresh New Zealand avocados, New Zealand avocado oil, and translated information about the industry. "Guests were taking the various pieces of information out of their bags as we were talking about them in the presentation, it felt really good to have provided them with such engaging information." The event was also supported by two special guests; Sakura, a Japanese model and Vogue Japan online blogger, and Erica Angyal, a nutritionist who advises Miss Universe Japan and is also an active columnist and author in Japan. "Sakura loves avocados, is gorgeous and did a great job of selling avocados both in terms of healthy eating and eating for beauty, these comments were then positively endorsed by Erica," Says Jen. Attendees stayed on longer than expected which is a positive sign of their interest. "I was interviewed afterwards by probably ten different journalists, and most questions were on the industry, so definitely a real feeling of interest in avocados from New Zealand." NZTE and the Embassy staff were very supportive; New Zealand's Trade commissioner to Japan, Jason Reeves, opened the event in Japanese and the Embassy's head chef presented a fabulous lunch for attendees which showed off the versatility of avocados. "The buffet was delicious, and again, lots of interest in the different uses for avocado."   The aim of the event was to raise visibility of avocados from New Zealand among media who speak to our target audience of high income working women and mothers. The newly developed New Zealand avocado category story was used as the basis for the presentation and materials supplied to the media. "Overall I believe we achieved the objectives to raise visibility of avocados from New Zealand, and increased our reach with a wider range of media." >>Click here to see images from the event - this gallery will be updated in the coming days with images from the official photographer

NZ Avocado promotions activity update 25 Sep 2014

Promotions activities for the 2014-15 season are well underway with significant activity happening in New Zealand and more to begin shortly in Australia and our Asian markets. New Zealand In New Zealand we are using the NZ Avocado Amazing Anytime concept to drive interest and consumption of avocados. Amazing Anytime refers to the amazing nutritional qualities of avocados and also to their endless versatility. We are promoting this theme through the three TV commercials which went to air in early September featuring Nadia Lim.  These have had an immediate impact on traffic to our website, particularly to the recipe for the avocado lime and coconut cheesecake.   We have also started our programme of in-store tastings at 70 supermarkets across New Zealand. 200 tasting will take place between September and December. Feedback so far has been excellent; consumers love the recipe booklets we are handing out and they are enjoying the avocado, tomato and basil on crackers - with many commenting that this combination is a first for them. Food and lifestyle magazines featuring our full or half page print advertisements have started to hit the shelves - check out the latest issue of Food magazine. On Tuesday we sent out 30 NZ Avocado Amazing Anytime packs to 30 influential New Zealanders.  This included all the ingredients to make Nadia's avocado cheesecake, along with a recipe booklet, a media release and key facts for the season.  We have already had the likes of Frankie Adams, Megan Robson, Stacey Morrison, Denise L'Estrange-Corbet tweeting to their followers and emailing us about how much they love the pack.  The TV show New Zealand with Nadia aired the Bay of Plenty and avocado episode last Friday night which Nadia supported with a competition on her website to win an avocado gift pack. Facebook has been reignited for the season, with fans hungry for recipe ideas.   Australia We have secured air time on channels 7 and 9 to run the "love that avocado feeling" TV commercial, which is part of a much larger avocado advertising campaign run by Horticulture Australia Ltd.  This advert will kick off the week commencing 19 October and then 26 October and 9 November.  Click here to view the TVC. We are also supporting exporter activity in this market through the contestable fund. Japan A media launch at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo will happen on 1 October.  This will include 50-60 media and 15-20 trade at a 2 hour event.  The Ambassador Mark Sinclair will address our guests followed by a presentation from NZ Avocado CEO Jen Scoular amount our industry, how our avocados are grown and the benefit of New Zealand grown avocados.  Media will then enjoy an avocado lunch showing the versatility, presentation and taste of avocados and receive a media kit with a media release, recipe book and facts about avocados.  During this event we will also run a "selfie" competition when attendees can take a "selfie" in front of a banner showing a New Zealand landscape with avocado orchards in the background.  They can then post this social media and use a unique hashtag to go in the draw to win a prize pack. Sampling events will also take place at a high profile deli throughout the season and will link to a social media competition that encourages purchase and usage. Singapore The National Healthy Lifestyle Campaign (NHLC) is an annual campaign organised by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to promote a nation of healthy and happy people. NHLC 2014 carries the theme of "Healthy Living Everyday". This year s campaign is aligned to the vision of the Healthy Living Master Plan, which is to provide Singaporeans with greater accessibility to healthier options so that everyone can embrace Healthy Living, Every day. Nadia Lim will attend this event. We are also supporting exporter activity in this market through the contestable fund.  Korea We are developing a local language website in Korea to provide a point of reference for first time consumers. The website will provide information on how to choose/ripen/eat avocados. We are also translating a number of retail education resources. This activity will support the exporter activity we are supporting through the contestable fund.  India A media reception will take place 10 October at the high commission in New Delhi India. The event will feature an address from the High Commissioner and from Tony Ponder as Vice Chair of NZAGA and AIC. Celebrity Chef Kunal Kapur will also demonstrate avocado and present on their benefits. Attendees to this event will be chefs from the big brand hotels, NZTE and MFAT guests and also media. NZ Avocado also assisting exporter activity in this market.

KPMG case study on the New Zealand avocado industry

Case study on New Zealand avocado industry by KPMG as published in KPMG Agribusiness Agenda 2014 - Vol 1.

New Zealand Avocado Launches New Campaign at Largest Fresh Produce Trade Show in Asia

TAURANGA, Thursday 4th September 2014 : New Zealand s avocado industry will launch its new export market promotional material at Asia s leading fresh fruit and vegetable trade show Asia Fruit Logistica (AFL) this week in Hong Kong. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of New Zealand Avocado, says the new marketing collateral positions New Zealand avocado as a premium product promoting quality, safety and health. "The unique property of New Zealand grown avocados that we will promote in Asia is time. New Zealand grown avocados hang on the tree for much longer than in other producing countries - at least a year, during this time they are fed by the generous rainfall and sunshine all the while being nurtured by our dedicated growers, says Scoular.  This is the first time New Zealand Avocado has represented the industry at AFL and is one of 460 exhibitors. Exhibitors from 38 countries will be showcasing their produce. New Zealand Avocado will exhibit within the New Zealand Pavilion along with 12 other companies including Zespri, Plant & Food Research and avocado exporters JP Exports and Te Mata exports. Scoular says New Zealand aims to become the avocado supplier of choice in Asian markets and a successful showcase at Asia Fruit Logistica will help raise awareness among buyers, suppliers and service providers across the fast-growing region. Another New Zealand avocado exporter AVANZA will also be at the show with their commercial partner Mission Produce USA. New Zealand s avocado industry more than doubled its sales to $136m, setting new records in both export and the New Zealand market. This stunning return eclipses the previous sales record of $84.1m set in 2009-10 and is far in excess of the $60.4m worth of avocados sold last year. Scoular has also been invited to deliver a speech at the Asiafruit Business Forum, a set of seminars/discussions held as part of Logistica event. Scoular will speak about how culinary inspiration is driving NZ Avocado s marketing efforts. "We ve considerably raised visibility of avocados by using avocado ambassador Nadia Lim to promote the delicious taste and amazing health attributes of New Zealand avocados. Nadia is a nutritionist and Masterchef winner and enjoys showing people how to create delicious, nutritious meals using avocado as a key ingredient, Scoular explains. New Zealand avocados are currently exported to Australia, USA, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and some activity has begun with India, but there is a lot of potential to increase sales further, particularly in Asia. "There s growing demand for premium, safe, and healthy produce. We are positioning our industry to take advantage of that by emphasising how New Zealand avocados are grown in a pristine environment. We re also collaborating with packers and exporters to improve our supply chain to ensure our avocados are delivered to Asian consumers in top condition. Earlier this year New Zealand Avocado announced a new five year partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries under its Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) to increase productivity and industry capability. The new PGP programme called New Zealand Avocados Go Global aims to equip the industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023. "Increasing our exports to Asia is a big part of that, and that s why our new campaign launch at the Asia Fruit Logistica trade fair is so important, Scoular says. "Our PGP programme is designed to help us deliver a consistent supply of premium avocados from one year to the next. We now have to connect with trade and consumers in Asia and show them why our fruit is worth buying. Scoular says avocados are a unique and delicious fruit & they re nutrient dense and contain the good fats needed to help maintain a healthy heart. Avocados are also great for healthy skin, promoting beauty from the inside out. Record visitor numbers are expected at this year s Asia Fruit Logistica event, with organisers expecting some 7000 trade buyers and visitors from more than 60 different countries to attend. About New Zealand Avocado Avocados are the third-largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. New Zealand Avocado works with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote avocados from New Zealand and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers, of which there are more than 1600, based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/ About the PGP: The PGP aims to boost the productivity and profitability of our primary sector through investment between government and industry. It provides an essential springboard to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of primary sector innovation. PGP programmes are generally long-run programmes of five to seven years duration and are subject to oversight and monitoring by an independent panel (the Investment Advisory Panel) and MPI. There are 18 announced programmes covering the breadth of the primary industry sectors: wool, dairy, fishing and aquaculture, meat, pastoral, bee keeping, forestry, viticulture and horticulture. Monitoring requirements for PGP programmes include programme steering groups, quarterly progress reporting, annual plans, audits, and progress reviews, along with evaluation of the overall programme. Funding is only released to programmes on receipt of invoices for work completed in accordance with programme plans. -ENDS- For media assistance, please contact: Midge Munro Communications Manager, Avocado Industry Council 027 306 7089 midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz                                                              Bridgette Paton-Tapsell  Village Public Relations | Marketing         64 7 572 1608                                                 b@villagenz.com  

MPI Horticulture Food Act Fact Sheet

MPI has finalised the fact sheet providing information on the new Food Act and what it will mean for horticultural businesses. Proposals for regulations are currently being written. They will be made available for public consultation later this year or early 2015. The proposals for regulations will cover both general and sector specific requirements. Please use this opportunity to have your say on the detail of our new food safety system. The link that you can use to sign up for e-mail notification of regulations consultation is pasted below.  http://www.mpi.govt.nz/home  Once on the MPI home page, click on the link to the Food Act 2014 and then on the Register for Consultation link. Once you have entered your name and email address, you will be sent an e-mail that goes to the notifications page. 

Register for August industry events now

Register for industry events by this Thursday to Jo Nunn at the NZ avocado office jo.nunn@nzavocado.co.nz or  0800 286 2236 Annual General meeting >> more details AGM Dinner >> more details Grower Forum - Paihia >> more details Grower Forum - Mount Maunganui >> more details

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

Levy Rates and EMS Management on agenda at AGM

Levy rates and the EMS Management Fee will be discussed at the AGM 2014 as part of the Executive Motions that were approved at the 5 June 2014 AGA Executive meeting. Click on the link to find out more about the motions.

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.

New Zealand Avocados Achieve Record Sales for 2013-14 Season

New Zealand s avocado industry today announced it has more than doubled its sales from last season to $136m, setting new records in both export and New Zealand markets. This stunning return eclipses the previous sales record of $84.1m set in 2009-10 and is far in excess of the $60.4m worth of avocados sold last year. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, says this season s success is due to a number of reasons including initiatives which are transforming the industry into a more cohesive and competitive sector. The Australian and New Zealand markets have performed very well, and discipline by the market players to match supply and demand has played a big part in that.  "Our focus over the last 12 months has been to promote far more collaboration across the avocado industry & with growers, packers, New Zealand marketers, exporters and those supporting our industry.  This has allowed us to start addressing and resolving issues that have previously held us back, Scoular says. The season has seen the successful amalgamation of our two largest exporters into one exporting group to Australia our largest market, and the continued collaboration of three exporters under one brand into Asia. In April this year the Avocado Industry Council secured a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme with the Ministry for Primary Industries to significantly increase productivity and capability, to increase sales to $280m by 2023. The five year programme, New Zealand Avocados Go Global, will leverage the growing demand in New Zealand and in Asia for premium, safe, and healthy produce.  "There s a world-wide trend towards eating fresh, healthy food and the nutritional benefits of eating avocados are now widely recognised and understood by consumers. This presents us with a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on this season s sales growth going forward, she says. Scoular says irregular bearing remains a major challenge to being able to guarantee a consistent supply of avocados from year-to-year. This is being addressed with research being undertaken collaboratively between NZ Avocado, Plant & Food Research, industry experts and growers. This season s $135.9m return comprises 4.9m 5.5kg trays of avocados. $102.9m worth were exported, while $33m worth were sold in New Zealand. Last year a total of 2.6 million trays were produced, totalling $31.7m worth of exports, and $28.7m of local sales. Scoular says this season s record results also reflect the increased promotional and market development activities to raise visibilities for the amazing attributes of avocados, and to drive consumption. "Nadia Lim, the New Zealand Avocado s ambassador, has been a great asset in raising the profile of avocados both here at home and overseas. Ashby Whitehead, Chair of New Zealand Avocado Growers Association and AIC Ltd says continued collaboration across all sectors of the New Zealand avocado industry, plus discussions and partnerships with Government, scientists and experts from other horticultural fields will help push industry growth going forward. "The industry has never been in a better position.  We are identifying opportunities, prioritising markets and addressing obstacles on a path to becoming a high value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand, says Whitehead. Normal 0 false false false EN-NZ X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-US; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}

Govt to undertake BOP growth study

A new study to evaluate opportunities for increasing investment, employment and incomes in the Bay of Plenty was announced yesterday by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.   The Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study will build on work already started by MPI to unlock the potential for growth in the Bay of Plenty s primary sector, including the recently announced $8.5 million NZ Avocados Go Global Primary Growth Partnership initiative a five-year programme to increase the productivity and capability within the avocado industry, and the great successes in the kiwifruit industry and in Māori agribusiness in the Bay of Plenty. Read more...

Maersk begins shipping revolution with new technology

2 June 2014: Reefer manufacturing company Maersk Container Industry (MCI) has developed a new technology to modernise the transportation of fresh produce around the world, by improving air condition and significantly reducing energy consumption. Read more...

New Zealand Avocados set to Go Global with New Government Partnership

The Avocado Industry Council announced today it will partner with the Ministry for Primary Industries in a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme called Go Global a five year programme to increase the productivity and capability within the avocado industry to deliver significant additional returns for New Zealand. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive Officer of Avocado Industry Council, says it is a landmark development for the avocado industry that will increase sales to more than a quarter of a billion dollars by 2023. "This PGP programme will create significant value across the industry, helping position New Zealand s avocado industry to capitalise on the growing demand domestically and in Asia, for premium, safe, and healthy produce. Part of this will involve developing a New Zealand avocado story to highlight the health and versatility of our avocados, says Scoular. The Go Global programme s vision is to equip the industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023. New Zealand aims to become the avocado supplier of choice in Asian markets, by gaining an early foothold, and a "first mover advantage in those markets. "A consistent supply of premium avocados and a unified marketing strategy which creates a point of difference for New Zealand avocados will drive this growth, she says. The programme will address the industry s biggest challenge of low and irregular bearing. Collaborative research, with strong cross industry participation will deliver best practice across the value chain which is transferred through a network of innovation leaders, rural professionals and growers. The programme aims to achieve widespread adoption of best practice driven by examples of success. Ashby Whitehead, Chair of Avocado Industry Council says the New Zealand 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.  "The programme includes co-investment from growers, packers, processors and exporters, it is a real cross-industry collaboration, says Whitehead. The programme 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. Strengthening information flow, performance and efficiency will be achieved through the development of an information portal, increasing supply chain efficiency and benchmarking performance. Justine Gilliland, Director PGP, MPI, says a total investment of $8.56 million has been secured for the programme, with MPI committing $4.28 million over five years, and the balance coming from industry partners as a mixture of cash and in-kind contributions. "We re excited by this new programme. It s the first horticulture programme involving fresh fruit in the PGP, showing the diversity of the industries involved in the PGP, says Gilliland. "We are thrilled to be part of the PGP the industry is motivated and ready to capitalise on the real opportunities that exist for our industry. This PGP programme will see the emergence of a globally competitive, high value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand, says Scoular. MPI and Avocado Industry Council will now negotiate and agree a contract so Go Global can formally commence. About NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc. & Avocado Industry Council Limited The New Zealand avocado industry is the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. The 2014-15 season will see the industry produce a near record of five million trays.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 1600 based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. For more information visit www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry About the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) The PGP aims to boost the productivity and profitability of our primary sector through investment between government and industry. It provides an essential springboard to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of primary sector innovation. MPI and industry have now collectively committed around $708 million in 18 announced (15 contracted and three pending). PGP programmes are generally long-run programmes of five to seven years duration and are subject to oversight and monitoring by an independent panel (the Investment Advisory Panel) and MPI. Monitoring requirements include programme steering groups, quarterly progress reporting, annual plans, audits, and progress reviews, along with evaluation of the overall programme. Funding is only released to programmes on receipt of invoices for work completed in accordance with programme plans. MPI is now seeking applications for new Primary Growth Partnership programmes. The closing date for proposals is 12pm on Wednesday 25 June. See the PGP webpage on MPI s website for further information and guidance www.mpi.govt.nz **ENDS** For further comment, contact: Jen Scoular  CEO, Avocado Industry Council  jen.scoular@nzavocado.co.nz 021 741 014 Brad Young Senior Communications Advisor, MPI media@mpi.govt.nz 029 894 0328 (MPI media phone) For media assistance, contact: Midge Munro Communications Manager, Avocado Industry Council midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz 64 7 571 6147 64 21 275 3331 Bridgette Paton-Tapsell Village Public Relations | Marketing b@villagenz.com 64 7 572 1608 64 27 553 3929

New Zealand Avocados Profile boosted at Major Singapore Food Festival

New Zealand s avocado industry has this week made a high-profile push into Asia with celebrity cook and New Zealand avocado ambassador, Nadia Lim, taking to the stage at a global food festival in Singapore to help promote consumption of New Zealand avocados. Over 17,000 people attended the SAVOUR food festival which featured Michelin star chefs and award-winning cuisine from around the world. Growing demand from health-conscious consumers has already seen our avocado exports to Singapore soar from 600 trays per week to 3600 trays per week in the past five years. The promotion of New Zealand avocados at SAVOUR was led by AVANZA Ltd (who collectively market 80 per cent of New Zealand avocados exported to Asia), with support from their Singaporean-based importer, Freshmart, and industry body New Zealand Avocado. AVANZA Ltd spokesman Carwyn Williams says Asian markets are very receptive to products which promote health and well-being. "The Singaporeans are rapidly taking on board the health and beauty benefits of avocados. They re high in potassium, protein, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. They re also great for your skin and cardiovascular health so we expect to gain a lot from the exposure at SAVOUR, he says. Freshmart spokesperson Qi Lin Phan says there is a lot of "untapped potential in Singapore. "Avocados are still viewed as a Western fruit and are used mostly in Western cuisine. But they are becoming increasingly popular among the educated middle aged group who are looking for healthier additions to their daily diet.  "By exhibiting at SAVOUR and having Nadia Lim on board, we hope to localise New Zealand avocados and present them in a way that appeals to the Asian palette, says Phan. Industry organisation NZ Avocado supported AVANZA s plans by involving its ambassador Nadia Lim in the food festival. Lim has worked as the New Zealand Avocado ambassador for two seasons, fronting significant print and public relations campaigns here at home which has helped make the fruit more popular than ever. New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular says it s vital to work collaboratively with industry partners such as AVANZA to open up new export markets around the world. Scoular says Lim has helped increase consumption in New Zealand by developing new and unique ways to use avocados, and is sure her appearance at SAVOUR will inspire food lovers and international chefs to include avocados on their menus. "Nadia successfully hosted a variety cooking events over the three days, as well as engaging with consumers on the AVANZA booth. There was a mixture of cookery classes, demonstrations and seminars, teaching the crowd how to cook with avocados and about the health benefits of the fruit. She s a natural presenter and as a qualified dietician, she represented our industry superbly, she says. Scoular says there are also huge benefits of being in the market to understand the food and consumer trends in Singapore which will help inform the industry s promotions in the coming season. SAVOUR marketing manager Eunice Chua says this year s festival re-created a farmer s market atmosphere showcasing lots of fresh fruit and vegetables & hence Lim was invited to host several highly-prized cooking demonstrations using avocados. "In Singapore we import a lot of food because we don t have many natural resources to grow it. People here increasingly want to see where their food comes from, meet the producer and see how it is grown. Chua agrees Singaporeans are becoming more health conscious about what they eat, so avocados are more popular than ever, particularly among people aged under 40. "We have a lot of fresh juice shops in Singapore which used to only stock things like watermelon and banana shakes. Now they all have avocado smoothies. And restaurants serve avocado on toast for breakfast or in salads. Five or 10 years ago we wouldn t have seen that in Singapore. About SAVOUR Now in its third year, SAVOUR has been described as one of the world s best food festivals. The 2014 line-up of restaurants featured over 50 signature dishes created by 20 of the world s top chefs The event also included a gourmet market showcasing a plethora of food and drink exhibitors, celebrity chef master classes, a hands-on cooking studio, wine workshops and other themed areas. All workshops, tastings and demonstrations were conducted by renowned experts and are complimentary, on a first-come first-served basis.

Join us for the end of season roadshows

Join your NZAGA Chair Ashby Whitehead, Board members, CEO Jen Scoular, and representatives from AVEC and the New Zealand market for an update of this season's industry activity and market performance, also key discussion on preparing for the 2014-15 harvest. Please RSVP with which roadshow you would like to attend by emailing Jo jo.nunn@nzavocado.co.nz or call the NZ Avocado office on 0800 286 2236. We look forward to catching up with you. Katikati - Tuesday 1 April 2014 5:00pm - 7:00pm St Paul's Church cnr SH2 and Mulgan Street Tea, coffee and finger food provided Pahoia - Wednesday 2 April 2014 5:00pm - 7:00pm Pahoia Community Hall, Pahoia School, Esdaile Road Tea, coffee and finger food provided Te Puke - Wednesday 9 April 2014 4:30pm - 6:30pm The Orchard Church, 20 MacLoughlin Drive Tea, coffee and finger food provided Whangarei - Monday 14 April 2014 5:00pm - 7:00pm Kingsgate Hotel, 9 Riverside Drive. Tea, coffee and finger food provided Houhora - Tuesday 15 April 2014 11:30am - 1:30pm Houhora Fishing Club, 4126 Far North Road Tea, coffee and light lunch provided

AvoGreen Review 2014

The opportunity to put in an AvoGreen submission is now closed.  To keep informed of the AvoGreen review progress and outcomes, please review all documents as they come available. 

Horticulture New Zealand Scholarships 2014

Every year Horticulture New Zealand offers scholarships that are open to New Zealand students and trainees who have a special interest in the fruit or vegetable industry and are undergoing significant industry training or education. There are two types of scholarships you can apply for: $500 Horticulture New Zealand Industry Training Scholarship, available to industry trainees. This scholarship provides financial assistance and acknowledges the achievements of those who currently work and study in the fruit & vegetable industry. $4500 Horticulture New Zealand Undergraduate Scholarship, available to under-grad students. This package includes $3000 plus attendance at the HortNZ annual conference at no charge (This year HortNZ joins the Produce Marketing Association to offer the PMA Australia New Zealand Fresh Connections Conference). Registration fees, travel & accommodation will be covered. It provides an excellent opportunity to obtain funding for study and learn from leading edge conference sessions, as well as meet & mix with key industry figures. Each scholarship is for one year only. Selection Criteria: New Zealand citizen or resident Signs of commitment to the fruit and vegetable industry Potential and willingness to contribute in the future to the fruit and vegetable industry Achievement and responsibilities to date (includes level or performance in study, academic achievement and contribution to workplace during practical experience) Skills, e.g. technical, management, communication and relationship skills Individual approach and personal qualities Referees comments Agreement to contribute to the promotion of the NZ horticulture industry Students and trainees must be registered in their course at 31 March of 2014, to be awarded with their scholarship. How to apply: Fill out an application forms (including referee forms): Industry Training Scholarship - http://www.hortnz.co.nz/users/Image/Downloads/PDFs/Industry Training Application 2014.doc Undergraduate Scholarship - http://www.hortnz.co.nz/users/Image/Downloads/PDFs/Undergrad%20Application%20Form%202014.doc See hortnz.co.nz for more information or contact Renee Wilkie, renee.wilkie@hortnz.co.nz, ph 04 472 3795. Closing date will be 20 March 2014

Can we mitigate irregular bearing with flower and fruit pruning

2013 spring has seen a very successful flowering and fruit set in many orchards. Unfortunately, in a large number of these orchards this could lead to highly unbalanced trees with a high yield in 2014 and small or no yield in 2015. We know that trees bearing excessive fruit are quite unlikely to produce enough flowers for a good crop the following year. We are all aware of what irregular bearing means:   So, when we have a tree with too much fruit, It seems logical that by removing the excess fruit we could balance these trees. Many experienced growers, contractors, and consultants think that removing some of the fruit in a heavy set could have some positive influence on fruit size and leave the tree less exhausted. On top of this, it might help to bring on more flush which will protect fruit from sunburn and give the tree a better chance of return flowering. But until we have specific data to support this hypothesis we can't make any firm recommendations. Common practice in the industry to balance trees that are entering a heavy flowering stage is to prune excess flowers in early spring, right before flowering. There seems to be consensus about this practice being an effective way of avoiding an excessive fruit set and obtaining good flush growth to sustain a return flowering the following spring. However, the industry lacks objective information about the right timing and severity of flower pruning. On top of this, there is little information about the effect of fruit removal at early fruit development stages on a tree that has excessive fruit set. In the context of the NZ Avocado Research Programme, a trial has been implemented on Don Grayling s orchard in Katikati. The aim of the trial is to determine the effect of removing some fruit from overloaded trees in late December 2013 and early February 2014 on the spring 2014 crop and return flowering. The trial is being implemented collaboratively between NZ Avocado and Plant & Food Research (PFR). It is included in the first season s activity of the five year project "Timing and severity of pruning to mitigate alternate bearing of the MBIE-funded PFR programme "Avocados for export . The activities proposed in this trial account for the first season of the project. Trials in future seasons will need to evaluate the effect of pruning flowers and fruit at different times of the year, starting in late winter, before flowering, and finishing in late January. The first round of pruning was held on 30 of December 2013 and the second round will be held 3 of February 2014.   BACKGROUND INFORMATION There is indication from trials performed in New Zealand and overseas and by anecdotal information from our growers, consultants, and pruning contractors that pruning overloaded trees to reduce the fruit load in late December or even at later stages (January or February) could contribute balancing these trees. The expected positive effects of reducing the amount of fruit by pruning of these unbalanced trees are:     Increased flower intensity for the next season     Overall more regular yields in following seasons     Increased fruit size due to less competition between fruit     Coverage of fruit by flush, protecting fruit from sunburn and frost damage     Reduction of the depletion of tree resources   OBJECTIVES To determine the effect of partial fruit removal at early stages of fruit development on: Return bloom Total yield in the following seasons Fruit quality   METHODOLOGY The trial consists of removing excess fruit by pruning 30 trees in late December, 30 trees in early February, and leaving 30 trees unpruned. All the trees belong to the same block of Don Grayling s orchard. Trees were divided into 30 groups of three homogeneous trees in terms of tree age and size, health, fruit load, flush intensity and length, position relative to a pollenizer, and position in the orchard block. One tree from each group was pruned in late December, another one will be pruned in early February and the third one will be left unpruned.     Figure 1. One of the 30 groups of three homogenous tree. NZ Avocado organised a workshop around the first round of pruning in December. Early in the morning a group of growers and consultants worked with the contractors to decide on how the pruning had to be done. This was followed by a session open to all growers in which the principles of the trial were discussed. Finally, the contractors pruned the first 30 trees in the presence of the growers with some time allocated to discussion.    Figure 2. Growers see how pruning contractor from Michael Darling demonstrates pruning technique on a trial tree at the workshop. The group of consultants, growers and contractors that met earlier that day decided that the method to be followed had to be based on: Pruning exposed fruit on branches with no or little flush, with young yellowish leaves, to prune fruit located close to the ground Removing from 20 to 60% of the fruit of the tree, depending on its initial fruit load. Video 1. Pruning contractor Michael Dillon explains what type of branch will be targeted while pruning.   Video 2. Orchard owner Don Grayling explains how the cuts were made. Video 3. Pruning contractor Michael Dillon pruning one of the trial trees.  Video 4. Comparison of pruned and unpruned tree. Notice the amount of fruit left on the pruned tree. For each tree an assessment was done to determine if its fruit load was excessive or not which is subject to a certain degree of subjectivity. During the discussions held by the larger group of growers in the second part of the workshop a suggestion was made that it would be useful to actually determine the amount of fruit that each tree should carry to have a large enough crop of good sized, clean fruit. A rough calculation can be done to determine how much fruit the tree should carry: Considering that the trees are spaced 10 x 10 m, for an expected crop of 20 ton/ha each tree would need to produce an average of 200 kg of fruit. If a size 23 fruit weighs 250 g, the tree will need to carry 800 fruit. So, considering that the tree needs some extra fruit for reject, fruit drop, etc., on average it could be said that the tree needs to carry about 1000 to 1200 fruit to produce a 20 ton/ha crop. In one of the trees of the trial that had approximately 60% of the crop removed by pruning, 2500 fruit were counted on the floor. It was therefore estimated that about 1250 fruit were left on the tree.   Figure 3. Growers counting cut off fruit from a tree. Some data from the first pruning round:  Estimated average proportion of fruit removed: 30%  Estimated average of tray equivalents removed: 32 TE Average number of cuts done per tree: 65 cuts It took contractors from 3 to 10 minutes with an average of 6 minutes to prune each tree. During this year we will be mainly assessing:   Tree health   Flush intensity and length   Return flowering   Individual tree yield.   Pack out and size profile of the fruit. As well as the pruning sessions, industry workshops will be held coinciding with relevant monitoring activities.   THANKS We are grateful to: Don Grayling for allowing us to carry out the trial at his orchard. MBIE for thier research grant Plant & Food Research for working with NZ Avocado  to put together this trial. AVOCO and Just Avocados for sponsoring the pruning workshops. Pruning contractors Michael Darling and Michael Dillon. Consultants Lindsay Heard and John Emmet and growers Ron Bailey and John Cotterell for donating their time during the first round of pruning helping defining the pruning method and with the data capturing.

New evidence published in nutrition journal reveals insights into the effects of adding half an avocado to lunch

Loma Linda University Study on Satiety is the Second in a Series of Hass Avocado Board-funded Nutrition Studies Expected to be Released over the Coming Years  IRVINE, Calif. (January 8, 2014) & The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) today announced publication of a study that suggests adding one-half of a fresh avocado to a lunch may have helped 26 healthy, overweight people feel more satisfied and reduced their desire to eat following a meal. The avocado study, which was conducted by researchers at the Loma Linda University and funded by HAB, was published in Nutrition Journal, a monthly peer-reviewed journal that publishes work in the area of human nutrition. The human clinical study is the second in a series of HAB-funded nutrition studies expected to be released over the coming years as a part of HAB s single-minded nutrition marketing and research strategy.   Researchers found that study participants who added half of a fresh Hass avocado to their lunch reported a significantly decreased desire to eat by 40 percent over a three-hour period, and by 28 percent over a five-hour period after the meal, compared to their desire to eat after a standard lunch without avocado. In addition, they reported increased feelings of hunger satisfaction by 26 percent over the three hours following the meal.  "HAB has found that more and more retailers are communicating health information to customers to help them make smart eating choices, said Emilano Escobedo, executive director, Hass Avocado Board. "The nutrition research conducted by HAB is an important program that will help retailers accomplish that goal.   "Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to eat between meals, said Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, Chair of the Department of Nutrition who led the research team at Loma Linda University. "We also noted that though adding Hass avocados increased participants calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the lunch without avocado. This leads us to believe that Hass avocados potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation.  While the findings were generally positive, more research is needed to determine whether the conclusions drawn from this study can be applied to the general public. However, the results do provide promising clues and a basis for future research to determine Hass avocados effect on satiety, glucose and insulin response.   "The publication of this study indicates a continued step forward for HAB s nutrition research program, said Escobedo. "We are confident that the program will continue to strengthen the positioning of Hass Avocados in the market.   The research at Loma Linda University is one of several studies supported by HAB as part of a research program established in 2010. Clinical studies are currently underway to investigate the relationship between avocado consumption and risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, support of weight management and healthy living with top researchers and universities in the United States.   To view the abstract or the full study, "A Randomized 3x3 Crossover Study to Evaluate the Effect of Hass Avocado Intake on Post Ingestive Satiety, Glucose and Insulin Levels, and Subsequent Energy Intake in Overweight Adults, visit www.nutritionj.com/content/12/1/155/abstract.    About the Hass Avocado Board  The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is an agriculture promotion group established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass Avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass Avocados directs HAB s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2012, retail volume for avocados exceeded 1.1 billion units and retail sales topped $1.2 billion.   HAB provides industry members and stakeholders with resources that they can use in their day-to-day business operations including shipment data and consumer research available at http://www.hassavocadoboard.com/.   In 2010, HAB established a Nutrition Research program to increase awareness and improve understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. The Nutrition Research program is an integral part of Love One Today, HAB s multi-year, science-based food and wellness education program to encourage Americans to include fresh Hass avocados in everyday healthy eating plans. For more information visit http://www.loveonetoday.com/research.

Technical trip to California and Malaga

  We share the various challenges of growing avocados with avocado producers globally.  So it was to extend our knowledge that I connected in person, in a recent visit, with key people in the Californian and Spanish avocado industries. It  was a valuable experience to meet experts who are working on the very topics that challenge us in  New Zealand.  The connections made and information shared increase my capability and enrich our research programme. California In California I met with Dr Mary Lu Arpaia, CE Subtropical Horticulture Specialist of the University of California Riverside (UCR). We met at the South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irving where Tier 2 trees of the California avocado scion breeding programme are kept. The programme is focused on obtaining dark skinned Hass-like varieties. It is structured in tiers of evaluation. Tier 1 is the first evaluation of fruit from seedlings. Promising Tier 1 selections are then planted in Tier 2, which is based at the South Coast Research and Extension Center. Trees selected for their superior performance in Tier 2 are planted in Tier 3 in different orchards in California. Tier 1 trees. All had very different characteristics, different tree architecture, different leaf types and different fruit characteristics.   Tier 3 trees. The new cultivars tested in this block originated in the US and overseas breeding programs    For an further information on this breeding program refer to this presentation and this report. Dr. Mary Lu Arpaia called my attention to work done with Dr. Reuben Hofshi on his orchard on vigour control after stag horning. He found that trees that were regrafted after stag horning (grafting Hass on the Hass main limbs) were less vigorous and produced earlier than trees that were left to grow freely after being stag horned. This document illustrates the process: Stump and Topwork - a Technique for Rejuvenating Mature Avocado Trees In California I also met Dr Tim Span, scientist responsible for the R&D programme at the California Avocado Commission (CAC). The programme is divided into three areas, breeding, pests and diseases, and productivity. Half of the R&D budget is dedicated to fund productivity related projects. The grower structure of California is similar to the one in NZ with some relatively large orchards and many small orchards of less than 2 ha. The average avocado orchard size in California is about 4.5 ha and the largest orchard is about 350 ha. Total area of avocados is around 22,000 ha with about 5,000 growers. Similar to what is usually said about NZ growers, about 20% of Californian growers produce 80% of their crop. The total value of the US market is around US$ 1.7 billion with about US$ 350 to 500 for Californian avocados, the rest is due to Mexican, Chilean and Peruvian production. While with Dr Span, I attended a field day at an orchard near Escondido, south of California. Canopy management traditionally carried out in California is based on stag horning old trees that take about three years to produce again.The orchard that hosted the field day was a modern orchard that had several blocks planted at high density with different age avocado trees. Most of the trees were planted at 3.65 x 3.65 m apart and trained to a single leader. Girdling is carried out at the orchard every season to increase return bloom.   Escondido orchard view. The grower, while obtaining good crops during the first years of the plantings, was finding it difficult to overcome the problems derived from the overcrowding of the trees. His strategy consisted in stag horning different parts of the orchard as they become too crowded. Some areas are not stag horned although overcrowded to maintain income.   Trees that had been stag horned the previous season because they had become overcrowded. Notice the slope of the block. Trees stag horned at different times with unpruned trees in the background of the same age.  High density plantings are more common than I expected in California and there was a lot of discussion around this subject. In their Mediterranean climate, with practically no rain for three to five months in the hottest part of the year, irrigation is a very important subject. Surprisingly, surveys done by the UCR indicate that while there are some growers using soil moisture monitoring systems such as tensiometers or capacitance probes, most of the growers don t assess soil moisture with any apparatus, they just rely on an irrigation calendar. Other subjects which were discussed at the field day were pollination and girdling. There is a company in California that distributes Zutano pollen to be blown on flowering avocados. One of the growers reported that he had been using the company for some time and that he was satisfied by his results, though limited trials done in the area have not been able to demonstrate any increase in fruit set by these pollen applications. Girdling is practiced by many growers in California to control excess vigour. At the field day I met Dr Gary Bender, UCR extension agent for San Diego County, who has started a high density planting trial of Hass and Lamb Hass on Dusa trees this year, which we will receive updates on over the next years. Here is a link to a summary of the project. Cost of installation of a high density orchard is high and is a concern for many growers that are attracted by the system. To remove old trees and plant a new high density orchard with Hass on Dusa would have an initial cost of approximately US$30,000 per hectare. At the campus of the UCR I met Dr David Crowley and PhD student Julie Escalera, who are involved in a project funded by CAC aimed to develop "Decision support tools for avocado production and fruit quality . The tools they are developing are based on a detailed analysis of the key factors that have an influence on the productivity and fruit quality of California avocado orchards using Artificial Neural Networks technology. Being in California, focus is placed on irrigation management, water quality and nutrition. They have established a network of orchards with stations to monitor environmental conditions such as weather, soil moisture, and salinity of the soil water. Much of their work is based on what the Chileans have done on irrigation. Their project has many similarities to ours which aims to determine the factors that influence productivity, and they have expressed the desire to assist us where possible.For more information read the first report of the programme and check this presentation. North of Los Angeles, at Ventura County, I met Rob Brokaw, managing partner of Brokaw Nurseries. The nursery was founded more than 50 years ago by Rob s father and uncle, Hank and Ellen Brokaw. They were involved in the selection and commercialization of Hass avocado. This is wood is from the original Hass tree. the wood is kept by Rob Brokaw. Before the original tree died a few years ago, some wood was taken from it to keep mother trees as closely genetically as possible to the original tree. These trees are commercialized as Hass 3446. Hass 3446 was imported in New Zealand in 2006 and is commercialized by our nurseries. Here is a brief history of how the Hass cultivar originated.   This season the nursery will produce approximately 350,000 avocado trees. All of these trees are on clonal rootstock, 50% of which are on Dusa which is starting to be considered as the favourite rootstock in California. Brokaw has a strong relationship with Westfalia from South Africa, holding the master license for Dusa and sharing research and some commercial development costs for this and other new cultivars.   Brokaw Nursery trees. Total production for this year is 350,000 trees, all on clonal rootstock, with 50% on Dusa. In the last 5 years about 30,000 Dusa trees were planted in New Zealand.   Brokaw trees are trained to a single axis with radiating branches less than 30 cm long grown on a relatively big bag.   Trees are tipped at about 1 m.   The nursery as the most of the orchards in Ventura County need to be proactive to avoid frost damage.   After visiting the nursery we visited Rob Brokaw's home high density orchard (3 x 3.5 m spacing). It was planted in 2009 with Carmen, Hass and Gem following much of the Chilean philosophy. He claims 16 to 17 t/ha yields in the last years. However, this year he will do some pruning which he expects will lower production. Rob has planted the trees on mounds. He also girdles them, has drip irrigation and triples the amount of recommended bees during flowering. Rob Brokaw at his home orchard, Ventura County.  This orchard has a mix of Hass, Gem and Carmen on different rootstocks.   Carmen was flowering in autumn as it does in NZ. This fruit is not valuable in California because it matures when there is plenty of Mexican fruit available. Most autumns Carmen does not seem to set autumn fruit as prolifically as it does in NZ, and when it does, the fruit is removed.  Trees in the orchard are trained to a central leader. The way they are approaching keeping light interception to an optimum in this high density orchard is by (from this year on) eliminating one or two of the main or secondary branches that are shading branches that are overall better situated. The final shape of the tree is meant to be a pyramid which should keep light interception to an optimum.  Trees are girdled to increase flower intensity the following season. Girdling is done in autumn (October, early November). Health, vigour and fruit load of the tree determines the amount of branches that are girdled. On average about 60 to 70% of the canopy is girdled. This means a shock for the trees. the wounds take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. In green branches or watershoots it they girdle producing a spiral wound to avoid the snapping of the branch.   Trees are trained to a single leader. This Gem tree was a Lamb Hass tree that was top-worked 2 years ago. It shows a very compact foliage that covers the fruit as seen in the next image.    Fruit inside the Gem tree shown in the previous picture.   At the end of the day we visited the Brokaw family orchard. The orchard is going through a very important restructure after purchasing the neighbouring orchard some years ago.Most of both properties had important tree decline problems. After consulting with a Chilean expert, changes mainly done in irrigation, pruning, girdling,and nutrition management, together with replanting with tolerant rootstocks(mainly Dusa), have led to a significant increase of productivity from an original yield range of 6 to 12 ton/ha to a current one of 10 to 17 ton/ha. One of the Tier 3 plantings of the California scion breeding program of UCR is planted at this orchard. The orchard is being replanted and regrafted with Gem, Carmen and Hass.  General view of the new plantings at the Brokaw family orchard (they call this area "Little Chile"). Trees in foreground are on Dusa rootstock in a replant situation. Trees are planted on 1 m high mounds at 4 x 1.5 m spacing.   Older trees in the orchard that had tree decline symptoms were stag horned and regrafted. Normal 0 false false false EN-NZ X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}   General view of the tree in the picture above.      A newly planted area of the orchard.    Replant blocks at Brokaw family orchard. Overwatering is a common cause of tree decline in new plantings in USA (similar to what we are seeing in NZ). Both blocks were planted at the same time in the same conditions. The irrigation on the block on the left (smaller trees) failed, delivering too much water which caused tree decline, hindering their development. The irrigation system on the block on the right delivered the right amount of water, with trees developing adequately.   Brokaw family avocado block with Tier 3 trees from the University of California breeding program.   Spain In Spain I was based at La Mayora Experimental Centre in Malaga. In this presentation can be found a brief introduction to La Mayora research activities on avocados. According to FAO there were 10.500 ha of avocados in Spain in 2011 with an average production of 7.9 t/ha. Total production averages about 50,000 t/year. Average size of the orchards is 2 to 3 ha with some orchards with more than 20 ha and a few that have more than 80 ha. Avocado is currently a profitable crop in Malaga with orchardists receiving over 1.6 Euro per kilo in the past seasons. Average production  of some orchards is higher than 15 t/ha.  Emilio Guirado, Dr Jorge Gonzalez and Dr Librada Alcaraz took me through the experimental blocks of La Mayora Experimental Centre. Dr Alcaraz did her doctorate work on avocado pollination directed by Dr I aki Hormaza, and is currently involved in several avocado pollination projects.Most of her work has been based at this research centre and we visited the blocks involved in her trials. One of her lines of work is to compare the effectiveness of different pollenizers to optimize pollination design. They are also comparing fruit set in panicles of different sizes.    Dr Alcaraz and Emilio Guirado discussing the fruit set on hand pollinated flowers. For each pollination trial about 5000 flowers are hand pollinated.   Fruit set on a hand pollinated panicle.  Emilio Guirado and Dr Gonzalez have been working for several years on research related to avocado productivity. Girdling different branches of the trees to different degrees at different times has been trialled for some time. New irrigation strategies to control root rot have been developed based on the trials undertaken at this station. Pruning to maintain productivity while controlling tree height and shape has been the objective of several years trials. New cultivars have been introduced and tested in this station for many years. In recent years they have incorporated to the programme Maluma, Carmen, Gem, and several new cultivars selected in the area and others imported from Mexico and Chile.   Girdling has been trialled at La Mayora Research Station for some years. Girdling is done generally on the main limbs or at trunk level to control vigour after severe pruning. Summer girdled branches tend to be less vigorous and fruit earlier. This is similar to what has been observed in some orchards where girdling has been practiced in NZ.  Tree that had been severely pruned and later girdled to control the vigour of the new growth. In this abstract there is some information about the work done at La Mayora on girdling: http://www.avocadosource.com/wac5/abstracts/wac5_abstract_p366_e.pdf    Girdling is also done on young branches to control vigour and enhance fruit production (sorry about the blurriness!).   Effect of girdling of the previous image on the young branch.  Irrigating with two independent networks has been trialled for some time and is now implemented in many orchards of the area. This system allows alternating irrigation on different sides of the tree which permits the drying out of wither sides of the tree to avoid the development of Rosellinia necatrix root rot. (Note that only the sprinklers at the far side of the tree are working)   They are also testing different rootstocks for their tolerance to Rosellinia necatrix root rot. In the image above trees on different rootstocks are grown on the site where an adult tree died from this root rot.    Normal 0 false false false EN-NZ X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} In this trial the ability of different compost to help control Rosellinia root rot are being trialled.     New cultivars are being trialled in this Research Station. The cultivars that are being trialled come from Californian, Mexican, Chilean, South African and local breeding programs. I later met with Dr I aki Hormaza to discuss our respective reproductive biology programmes. I aki's team is carrying out several projects in this area which are relevant to the work we are planning to undertake in MBIE with Plant and food research in New Zealand. The areas we discussed included understanding the basics behind fertilisation and fruitlet development, the mechanisms of overlap of female and male phases of Hass flowers, the potential for fertilisation as a product of pollination during the male phase of the flower, the viability of pollen at low temperatures, and the level of self-pollination in Hass in cold and humid weather. I aki and his team are involved in a programme dedicated to determine the potential for the different cultivars present in Malaga to be pollenizers of Hass. This is very similar to what we are trying to achieve in NZ. This article shows the advances they have reported on so far: http://www.avocadosource.com/journals/elsevier/scientiahort_2009_alcarazml2009.pdf This report and in this poster present information about the work that this team has done on flower quality. Jose Maria Farré, former lead researcher of La Mayora, has retired and is taking care of his family orchard. I had a chance to visit this orchard where the researchers at La Mayora have planted a major rootstock trial. They are testing Hass grafted on 14 rootstocks planted in 2008 on virgin soil. The rootstocks trialled include Dusa, Latas, Duke 7, Topa Topa, Toro Canyon, Zutano, Hass on its own roots, Velvick, and some local and Israeli rootstocks. They planted 50 trees per rootstock distributed in several blocks with a total of 2.2 ha. They will collect the information from their third important crop this season and present the data in the next World Avocado Congress (Peru 2015). Preliminary results are seeing Dusa and Toro Canyon with highest yield and fruit size and, confirming information from a previous trial, they have observed that Hass on Dusa fruit tends to be larger than Hass on Zutano fruit.   From left to right Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, Dr. Jose Maria Farre, Emilio Guirado, Jose Maria Hermoso and Dr. I aki Hormaza at the Farre family orchard in one of the rootstock trial blocks.    One of the rootstock trial blocks at the Farre family orchard. The technical Director of Trops, David Sarmiento, hosted me for a tour of their brand new 17MEuro packing facilities in Velez. Trops packs about 30% of Malaga s avocado production and about 60% of its mango production. Eighty five per cent of the avocado it packs is Hass and 85% is exported to the rest of the European Union.Their export season for Hass runs from December to the end of May. During the rest of the season they import fruit from the Southern Hemisphere and re-export it to the rest of the European Union. Spanish fruit is thought to be able to compete with imported fruit because of its higher quality. I was not allowed to make any photos inside the facilities but here is a link to the English version of their web page: http://www.trops.es/index.html?lang=en It takes their fruit a minimum of 48 h from picking to reach their furthest European destiny. They run a pre-ripen program that allows them to deliver fruit ripened in Malaga in 24 h to their furthest European destiny.  David Sarmiento also took me for a tour of his family s 20 ha orchard. Ten hectares are planted with avocado, the rest is planted with mango. David is an experienced agronomist and one of the technical leaders of the area. He introduced me to the technical management programme of the orchard's avocados.    General view of the Sarmiento family orchard.    Canopy management in this orchard follows a 4 year severe pruning cycle combined with annual summer watershoot elimination or tipping.    Successive pruning cycles on this tree have formed its main structure.    David Sarmiento in front of adult trees of the orchard. Trees are kept to less than 3 m high with the pruning program of the orchard.    Irrigation is done through drip irrigation. Currently each tree has 10 drippers in two parallel irrigation lines. There is a plan to change to 3 parallel lines with a total of 14 drippers per tree to increase the wetted volume of soil.    The orchard is irrigated with a fully automated fertigation system. Most of the soils of the orchard are free draining allowing for up to 2 irrigation events a day when temperatures reach 42 degrees Celsius with 14% relative humidity. They target 1,9 to 2 % nitrogen in the leaves. With higher levels they understand that the vigour of the trees is excessive and there is a chance of affecting fruit in their conditions. In their nutrition programs they use 70 to 125 fertilizer units of nitrogen per hectare and 80 to 150 of potassium. They also take good care to cover the phosphorus, boron, zinc, iron and calcium needs of the trees. The orchard suffers from Rosellinia root rot in some areas. These areas are being replanted with tolerant rootstocks.    Dusa (first tree) and local selection Albaida (second tree) are being trialled in this root rot prone block with relative success.    Soil pH in the orchard averages 8.5. Though most of the soils in the orchard are free draining, in this area prone to root rot there is a tight heavy soil layer at about 40 cm in depth that makes drainage difficult. I had the chance to visit two other orchards. This time I was hosted by Emilio Guirado. Emilio is an experienced agronomist that has been working with avocados in the area for more than twenty years. The first orchard we visited was Finca La Se orita with 22 ha of avocado and 5.5 ha of mango. The second orchard was Finca Cortijo el Pino with 7.5 ha of avocado and5 ha of mango. Both orchards had very advanced technical management. A large part of the focus of our visits was on canopy management. Emilio has been working for many years on canopy management and he was very patient explaining how they prune their trees in this orchards. Emilio claims that by pruning every 1to 3 years in autumn and tipping vigorous branches in winter, they can control the size of the trees and maintain a relatively steady production.    Rafael is orchard manager at Finca La Se orita and kindly hosted us through the visit of the orchard.    An avocado block of finca La Favorita.    At this orchard they follow a similar canopy management system as at the Sarmiento family orchard. Severe pruning is done every 3 to 4 years and water shoots eliminated or tipped in summer. In the picture a 6 year old tree that has been pruned twice in order to shape the main structure.    Vigorous shoots like the one that Emilio Guirado is showing in the image above are eliminated or tipped to grow more compact trees.  More compact shape of trees that had their vigorous shoots eliminated or tipped.    Less compact shape of tree in the same block that did not have its vigorous shoots eliminated or tipped.      In this video the increase in complexity of the ramification system of the vigorous branches once tipped in the current season and then the effect on the current season fruit production of tipping done the previous season.    Pneumatic secateurs used to prune the vigorous shoots.   Emilio Guirado also accompanied me to visit the two main nurseries that produce avocado trees in Malaga, Brokaw Espa a and Blanco Nursery. Brokaw Espa a is co-owned by local capital and by Brokaw USA. Brokaw Espa a produces nearly 220,000 avocado plants and about 300,000 mango plants annually. Some 120,000 of the avocado plants are on clonal rootstock: 50% on Dusa, 40% on Duke 7, and 10% on Topa Topa. They have been planting Dusa for the last 8 years. As we have in NZ, they have learned that it is easy to overwater Dusa trees. Seventy five per cent of the plants are Hass, 15% Lamb Hass and the rest are Bacon and Fuerte with a little Reed, Pinkerton and Zutano. Brokaw Espa a is in an 18 ha avocado orchard. In this orchard they have planted blocks with different rootstocks (Dusa, Duke 7, FT3 from Westfalia) and different scions (Carmen, Lamb Hass and Gem). Results from these orchards will also be presented at the next Avocado World Congress.   Rootstock trial at Brokaw Espa a orchard in Malaga.   Blanco Nursery is owned by Saturnino Blanco. This nursery produces about 35,000 avocado plants a year; 20,000 of these are clonal. Saturnino does not have the license rights to propagate Dusa but he claims that he has identified rootstocks that are better adapted to their environment. Albaida, cloned from an escapee tree from a root rot decimated orchard (apparently caused by Rosellinia necatrix) is his mostly trialled rootstock in the region. He also claims to have selected Hass sports in the area. He claims that one of his selections, Paco, is more productive than Hass and is a more compact tree. Saturnino is also testing some other Hass like cultivars he has imported from Mexico. Before going back to the airport, I delivered a 40 minute presentation to 50 people at La Mayora on the characteristics of the New Zealand avocado sector, grower representative body and of our R&D programme. Among the audience there were researchers from La Mayora and from the University of Malaga, and avocado growers. At the end of the presentation there were many questions regarding the nature of our organisation. They were in awe that with only 6,000 ha and a similar grower structure we have an organisation that looks after the growers interests, while they have 9,000 ha and have only recently created an association which is struggling to settle in. I would like to thank all the people that hosted me during my visits in California and Spain. Everyone was extremely generous with their time and knowledge.  It was a really enriching experience for me which will significantly impact on the work for the avocado growers in New Zealand. Please don't hesitate to contact me to comment the content of this document at alvaro.vidiella@nzavocado.co.nz

Government Industry Agreements To Strengthen Biosecurity

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed Cabinet s approval of the GIA (Government Industry Agreement) Deed as an important tool in strengthening New Zealand s biosecurity. "Under the GIA, industry organisations and the Ministry for Primary Industries can sign a Deed that formally establishes the biosecurity partnership. Partners will share decision making, costs, and responsibility in preparing for and responding to biosecurity incursions. "The GIA is important because it will give industries a direct say in managing biosecurity risk. Joint decision making and co-investment will mean that everyone is working together on the most important priorities. "Biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister because it is so important in protecting our economy. We know that unwanted pests and diseases can have devastating effects on our farmers and growers, says Mr Guy "Biosecurity is a shared responsibility, and it needs everyone to be on board. I m pleased that industry are keen to step up and contribute their time, expertise, and resources. "Joint decision making will give industry and government confidence that the best decisions are being made about managing biosecurity. "Trade and tourism benefits all New Zealanders, but with it comes the risk that unwanted organisms could enter the country. Government has recognised this with a 20% contribution towards readiness and response costs. MPI and industry will share the remaining 80% of costs. "Transitional discounts will help industries adjust to the new partnership arrangements. This means they won t pay their full share of readiness costs until 2020 and won t pay their full share of response costs until 2023. Costs will start being shared for readiness from July 2014 and for responses from July 2017, says Mr Guy. The Deed outlines the formal commitments that signatories make to this partnership, and was developed by a joint industry and MPI working group. Members of the working group included representatives from the Meat Industry Association, Federated Farmers, Horticulture NZ, NZ Kiwifruit Growers, Dairy NZ, and the poultry and egg industries. More information is available at www.gia.org.nz ENDS

Call for submissions for 2014-15 Export Marketing Strategy

As part of the annual review of the Export Marketing Strategy (EMS), we call for your submissions. Submissions but must be received by Edwina at the NZ Avocado office by 18 February 2014 for consideration in the 2014-15 EMS. Please use the submission form provided below. Click here for more information on the EMS EMS process timeline: 6 December 2013 - Call for EMS Submissions & template provided below 18 February 2014 - All submissions due 26 February 2014 - EMS working group meeting (1) 12 March 2014 - Discussion document loaded onto website requesting feedback 26 March 2014  - EMS working group meeting (2) 4 April 2014 - Discussion document loaded onto websites for further feedback 24 April 2014 -  AGA/AIC/RPG meetings & approve EMS Late April /mid May 2014 - HEA Board & approve EMS Mid May - EMS loaded onto website and distributed Call for Exporter & Packer contracts

NZ Avocado supports House of Science in Tauranga

Tauranga s new House of Science was formally launched on 3 December, providing a unique opportunity for students and teachers to access new science resources and gain linkages to scientists in the wider community. Director Chris Duggan was previously head of science at Tauranga Girls College. She established the House of Science under a charitable trust earlier this year with the help of Priority One and the University of Waikato. Local businesses Zespri, Ballance Agri-nutrients, Bluelab, Page Macrae Engineering and NZ Avocado are supporting the initiative through sponsorship. Based at the Coastal Marine Field Station at Sulphur Point, the trust will provide equipment and teaching resources that a class can book for a set period of time. In addition, Chris will be co-ordinating professional development sessions for primary and secondary school science teachers, as well as providing after-school and holiday sessions for students. The House of Science will also make students aware of career opportunities in the Bay linked to scientific pursuits. http://www.houseofscience.org.nz/

Plant protection organophosphate and carbamate reassessment

Following the plant protection organophosphate and carbamate reassessment the EPA has developed guidance material to explain the new rules. There are a series of factsheets for users of organophosphate and carbamate based insecticides. The factsheets have been published electronically on our website: www.epa.govt.nz/OPC/Pages/default.aspx We have also prepared an electronic document providing guidance on the new requirements for labels, safety data sheets and packaging for organophosphate and carbamate based insecticides. You can view this document here: www.epa.govt.nz/Publications/OPC_manufacturers_and_importers.pdf If you have any questions or comments, please  contact Sarah Luxenburger, Senior Advisor Compliance Information, Environmental Protection Authority Level 10 215 Lambton Quay Private Bag 63002 Wellington 6140 New Zealand Tel 64 4 916 2426 Fax 64 4 914 0433 DDI 64 4 474 5579 www.epa.govt.nz

GIA website up and running

The website for the GIA (Government Industry Agreements on Biosecurity) is now online and it features information around eligibility to sign the GIA Deed, the development of the agreement and the importance of biosecurity to New Zealand and horticulture. Check it out at www.gia.org.nz

Changes afoot for Chinese fruit purchases

Source: http://www.freshfruitportal.com/2013/10/11/changes-afoot-for-chinese-fruit-purchases/ China sent a strong contingent from rising star companies to industry event Fruittrade in Santiago this week, not just from import hub Shanghai but from second tier cities like Wuxi and Hangzhou. While busy seeking out new grower partners, some of these traders took the time to speak with www.freshfruitportal.com about key trends, milestones and views about their rapidly growing fruit industry. There was a consensus among delegates that Chilean exporters were expecting too much from the Chinese market, reflected in the fact that Red Globe grapes arrived in very poor condition this year, resulting in bleak sales. Chinese delegates talk to participants at Fruittrade in Santiago. "A lot of exporters have the misconception about China that we are the market for second or third tier products, while in fact, the standard that Chinese market demands is the highest, said FruitEase general manager Kurt Huang; a view echoed by many. "The Chinese market views imported fruits very positively & they think imported fruits should certainly be of better quality. So for the Chinese market, appearance and packaging are the most important prior to taste. Faye Xie from Hangzhou s Zu Geng Import and Export Company agreed, but she believed that import requirements for appearance and taste were both very high. She also mentioned China was the only market that came up with the term "wind scar . "The Chinese market is very particular about how fruits look. Wind scar refers to those were hurt by the wind and left scars as a result. Such fruits certainly won t be able to enter the best Chinese market, she said. Huang highlighted that China was an extremely stratified and huge market. "Now the highest quality requirements for the fruit market are of course in cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but the other cities will eventually catch up Shanghai & a new market on the scene Huang is also the general manager of Shanghai Huizhan market, who took the mantle from the Shanghai Longwu wholesale market in the second half of this year. "Now we occupy 180 acres and have 10,000 square meters of cold storage. Our capacity is about two to three times bigger than the previous Longwu. Huizhan has about 40 to 50 importers from Zhejiang, one of China s most wealthy provinces, and hails from its capital Hangzhou. He said Aug. 18 this year was a "watershed moment within the industry. "At that time we heard Huizhan planned to enter the Shanghai market, and we were ready for a fight. but in the end we managed to reach a partnership. For those who were waiting to decide which side to take, it s immediately evident to them that the market s center is now undoubtedly in Shanghai. Shanghai is also gradually replacing Hong Kong as a major port for fruit imports. "In the past, 80% of the fruits came through Hong Kong to enter the mainland but now, only about 50% of the fruit comes through Hong Kong. The other 50% enters through Shanghai, Xie said, adding she believed Hong Kong would eventually be "abandoned and 100% of imported fruit would enter the mainland directly. For Chinese importers, this means a much lower cost for imports. "For example, what we used to have to pay CNY100-120 (US$16.35-19.6) for a box through Hong Kong now only costs us CNY40-50 (US$6.54-8.17) in Shanghai. Xie said. "Hong Kong was a major gateway to the mainland because some rules within the system is flawed. But now having more strict rules in fact is a good thing for China s small and medium sized companies. It means that now everybody s back on the same platform, which will foster fairer competition. Another event that has put Shanghai into the international spotlight is the Shanghai free trade zone establishment a few weeks ago. Last week, the Chinese government issued a "negative list specifying "what can not be done for foreign companies inside the zone, involving 16 sectors including the agriculture industry. However, up until now, there has been a lack of details on what this could mean for industry. One possible impact of the free trade zone for the fruit and vegetable industry though, as Xie pointed out, was the ease it could bring for some importers in China. However, she stressed that companies that would benefit directly from the free trade area must be registered inside the zone. As an importer, she said she would seize the opportunity to set up partnerships with services companies registered inside the area, hoping to import some fruits at a lower cost. The view from Chile Xie s colleague Juan Pablo Zhuang, said his company had chosen a difficult time to open an office in Santiago late last year, but it was worth it in order to secure good quality fruit supply. "Here in Chile we went from grapes to apples in May and June, and I have to add that in April and May there was the port strike that was very terrible for us because our fruit was left in the port for two weeks & after that all the fruits were dispatched at the same time, leading to a big fall in prices, Zhuang said. "Obviously we are concerned about the frosts. We would hope for more of a massive production from this country, but in Chile there are always weather issues, like the drought in the north. "These things are unavoidable, but on the other hand this could promote the association of farmers from Chile to attract more resources from the country, and I believe that it is good for improving agriculture. He said the Chilean industry was getting "more important for China each day because of the counterseason, and the country s good soil and climate overall. The Chinese delegation will leave Chile for Peru after Fruittrade, and participate in Fresh Summit in New Orleans next week.

New Research Shows You Can Enhance Your Life By Eating Avocado Every Day

Health conscious Kiwis and foodies alike now have even more reason to celebrate the arrival of the New Zealand avocado season - latest research proves they can make a vast improvement to overall health and wellbeing. As well as being a delicious addition to many meals, avocados are one of the most nutritionally complete foods in the world and new international research published in the Nutrition Journal* shows that people who regularly eat them weigh 3.4 kilograms less on average and have waistlines around four centimetres smaller, than those who don t. Avocado consumers also have significantly lower BMIs than non-consumers; significantly higher intakes of important nutrients (such as fibre, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and vitamin K), plus more good fats and a lower intake of added sugars. The findings of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the United States, published in the Nutrition Journal, proved eating avocado every day boosted people s HDL ("good ) cholesterol levels and resulted in a 50 per cent less chance of metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes). Qualified dietician and nutritionist Nadia Lim is the official New Zealand Avocado ambassador and was a guest presenter at the recent New Zealand and Australian Avocado Growers Conference, held in Tauranga. Nadia says avocados are a perfect health conscious option for healthy, vibrant people who desire nutritious food that contributes positively to their overall health. "Avocados are a perfect food & they re abundant in valuable vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates. Nutritionists have long recommended consuming the healthy fats from avocados which are known to support improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake and heart health, she says. New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular says "Avocados are incredibly nutritious and nourishing for the body and soul. If you like to get the most out of life then you should definitely include an avocado in your diet every day. "As part of a healthy, balanced diet, avocados are proving themselves time and again as a food that can help us all live healthier lives. This new research reinforces the importance of the food s role in our everyday diet, says Scoular. The American-based Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is continuing to invest millions of dollars in nutrition research on Hass Avocado & a fund which the New Zealand avocado industry has long contributed to & and has engaged top researchers and institutions to further investigate the fruit s health potential. HAB established a nutrition research programme in 2010 to increase awareness and improve understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. The four research pillars are heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living. *To read the overview from Nutrition Journal: http://www.avocadocentral.com/avocado-nutrition-center/nhanes-study For more information or images please contact: Midge Munro Communications Manager, New Zealand Avocado mmunro@nzavocado.co.nz 

2013 elections for grower representatives to the NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc Executive Committee and the Board of the Avocado Industry Council Limited

Following the call for nominations in the Far North and Mid North regions respectively and the subsequent nomination of one nominee for each area, the following were appointed to the AGA Executive and AIC Board directly: Ian Fulton for Far North Sue Culham for Mid North For the At Large region, two nominations were received which resulted in an election. The results of the election are: Votes: Ordinary: Roger Barber -   183   Quinton Lankshear -    129 Levy:         Roger Barber - 1332   Quinton Lankshear  -   893 Total:        Roger Barber -  1515   Quinton Lankshear - 1022 Rank:        Roger Barber - 1          Quinton Lankshear - 2 The AGA Executive for 2013-14 is: Ashby Whitehead (Chair)    Bay of Plenty Tony Ponder (Vice Chair)    At Large John Schnackenberg            At Large Roger Barber                        At Large John Cotterell                       At Large Ian Fulton                             Far North David French                       Rest of NZ Sue Culham                          Mid North    

Results of Motion and Remit voting session at NZAGA and AIC AGM 10 September 2013

MOTION 1: That the levy rate for avocado fruit sold into the export market be set at 35c per 5.5 kg trays for the period 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2015. Commodity Levy15c Commodity Levy & Promotions 20c TOTAL35c Moved: A Whitehead        Seconded: T Ponder Results for Motion 1: passed FOR by a show of hands MOTION 2: That the Levy rate for avocado fruit sold into the domestic market be set at 3% for the period 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2015. Moved: A Whitehead        Seconded: T Ponder Results for Motion 2: passed FOR by a show of hands MOTION 3: That growers support the consultation and approval process for NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc. to partner with the government under the Government Industry Agreement and Operational Agreements. The consultation process will include: That final documents for industry signature are shared with growers via the NZ Avocado website That Growers are informed that the documents are available at least one month prior to consultation roadshows That the Chair and CEO host GIA roadshows to consult with growers and answer questions from growers Following the roadshows a postal ballot would be conducted seeking grower support to enter into the GIA and Operational Agreements. Moved: A Whitehead              Seconded: J Schnackenberg Results for Motion 3: passed FOR by a show of hands MEMBER REMITS REMIT 1: That the budget for local market avocado promotion be increased, the extra money to be used for promoting demand for the fruit when stocks build up in the supply chain.Moved: Murray Pease Seconded: Bryan Cheshire This remit went to ballot. Results for Remit 1: 216 votes FOR 961 votes AGAINST REMIT 2: That in order for the "Letters to the Editor section in Avoscene magazine to be a viable forum for honest and robust debate amongst growers, the AGA adopt an editorial policy consistent with the NZ Press Council standards. Moved: Murray Pease Seconded: Bryan Cheshire Results for Remit 2: passed FOR by a show of hands Signed: Edwina Aitchison - Returning Officer:

Global Heavyweight to Share Latest Nutrition Research at Avocado Industry Conference

New international research regarding the health benefits of avocados will be a hot topic in Tauranga next week, as 50 world experts speak at an industry conference which is only held in New Zealand once every eight years. The American-based Hass Avocado Board (HAB) will share new research in a keynote presentation at Nutritional Values - the fifth Quadrennial New Zealand and Australian Avocado Growers Conference, to be held at the ASB Arena Baypark from 9-12 September. The research indicates that consuming avocados may be associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake level, lower intake of added sugars, lower body weight, BMI and waist circumferences, higher "good cholesterol levels and lower metabolic syndrome risk. In addition to sharing information on the growing body of Hass avocado research, HAB will share new analysis of data, published this year in Nutrition Journal, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the US , a programme of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).* Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director of HAB, says the organisation is investing millions of dollars in nutrition research, which the New Zealand avocado industry has long contributed to, with top researchers and institutions. "The Hass Avocado Board is funding additional clinical studies to investigate the relationship between fresh avocado consumption and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, avocados' potential positive role in weight management and diabetes, and avocados' ability to enhance nutrient absorption, says Escobedo. J ust last week New Zealand Avocado announced that the industry would receive a $4 million boost in research funding from a successful bid made to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) 2013 Science Investment Round. The investment over the next five years into the Plant & Food Research project Avocados for Export aims to contribute to doubling New Zealand s average avocado yield through identifying causes of irregular fruit bearing and will also introduce new storage and shipping systems to export increased volumes of fruit. Avocados are New Zealand s third largest fresh fruit export, and had an industry value of $60 million in 2012-2013 for both domestic and export volumes. Over 400 delegates are due to attend the conference and Ashby Whitehead, chair of the New Zealand Avocado Growers Association Inc. (NZAGA) and New Zealand Avocado Industry Council Ltd, says there is a fantastic line up of speakers who will inform, inspire and challenge growers.  "Those involved in our industry are passionate about growing our markets and that means keeping on top of global research, innovation and trends, Whitehead says. "Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the health benefits of the food they are eating. People now place a high value on "functional and "super foods such as avocado. We need to explore opportunities to leverage the nutritional benefits of this fruit, especially as we seek to further develop markets in Asia, he says. Fifty renowned experts from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the United States will discuss the nutritional findings, as well as talk about the latest pruning techniques, irregular bearing, disease management, new cultivars, nutrient management, pollination, quality improvement, market development, promotions, economics, biosecurity, and supply chain improvement. The upcoming conference is hosted in New Zealand only once every eight years. It is held as part of the memorandum of understanding between NZAGA and their Australian counterparts, Avocados Australia, to foster a stronger working relationship between the two peak industry bodies. Speaker highlights Dr Russell Ballard, Independent Chair of the Plant Market Access Council, will share insights on the New Zealand avocado industry s potential & sponsored by Port of Tauranga. Nadia Lim, New Zealand Avocado ambassador, will present on culinary and nutritional aspects of avocados. Stephen Toplis, BNZ s head of research, will share the economic outlook for the Asian region & an important growth region for the avocado industry. Lisa Cork, recent winner of the PMA-A marketer of the year award, will share her insights on innovative marketing and messaging & sponsored by Jenkins Freshpac Systems. Dr Mark Dreher, a nutrition research advisor to the Hass Avocado Board in the USA, will share information on the latest clinical trials to test effects of avocado on various aspects of health. Dr Andrew Geering, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland who works to improve food security through providing control options for diseases that affect sub-tropical and tropical horticultural crops such as banana, pineapple, avocado, tomato and other vegetables. Dr Zelda Van Rooyen will share the South African experience of growing avocados and the evaluation and commercialisation of new cultivar and rootstock material. Peter Thomson, Ministry for Primary Industries and Simon Hegarty, Horticultural Export Authority will each speak on market access for New Zealand avocados into overseas markets. Ian Proudfoot, Global Sector Leader for Agribusiness, KPMG, will talk about New Zealand s place in the global agri-food system and ask & what could the future look like? HAB s attendance at the conference is being supported by the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), who invests around $2.7 million per year aimed at exploring market opportunities, encouraging innovative ideas, and developing future leaders within the agribusiness sectors. AGMARDT is also supporting Dr Andrew Geering to attend and present. New exporter collaboration AVOCO is the Nutritional Values principal conference partner. AVOCO was created by New Zealand s two largest avocado exporters & Auckland-based Primor Produce Ltd and Te Puna s Southern Produce Ltd. *To read the overview from Nutrition Journal: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/c-nsi022013.php

Successful MBIE bid gives four million dollar research boost to avocado industry

The avocado industry will benefit from a $4m injection into research following a successful bid by Plant & Food Research to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment s (MBIE) 2013 Science Investment Round. The announcement from Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce will see investment over the next five years into the Plant & Food Research project Avocados for export which aims to double New Zealand s average avocado yield, overcome irregular fruit bearing and introduce new storage and shipping systems to export increased volumes of fruit. "This is very exciting news for the avocado industry and will contribute significantly to delivery of our five year plan which aims to develop value returning markets through delivering a consistent supply of high quality fruit, says Jen Scoular, CEO of New Zealand Avocado. The project will investigate causes of the industry s biggest challenge; irregular bearing, and the role dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) storage can play in extending the supply window. "New Zealand Avocado has developed a five year plan and as part of this we identified the need to seek partners and work collaboratively to deliver the outcomes. The MBIE bid process has been a team effort between New Zealand Avocado and Plant and Food Research. I thank all parties for the efforts that have resulted in this excellent outcome, says Ms Scoular. Dr Derek Wilson, General Manager of Science - Sustainable Production for Plant & Food Research shares the avocado industry s aim to work collaboratively. "We are very pleased to have partnered with the New Zealand avocado industry to get a new science programme up and running to address irregular bearing and storage issues. We have entered a new environment in R&D where partnerships between Plant & Food Research, Government and industry see us work hand in hand with industry, with real focus on delivery of outcomes to meet the needs of that industry, says Dr Wilson. MBIE s Science, Skills and Innovation Group s Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks was impressed by the high calibre of the successful proposals and the diverse range of topics they covered. "The research programmes outlined in the proposals are really exciting and they cover such a wide range of topics & from protecting our native forests from devastating plant diseases to assessing how downsizing in housing impacts on the independence of older adults. Mr Stocks said all of the proposals went through a robust assessment process, which included review by independent experts. The successful proposals were selected by MBIE s Science Board based on their scientific merit and potential benefit to New Zealanders. "The Avocados for export bid is a great R&D programme but its success lies also in the very strong value proposition outlined for the New Zealand avocado industry, says Dr Wilson. "In addition to MBIE s funding of $800k per annum, or $4m over five years, New Zealand Avocado will contribute $100k of grower funds per annum. This means over the five years $4.5m will be spent on new research for the avocado industry. says Ms Scoular. New Zealand Avocado is also supporting another successful bid from Plant & Food Research, a cross-sector project seeking optimisation of pollination; From bee minus to bee plus and beyond. Public Statement on MBIE Bid: Avocado is an emerging export fruit sector for New Zealand. It is has a strong industry organisation with a clear vision to triple sales by 2020. The proposition is to transform the industry, which is currently reliant on a single export market, to a globally competitive, high value, sustainable export industry. Critical factors identified by industry as needed to achieve this vision include providing growers with the tools to ensure they produce consistently high yields of fruit and providing exporters with new storage and shipping technologies to export these fruit to near and distant markets. Irregular bearing is a feature of all avocado industries and is a key contributor to overall low orchard productivity. The research will investigate causes of irregular bearing by examining the roles of temperature and light on yield and testing the hypothesis that crop load determines the rate of return bloom. A paradigm shift in orchard management will be proposed to move the industry away from large trees over 12 m tall of a single cultivar to more efficient small-tree orchard systems based on new cultivars with trees less than 3.0 m tall. An efficient export supply chain supplying high quality fruit is an integral part of achieving sustained industry growth. To manage the increased volumes of fruit predicted from industry, research will investigate parameters needed to move the industry from the current pick and ship supply chain to a pick, hold and ship system using dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) storage. The target outcome is for fruit to be supplied "out of inventory to export markets over an extended supply window, with new shipping conditions to ensure the fruit reach these new markets in prime condition. Successful implementation of the research will create significant new employment opportunities, especially in areas with high unemployment such as Northland, Gisborne and Bay of Plenty.  -ENDS- For further comment and information please contact: Midge Munro - Communications Manager, New Zealand Avocado p: 64 7 571 6147 m: 64 21 275 3331 e: mmunro@nzavocado.co.nz

2013 Commodity Levy Order Now In Force

Following the successful result of the 2012 Commodity Levy referendum, a new Commodity Levies Order for avocados came into force on 11 July, 2013. As per the new Commodity Levies (Avocados) Order 2013, the new rates for the first levy year apply from 11 July 2013 and end on 30 April 2014. The levy rates are as follows: 1/ For avocados grown and sold in New Zealand for consumption as fresh fruit 3% of the selling price at the first point of sale 2/ For avocados grown in New Zealand and exported from New Zealand 35 cents per tray equivalent (5.5kg) There are no levies on avocados grown in New Zealand and sold for processing. The commodity levy provides funding predominantly for AGA management and governance, promotions, research and communications including Avoscene, AvoConnect and the industry website. The Commodity Levy structure enables the organisation to have a strong grower voice and is important to maintaining grower influence over the future of the industry.

NZ Avocado advises against windfall fruit being submitted to the domestic market

Recent severe weather in the North and current high winds in the Bay of Plenty have resulted in reports of fruit fall. Fruit harvested off the ground breaches industry Food Safety protocols. Also, 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 practise for local market is that fruit that has come in contact with an uncovered ground surface must not be packed. Quality issues can quickly erode turnover of fruit at retail and consequently diminish the value returned to growers. Local marketers have stressed that the start of the season is critical in establishing good values throughout the remainder of the season. Values being established now will have a flow on effect and a well-managed supply of good quality avocados is imperative to ensuring that marketers are able to maintain the strong values attained last season and deliver good returns back to growers throughout 2013-14. Fruit that growers elect to send to the New Zealand market now will have a flow-on effect on values returned later in the season, when those same growers may looking for a decent return from Class 2 fruit that results from their export picking. Refer to the requirements for export fruit in the AIC Quality Manual belowAIC Quality Manual 2011-12 Page 2-10, Part 2: Grower Responsibilities, Section 2.3 - Harvesting Conditions Fruit should not be harvested for export when: It has fallen to the ground. The grower must ensure that under no conditions are windfall fruit collected and packed for export. http://industry.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/quality_standards.csn  

NZ has potential to become a fruit bowl for Asia

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today released a new report showing opportunities for further growth in the New Zealand fresh fruit sector, including into Asia. The Coriolis Research report, Driving Growth in the Fresh Fruit Sector, says that New Zealand s fruit exports are shifting towards Asia and away from traditional markets like Europe and North America. "The report highlights that we can become a fruit bowl for Asia. Asian consumers prefer the sweetness and quality of New Zealand fruit and we are achieving considerable success there, Mr Joyce says. "New Zealand is sending fruit to more countries and there has also been a significant growth in the export value of fruit. Kiwifruit s export value has almost doubled over the last decade, going from $567 million in 2002 to $1.043 billion in 2012. Industry comments in the report indicate that, while PSA has had a significant impact on the industry s profitability, export value growth is likely to continue into the future when the impact of the disease has passed. The report highlights a number of potential directions for growth in the fresh fruit sector including new varieties, value-added products and new and emerging fruits. "The report says that avocados, cherries and blueberries stand out as fruit that have the potential to create meaningful export growth. There are also opportunities to develop fruit extracts and ingredients for foodservice and nutraceuticals , Mr Joyce says. Driving Growth in the Fresh Fruit Sector is part of a series of reports released under the Food & Beverage Information Project & the most comprehensive analysis of New Zealand s food industry ever undertaken. The full report is available at http://www.foodandbeverage.govt.nz/.

Call for Remits

The NZ Avocado Growers' Association Inc. 2013 AGM is to be held at 3.40pm on Tuesday, 10 September at the ASB Arena, 81 Truman Lane, Baypark, Mount Maunganui, at the end of the first full day of the New Zealand and Australian Avocado Growers' Conference. Prior to the AGM we call for nominations to the NZAGA Executive Committee and for Remits to be presented at the AGM. We will call for items of general business in the AGM pack being posted to members the week of the 5th of August. No remit can be transacted at the AGM other than those that have been circulated to the members in advance. So that remits can be circulated to members they must be received by NZ Avocado by close of business on Friday 26 July 2013 Remits must be submitted by an AGA member and require a signed mover and seconder, who must also be members of the AGA. If there is an issue that is regional it would be preferred if this was developed through your regional executive committee representative to avoid duplication. Please use the form supplied - download form by clicking here On this form there is only space for one remit. If you want to make another remit this will need to be on a new remit form. Please keep your remits brief & if they require further explanation or supporting information please provide this on a separate sheet. Ensure both the mover and the seconder include their PPIN and sign the bottom of any extra sheets and attach it to the remit form. If you have questions regarding remits, please contact your local executive committee representative as listed in the contents page of the Avoscene or contact Edwina at NZ Avocado on 07 571 6147 or edwina@nzavocado.co.nz

Call for nominations to the NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc Executive Committee and the Board of AIC Limited

At the 2013 AGM the term of office is complete for four representatives, and four vacancies exist. Click here for more information and nomination forms - http://industry.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/nzaga_executive_elections.csn

Online export registration for 2013 14 season is open

If you are planning to export your avocados this season then you need to register each of your orchard PPINs with Avocado Industry Council. Please note that the fee for grower export registration is NZ $172.50 incl GST. This fee applies throughout the season; there will be no standard or late fee increases. To complete the registration process you need to have following information available: Your PPIN(s) and password(s) The number of planted hectares of your orchard - the method for calculating this is outlined in point 8 below. You must also be AvoGreen compliant to register for export. The online system links to your AvoGreen compliance details and will ask you to verify your details or alert you if there is an issue. Click here to register for the 2013-14 export season Instructions for registering online: Click the link above or in your internet browser window, type https://secure.nzavocado.co.nz/ into the website address bar and press ENTER on your key board. There is also a link on the homepage of the NZ Avocado industry website. You will now be in the AvoTools section of the New Zealand Avocado website. In the list of login types, click Grower. Enter your 5-digit PPIN (ensure there is a capital 'P' in front of this), and your password then click Login. Once logged in, click the Grower Export Registration link AvoGreen Compliance - You must verify that your orchard is AvoGreen compliant (either you are an Owner-operator or your orchard is monitored by an Operator or another Owner-operator). Click the two tick boxes at the bottom of the screen to verify compliance if the details displayed are correct. Terms & Conditions - You need to agree to abide by the terms and conditions displayed, and to comply with the EMS (and the Quality Manual). The EMS can be viewed by clicking the link above the terms and conditions. Click on the tick box at the bottom of the screen to accept. Your Details - Check that the details held on file for you or your company are correct, or amend any incorrect details. Please ensure that your email address is correct because it will be used to send your registration confirmation. Orchard Information - To correctly forecast industry volume we need accurate information about the area in production in New Zealand. You will need to enter the number of productive and unproductive planted hectares and the number of productive and unproductive trees in your orchard. We class a tree as "productive" if it is older than four years. Those less than four years old are classed as "unproductive". A tree older than four years which is not producing for other reasons such as irregular bearing, should be counted as productive. The online export registration system sets out a suggested method to calculate planted hectares, an example is shown below... Determine the number of trees in the block - 1200 Determine the tree spacing in the block - 7 by 7 Multiply tree spacing by the total number of trees - 7 x 7 x 1200 = 58,800 Divide by 10,000 for total canopy hectares - 5.88 canopy hectares If the number of canopy hectares per block is already known, ensure that any partially planted blocks are calculated using the method above. Intended packer choice - Select your intended packer. If you select a packer, your registration will automatically be emailed to that Packer once your registration is completed. If you don t select a packer during registration it is your responsibility to provide your later chosen packer(s) with a copy of your registration. Payment - Choose your payment method (credit card, direct credit or cheque). Your registration will not be confirmed and verified until payment is received in full by us. The fee is NZ $172.50 (Incl GST). Once details are checked and the payment has been received you will be sent a confirmation email with a copy of your registration form attached (this acts as a tax receipt). Also attached to this email are the terms and conditions and the EMS. Manual registration If you require a paper form to complete your export registration this can be arranged by contacting Michael at the NZ Avocado office. Please note that an administration fee of NZ $34.50 incl GST will be added to your registration fee. If you need to register manually, please contact Michael Gray on 0800 AVOCADO, (0800 286 2236) or by email michael.gray@nzavocado.co.nz to organise forms to be posted out to you.

Stay up to date with conference news

Like the Nutritional Values 2013 conference Facebook page to stay up to date with all the latest conference news. www.facebook.com/nutritionalvalues2013

BOP Young Fruit Grower of the Year 2013

Wednesday 26 June 2013, Mount Maunganui BayPark Function Centre This year the competition will be held at BayPark Function Centre on Wednesday, 26 June 2013. This exciting competition event, followed by a gala dinner in the evening, attracts hundreds of local Bay of Plenty people from within the horticulture industry. This event celebrates and showcases the importance of continually recognising and encouraging our industries up-and-coming young leaders, and this event is the perfect platform for this. For more information about the Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower of the Year competition, including entry forms and opportunities to sponsor this prestigious BOP event click on the documents below. BOP Young Fruit Grower of the Year 2013 - Flyer BOP Young Fruit Grower of the Year 2013 - Application Form BOP Young Fruit Grower of the Year 2013 - Sponsorship Form

Effects of drought on avocado production

While heavy rains have finally arrived to quench some drought-plagued regions, the effects of New Zealand's worst drought in 70 years will have some longer term effects in our orchards. The extent to which any individual orchard is affected by drought conditions will depend on a number of factors. These include the soil type and moisture holding characteristics, the root distribution within the soil profile (plants that are not irrigated will often have more extensive root systems while for those that are regularly irrigated root distribution can be restricted predominantly to the wetted areas) and the presence and type of mulch. The key here is that not all trees will be equally affected. The key ways that drought impacts on avocados can be considered as effects on fruit set, fruit size, nutrient uptake, fruit quality and longer-term production. The main way that the trees respond to water stress is by closing the stomata, the opening in the leaf through which gases and water vapour move in and out of the leaf. This prevents loss of water vapour which helps conserve water use but also prevents carbon dioxide and oxygen from entering the leaf, with a subsequent detrimental effect on photosynthesis and hence tree productivity. Nevertheless, lack of water in the soil stresses trees in ways that we do not fully understand. It is known that the production of abscisic acid (ABA) is increased and that this can cause a cascade of other stress responses. If a drought occurs over flowering this can have a detrimental effect on fruit set. Of the fruit that does set the subsequent fruit drop may be delayed until such time as reasonable rainfall occurs. Fruit growth is adversely affected as an adequate supply of water is essential for cell division and enlargement. On more developed fruit a lack of water can result in an increase in ring neck necrosis (death of cells on the fruit stalk) that can lead to premature fruit drop or to a reduction in fruit quality. Nutrient uptake relies on an adequate supply of soil moisture. This allows the nutrients to dissolve and be taken up by the plant. Calcium uptake in particular is likely to have been adversely affected as most of the calcium uptake into a fruit occurs within the first 12 weeks following fruit set. Low calcium levels can lead to an increase in fruit quality disorders, both physiological and pathological. Tree growth can be adversely affected. There may be a lack of summer flush, which potentially reduces the following season's crop, although it is thought that the spring flush is the most productive. Lack of soil moisture also restricts root growth and the tree may miss one or more root flushes. This will potentially increase susceptibility to Phytophthora as the roots are not being replenished. Reduced root activity also means that trees may be slower to respond to fertilizer applications. Extreme soil moisture deficits may have longer term impacts on productivity. Under severe water stress the water column within the conducting vessels inside the trunk may be broken resulting in "air bubbles or cavitation. This reduces the efficiency with which water is transported internally within the tree, and can result in decreased productivity. It is thought that the plant needs to grow new conducting tissue and this process may take from one to two years. The following links provide more advice on how trees can be affected by drought: http://www.horticulture.com.au/librarymanager/libs/172/Avocado_Irrigation_Drought_Conditions.pdf http://www.horticulture.com.au/librarymanager/libs/165/Avocados_Managing_Water.pdf

Register now for Nutritional Values 2013

We invite you to join fellow growers and international experts for this not to be missed avocado industry event. This is your opportunity to increase your awareness of the amazing nutritional properties of the avocado, gain knowledge about increasing the health of your orchard and learn about how we can ensure we maintain a strong and sustainable industry. Register for NUTRITIONAL VALUES now to take advantage of the early bird rates. What are the specific health properties of avocado? How do we increase the visibility of these attributes? And how does what we do in our orchards and throughout the value chain impact on the final product we deliver to consumers? The Nutritional Values conference will explore these questions and more, while providing you with an opportunity to reconnect, make new connections and discuss your ideas with peers and experts. The programme features international speakers and experts from Australasia who will present the latest knowledge on issues important to maximising value for the New Zealand and Australian avocado industries. Attendees will also spend time visiting successful orchards and postharvest facilities in the Bay of Plenty. Exciting programme, fabulous location, and memorable social events. Register for Nutritional Values at avocadoconference.co.nz Conference organising committee: Ashby Whitehead Chairman NZAGA Jim Kochi Chairman, AAL Jen Scoular CEO, NZ Avocado John Tyas CEO, AAL

New Chairman Announced for NZ Avocado Growers Association Inc and Avocado Industry Council Ltd

  Te Puke orchardist and NZAGA Grower Rep of seven years, Ashby Whitehead, is the new chairman-elect of NZAGA and AIC. "I am excited about the excellent opportunities available for avocados from New Zealand but also very aware of the challenges we face as an industry. I look forward to leading the industry through this phase of change and improvement, with the development of new markets in Asia, building the nutritional platform for avocados and strengthening the avocado category in the New Zealand market, Mr Whitehead said. Mr Whitehead will replace current chairman John Schnackenberg when he steps down from the position in May as part of a planned succession. Mr Schnackenberg has served as chairman since 2007 and will continue as a Grower Representative on the NZAGA Executive and AIC Ltd Board. Mr Whitehead has been one of the eight grower-elected directors on AIC's ten-member board since 2006. Mr Whitehead has been a successful avocado grower since 1996. He and wife Linda purchased a run-down apple orchard in Te Puke in 1991, converting to avocados after much tidying up and rehabilitation of the land. In 2000 they acquired the neighbouring orchard and planted a further 0.75ha of avocados and 3.5ha of kiwifruit. Ashby has had a long career in engineering, something which he has recently come back to following the effects of Psa-V. He is very active in the Te Puke avocado and kiwifruit communities and also sits on the AIC Finance committee, the Recognised Product Group, Quality Standards Committee and Local Market Committee. "I look forward to addressing the joint New Zealand and Australian avocado growers' conference in September in Tauranga in my new role as Chairman. It will be an excellent opportunity to connect with New Zealand and international avocado growers. Says Mr Whitehead. Mr Whitehead takes the Chairmanship at a time when there is major activity on the horizon for NZ Avocado. "We are currently working on a business case for a Primary Growth Partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries and also worked closely with Plant & Food Research to submit a bid for avocado research funding from the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment, says Mr Whitehead. "The crown investment will allow us to significantly accelerate our projects and implement solutions to create a far more profitable industry going forward. Outgoing chairman John Schnackenberg said "Ashby brings a strong grower focus to the chairmanship. NZAGA Grower Representative Tony Ponder has been elected as the new Vice Chair of NZAGA. Tony has served on the Board since 2005.

Avocado growers seek consistency

New Zealand's avocado industry is looking to get its house in order to capitalise on what it sees as massive export opportunity in Asia, but the pressure is on to beat South American producers. New Zealand exports close to US$40 million (NZ$48.4m) worth of avocados a year, a level that could grow by US$9m over the next five years if it irons out its production issues, according to a report published by the Coriolis research group late last year. Head of the New Zealand Avocado Jen Scoular said the main issue was irregular bearing, with orchards producing well one year and then poorly the next. "Without consistent volumes, it's hard for export markets to develop," she said. "You don't want to develop good relationships in the market and apologise the next year." She believed the export opportunity was even greater than that stated in the Coriolis report, with the fruit increasingly popular among consumers in Asia. Korea, Malaysia, and China were seen as the "next big markets". China was the jewel in the crown. New Zealand does not currently export avocados to China, but NZA is nearing the process of negotiating phytosanitary access. But time on the clock is ticking. Central and South American avocado producers' exports are 22 times bigger than that of New Zealand. Most Central and South American avocados are sold to the US market, where demand has expanded at a 10 per cent pace for the past 10 years. That's expected to last another five years until supply outstrips demand, at which point the low-cost producers will start looking to target Asian markets. Scoular said New Zealand-produced avocados had the advantage of New Zealand's clean-green brand in the market, but the supply issue remained the real constraint to trade. So far the industry was looking to address this by reproducing orchard management practices of growers whose fruit bearings were more consistent, as well as looking at pollination techniques, such as replacing bees with bumblebees. NZA has also applied for funding from the under the Ministry for Primary Industries, Primary Growth Partnership scheme, and is working with Plant & Food New Zealand and the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment on research. Scoular said production could also potentially increase in future, as growers shift away from kiwifruit, which has been hit by the Psa disease. However, higher yields on the gold kiwifruit varietal was slowing the adoption.

AU - Avocado growers expecting a boost in demand

Avocado growers are expecting a boost in demand for their delicious, healthy produce following the latest Dietary Guidelines which recommend Australians switch bad fats such as butter for good fats like avocado. For the first time, rather than suggesting Australians just limit their intake of saturated fat, the Guidelines suggest replacing foods high in saturated fat, such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil, with foods which contain predominantly mono and polyunsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters and pastes, and avocado. Released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Dietary Guidelines provide information about the types and amounts of food, food groups and dietary patterns to promote health and well-being, reduce the risk of diet-related conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. Avocados Australia CEO, John Tyas, said the new guidelines are a boon for consumer health and for avocado growers who work hard to deliver the highest quality produce integral to so many meals and occasions from breakfast through to dinner and the great Aussie barbecue. "We have always known about the health benefits of avocados, which are a rich source of dietary fibre, low in salt and sugar, so this is a wonderful endorsement, said Mr Tyas. "As consumer education programs roll out, we will inevitably see the delicious green spread replacing butter and margarine on sandwiches, toast and the like, making avocados a true staple in kitchens across the nation, he said. The new Dietary Guidelines urge Australians to eat more fruit and vegetables and point to an additional daily serve of vegetables as being associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. "The upshot is that avocados can play a flexible role in meeting Australian's daily nutritional requirements, said Mr Tyas. "You can eat half an avocado as a fruit serve, or half an avocado as two serves of vegetables or an eighth to a quarter of an avo as one to two serves of good fat, he said. For more information: Avocados Australia Email: mailto:ceo@avocado.org.au?subject=FreshPlaza Article

New study indicates avocado consumption may be associated with better diet quality

Positive health indicators also associated with avocado consumption   IRVINE, Calif. (February 20, 2013) & New analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) , a program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicates that consuming avocados may be associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake level, lower intake of added sugars, lower body weight, BMI and waist circumferences, higher "good cholesterol" levels and lower metabolic syndrome risk. These results were published in the January 2013 issue of Nutrition Journal. Specifically, the survey data (NHANES 2001-2008, 17,567 U.S. adults ages 19 years and older) revealed that the 347 adults (50% female) who consumed avocados in any amount during a 24-hour dietary recording period had several significantly better nutrient intake levels and more positive health indicators than those who did not consume avocados. Among the avocado consumers, average daily consumption was about one half (70.1 /- 5.4 g/day) of a medium sized avocado, somewhat higher in male avocado consumers (75.3 /-6.3 g/day) than females (66.7 /- 7.3 g/day). Overall Diet Quality, Energy and Nutrient Intakes According to the study, Avocado consumers more closely adhered to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans than those who did not eat avocados, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). Avocado consumers had significantly higher intakes of certain important nutrients including 36% more dietary fiber, 23% more vitamin E, 13% more magnesium, 16% more potassium and 48% more vitamin K than non-consumers. Avocado consumers also had significantly higher intakes of "good" fats (18% more monounsaturated and 12% more polyunsaturated) and total fats (11% more) than non-consumers, although average caloric intake of both groups was the same. Avocado consumers and non-consumers had similar intakes of sodium. Physiological Health Measures  Avocado consumers had significantly lower BMI values than non-consumers. Avocado consumers had significantly smaller waist circumference measures than non-consumers (an average of 4 cm smaller). Avocado consumers weighed significantly less than non-consumers (an average of 7.5 pounds less). Avocado consumers had significantly higher HDL ("good") cholesterol levels. Metabolic Syndrome Risk The study found that Avocado consumers had a 50% lower odds ratio for metabolic syndrome compared to non-consumers. Metabolic syndrome is a name given to a group of risk factors which, when they occur together, increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. As with most analyses of NHANES data, research findings were based on cross-sectional data from a single 24-hour dietary recall (which may be inaccurate and biased due to misreporting and memory lapses) and cannot provide cause and effect evidence between avocado consumption and improvements in diet quality. "These findings suggest an interesting association between the consumption of avocados and better nutrient intakes and other positive outcomes," said study primary investigator Victor Fulgoni, PhD. "These observations were derived from population survey data, they provide important clues to better understanding the relationships between diet and health, and give direction to future research endeavors." "To this end, the Hass Avocado Board is funding additional clinical studies to investigate the relationship between fresh avocado consumption and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, avocados' potential positive role in weight management and diabetes, and avocados' ability to enhance nutrient absorption," said Hass Avocado Board Executive Director Emiliano Escobedo. ### For a free copy of the abstract or the full study visit: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/12/1/1 For additional information or free resources on avocado research, recipes, tips and photos visit the Hass Avocado Board web site at AvocadoCentral.com. About the Hass Avocado Board The Hass Avocado Board was established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs HAB's promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Hass avocados are grown in California and imported into the US from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and New Zealand. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/about_nhanes.htm. Accessed on January 31, 2013. Fulgoni VL, Dreher M and Davenport A. Avocado Consumption is Associated with Better Diet Quality and Nutrient Intake, and Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk in US Adults: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008. Nutrition Journal. 2013; 12:1 (2 January 2013) United States Department of Agriculture. Healthy Eating Index. Available at: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/healthyeatingindex.htm. Accessed on January 30, 2013. National Heart Blood and Lung Institute. What is Metabolic Syndrome? Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms/. Accessed on January 30, 2013.

Avocado prices soar

Avocado prices are soaring this summer due to short supply and high demand and an industry group says shoppers may face similar pricing for some time to come. New Zealand Avocado Growers' Association chief executive Jen Scoular said the 2011/2012 crop was the biggest ever, at six million trays. But bumper seasons are usually followed by smaller harvests, she said, and the latest crop had come in at only three million trays. "This year there's a shortage of supply and an increased demand for avocados, which in a market economy means the price goes up," said Scoular. She said the industry had been doing a lot of marketing, raising awareness of the fruit's health benefits, which was driving demand from consumers. According to Statistics New Zealand's Food Price Index, avocado prices rose 86 per cent between January 2012 and the same month this year, contributing to a 5.9 per cent overall price increase for fruit and vegetables during that period. Asked whether consumers could expect cheaper avocados next summer, Scoular said the association's strategy was to position the fruit as a high value product, rather than a commodity. "We would like to see the return to the grower maintained, which means we do suggest that the retail pricing might hold next year similar to where it is now." Antoinette Shallue, spokeswoman for supermarket operator Foodstuffs, said the "firmer" avocado prices this summer were not unexpected and reflected supply and demand. "We are constantly advocating for better value for our customers and continue to work with our suppliers to provide the best possible prices," Shallue said. Australian avocado prices are reportedly 130 per cent up on last summer and retailing for as much as A$5 each, despite a very large crop. "Demand is certainly outstripping supply at the moment," Avocados Australia chief executive John Tyas told the Australian Financial Review last week. "During the summer, only the southern states are the major suppliers of avocados and they produce a bit less." Scoular said 60 per cent of New Zealand's avocado crop, grown largely in the Bay of Plenty, was now exported. Australia had been the largest overseas market for more than a decade, but exports to Japan had tripled over the past two years and new markets were being developed in other Asian countries, she said. The New Zealand industry is made up of 1600 growers who collectively manage more than 5000 hectares planted mainly with the Hass variety of avocados, according to the Growers' Association. http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/avocado-prices-soar/1762985/

Australia's promising start to avocado season

Reasonable prices and a healthy volume of Shepard avocados are likely to provide good returns for Tableland growers this season. Read article >>http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=105639#SlideFrame_1

Diet change works swiftly in reducing risk

NZ Avocado contributed to the study detailed below through the provision of avocados to the participants throughout the trial.  A study by Lynnette Ferguson, Professor of Nutrition at The University of Auckland, has shown that a change in diet can be effective in reducing inflammation over a period of just six weeks in healthy New Zealanders. The research has also shown that short-term studies with relatively small numbers of participants are capable of yielding robust research results, which has major implications for the cost of human clinical trials.   "Inflammation, says Professor Ferguson, "can be the catalyst for chronic human diseases, including Alzheimer's, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers, as well as various autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's Disease and type 2 diabetes. "It has been established in many studies that this inflammation can be reduced through a diet which is high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, fruit and vegetables, nuts and whole grains, and is low in refined grains, saturated fats and sugars. "Many of these dietary components characterise the Mediterranean diet', which has been shown to protect against chronic disease. What Professor Ferguson set out to investigate was whether there was evidence of inflammation in apparently healthy New Zealanders and whether changing their diet for just six weeks would reduce this evidence. To do this she looked at bio-markers including the C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a standard marker for inflammation and can be measured through blood tests. Thirty healthy volunteers, selected for their initially "poor diets, were encouraged to cut out refined and processed foods and to follow a Mediterranean-type diet over the six weeks of the study, with increased amounts of fish, vegetables, unrefined cereals and "good fats such as olive oil and avocado. They were given some foods, including salmon (for one meal a week), and were provided with recipes for healthy eating. The biggest difference from a standard Mediterranean-style diet was the use of gluten-free foods. Participants, randomly assigned to high and lower-intervention groups, provided blood and urine samples at the beginning and end of the study, completed a four-day diary in the final days, and completed questionnaires about their diet and lifestyle, as well as attending workshops led by expert dieticians. "This was a small study, intended to be a pilot for a much larger study of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn's Disease, but the results turned out to be highly statistically significant, says Professor Ferguson. "Overall average daily fat intake was considerably reduced, and much lower percentages of saturated fat were consumed. The self-reporting of volunteers was corroborated by the blood tests, which showed a corresponding reduction in the bio-markers for inflammation. It demonstrated that the high-intervention diet had altered gene expression within six weeks. "This is a remarkable result, says Professor Ferguson, "since it shows that average people, many of them young and with no health conditions, can, through an improvement in diet, significantly modify the biomarkers that indicate the risk that they could develop a chronic disease later. The larger research project for which this was a pilot or "proof of principle study is one which is examining the effect of a change to a Mediterranean-type diet (similar, though not identical, to that in the pilot study) on people suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It has been established that there are several different genotypes characteristic of people suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and that each of those genotypes responds differently to particular types of diet or dietary items. The current research project is concentrating on those who have the most common genotype for the disease, though the ultimate aim is to formulate different diets tailored to the needs of the whole range of genotypes. Results are being analysed now and look "highly encouraging , says Professor Ferguson. The findings will be available in March.

Avocado Versatility Inspires Crowds At Annual Festival

TAURANGA, Monday 21st January 2013: Over 1500 avocados were devoured in Katikati this weekend as New Zealand's avocado capital celebrated the superfruit's health and versatility in style, breaking the record of avocados consumed at last year's festival. Celebrity Masterchef Nadia Lim headlined the 10th annual Katikati Avocado Food and Wine Festival at Uretara Domain on Saturday, and a huge crowd enjoyed avocado inspired mousse, ice cream and pizzas as well as cooking demonstrations and culinary competitions. New Zealand Avocado CEO, Jen Scoular, says a staggering number of avocados were peeled, sliced, diced and mashed on the day, and it was great to see so many people celebrating one of nature's most nutritious and delicious ingredients. NZ Avocado ambassador, Nadia Lim, and local celebrity chef, Peter Blakeway, both drew big crowds and taught people some exciting new ways to add good' fats to your diet and increase your heart health. "Nadia and Peter created a range of amazing avocado dishes and really opened people's eyes to the endless ways to enjoy avocados. Nadia created an Asian avocado and prawn salad while Peter wowed the crowd with a delicious roast chicken with avocado and mini chicken avocado pizzas, Scoular says. "Avocado lovers certainly picked up lots of new ideas and got to sample some delicious dishes, Scoular says. Free samples of avocado chocolate mousse proved extremely popular, and showed just how perfect this summer ingredient can be for desserts. An estimated 2000 people had the opportunity to relax in the sunshine, with bands performing throughout the day and six top wineries providing wine tastings, while guacamole lovers went head to head in a bid to create the best guacamole in Katikati. "Nadia and Peter had a hard time judging the winners, Scoular says. "It was great to see people creating the famous dip and infusing their own ideas. Children also competed for their share of the limelight, with avocado and spoon races and avocado art proving to be a big hit alongside more traditional fairground entertainment. Festival organiser David Crispin says this year's event, which was jointly run by the Pakeke and Katikati Lions clubs, will donate proceeds from the festival to the Cancer Society Lodge in Hamilton. For all of the delicious recipes created during the festival, including the guacamole competition winning recipe, visit http://www.nzavocado.co.nz/

Top Chefs Set To Serve Up Inspirational Treats At Avocado Festival

Thousands of foodies are expected to descend on the small Bay of Plenty town next month for the Katikati Avocado Food and Wine Festival, featuring celebrity Masterchef, Nadia Lim. Over 1000 avocados were consumed by avocado aficionados during the 2012 festival and the involvement of both avocado ambassador Nadia Lim and local chef Peter Blakeway is expected to send consumption at the 10th annual event through the roof. New Zealand Avocado CEO, Jen Scoular, says this dedicated festival is growing in popularity every year and is all about celebrating one of our most diverse ingredients as well as educating and inspiring avocado lovers to try new recipes at home. "Last year the industry produced a record avocado crop and New Zealanders had lots of opportunities to enjoy their extensive nutritional benefits. Nadia's cooking demonstrations will be one of the festival's highlights and will be a great opportunity for avocado lovers to pick up new ideas and sample some innovative dishes. Since the festival began in 2003, over $80,000 has been raised and donated to local charities. All proceeds from the 10th annual festival, run by the Pakeke and Katikati Lions clubs, will be donated to the Cancer Society Lodge in Hamilton. Festival organiser David Crispin says the festival is a wonderful summer's day out and is a real treat for foodies, with thousands of people expected to enjoy tasty avocado treats and entertainment with a glass of wine in hand. "This festival is a great family opportunity to relax in the sunshine, with bands performing throughout the day and six top wineries providing wine tastings. There is a wide variety of food available to purchase, plus the public can try their hand at making guacamole which will be judged by Nadia and Peter, says Crispin. Children will also be well catered for with plenty of entertainment and rides. Prizes are up for grabs in the avocado spoon races and avocado art will allow youngsters to create their own masterpieces by stamping painted avocado pieces onto paper. Nadia Lim is a qualified dietician and winner of Masterchef 2011 is the ambassador for New Zealand Avocado and will share her passion for the superfruit by educating Kiwis how they can use avocados in unique ways. The Katikati Avocado Food and Wine Festival will be held on Saturday 19th January 2013 at the Uretara Domain in Katikati from 12pm-6pm. Early bird tickets are $16 (plus booking fee) from http://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2013/jan/avocado-food-and-wine-festival-2013 Those under 18 years accompanied by a parent are free. For more information visit http://www.avofest.co.nz/.

Treat Your Tastebuds and Waistline With Avocados This Christmas

Many of us overeat during the holiday season but nutritionist, Angela Berrill, has some expert advice on how to treat your taste buds and look after your waistline this Christmas. Berrill has spent her career teaching people how to enjoy food while also nurturing their bodies and has recently been engaged by New Zealand Avocado this season to comment on the fruit's nutritional benefits. "Avocados are synonymous with summer and this Christmas you can enjoy a wide range of delicious dishes such as Nadia Lim's avocado, watermelon, pomegranate and feta salad. This extra special side salad is a fantastic addition to any festive feast, but will not leave you feeling guilty about having eaten the wrong sort of food, says Berrill. Berrill describes avocados as tummy-friendly' because they contain one of the highest fibre contents of any fruit in terms of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre helps to aid digestion and keeps you regular while soluble fibre helps to lower cholesterol. "Avocados are also a weight-friendly' food which is something many of us are thinking about at this time of year. As a lower fat alternative to traditional fat-based spreads such as butter or margarine, avocados are a great substitute for mayonnaise when you're putting together a tasty sandwich or summer salad. "Another important consideration for many New Zealanders is that because avocados contain good' monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid, they can help lower levels of bad' LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, making them great for heart health. The fats in avocado also help the body's absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, she says. Expectant mums can also benefit from the iron and fibre contained in avocados, while the fruit's high folate content will support the formation of a baby's neural tube. "Avocados are an ideal first food for young babies too. Being smooth and creamy in texture, they are easily tolerated and provide babies with a range of important nutrients for their development, adds Berrill. Berrill has previously acted as the nutrition adviser and expert for TV3's Target and regularly contributes to well-known publications such as Good Health magazine. "I'm passionate about educating people on the importance of diet. Avocados taste delicious but they're also a nutritionally dense food, containing many health-promoting nutrients and compounds for people of all ages, she explains. When planning a celebratory summer meal, remember that avocados do not need to be confined to a salad. Berrill says they're a versatile ingredient which can be used in smoothies, on toast, pizzas and omelettes and even in cakes and desserts. "Now is the perfect time of year to enjoy them, so add avocados to your next barbeque, summer lunch, dinner or Christmas meal, she concludes.   >> Recipe: Avocado, watermelon, pomegranate and feta salad

Supercharge Your 5 Plus A Day Fruit And Vegetable Intake With Avocado

Kiwis are being urged to eat more avocados during November's 5 A Day Fruit and Vegetable Month because they help the body absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from other produce. New Zealand Avocado CEO, Jen Scoular, says avocado acts as a nutrient booster' and is one of the best choices people can make when increasing their fruit and vegetable intake. "Eating avocados promotes additional absorption of nutrients from those other foods as well. By eating avocado with other fruits and vegetables your body is better able to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from your meals, she explains. 5 A Day spokesperson, Carmel Ireland, says the objective of this year's 5 A Day Fruit and Vegetable Month is to challenge Kiwis to add an extra serving of fruit and vegetables to their daily diets to boost their overall health and shrink their waistlines. "In-season fresh fruit and vegetables, like avocados, are not only delicious and versatile but promote good health, protect against cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and can help with weight management, says Ireland. New Zealand Avocado is supporting the initiative by providing 5 A Day with free avocados and healthy avocado recipes to distribute during its month-long promotion. "The 5 A Day Charitable Trust does a fantastic job at highlighting how important fruit and vegetables are. The website (www.5aday.co.nz), Facebook page, Twitter and You Tube accounts will also feature fresh ideas about how to use avocados in the kitchen this summer, explains Scoular. Scoular says avocados are one of the most nutritionally complete foods on earth and there are many reasons why this super fruit' should be regularly eaten by people of all ages & including pregnant mothers, babies and the elderly. "Avocados are naturally cholesterol free, making them a heart-healthy addition to your diet. They can also help with weight management because they supply the body with good' monosaturated fats which contain oleic acid to activate the brain to make you feel full. Avocados are a versatile ingredient which can be used in all types of cooking & including smoothies, on toast, in salads, pizzas and omelettes and even in cakes and desserts. They are also the perfect substitute for butter, margarine or mayonnaise as they're tasty, salt-free, low in sugar, and full of fibre. "Avocados are a delicious and nutritious addition to every day cooking. They are full of vitamins and beneficial fats that will boost your overall health and well-being. The 5 A Day Fruit and Vegetable Month also coincides with the start of the avocado season so now's the perfect time to incorporate them into your diet, says Scoular.

Nadia Lim Celebrated As New Zealand Avocado Ambassador

New Zealand Avocado is thrilled to announce that celebrity Masterchef Nadia Lim will become its ambassador for the 2012-13 avocado season which officially begins today. Lim will work alongside New Zealand Avocado to educate Kiwis on the many health benefits of avocados and how they can be used as an everyday ingredient to create nutritious and delicious meals and snacks. Since winning the New Zealand Masterchef title in 2011, the qualified dietician regularly contributes to Bite (NZ Herald), Food Magazine, the Healthy Food Guide, and has established her own popular website (www.nadialim.com). She is also working on a follow up to her acclaimed Nadia's Kitchen cookbook. New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular says having Lim positively endorse avocados and use them in her own recipes will bring enormous exposure to the avocado industry this summer. "Nadia is extremely talented and is very enthusiastic about being an ambassador for avocados. NZ Avocado is very excited to have someone of her calibre and profile on board. Scoular says November 1st also marks the start of 5 A Day Fruit and Vegetable month, where New Zealanders will be encouraged to increase their daily intake of produce such as avocados to improve their overall health. "By eating an avocado with other fruits and vegetables your body is better able to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from your meals, Scoular says. "Avocados are considered to be nature's super fruit' because they help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, are full of vitamins and contain good' monounsaturated fats. They are extremely beneficial for people of all ages & including babies, pregnant mums and the elderly. Lim has developed four avocado recipes exclusively for New Zealand Avocado & two of which she will cook at the official avocado season launch held at Main Course in Auckland today, including an Asian avocado, prawn and orange salad. The celebrity Masterchef says avocado is one of the most simple, yet versatile ingredients you can use in the kitchen, and she hopes to encourage people to try new and delicious flavour combinations. "Avocados can be used in all types of cooking & from smoothies, to salads, on toast, pizzas, omelettes and even cakes and desserts. They're also a great substitute for butter, margarine and mayonnaise, Lim explains. "I personally love avocados and I've just recently returned from France where avocados avocat' are eaten regularly and feature daily on restaurant menus. More and more Kiwis are now discovering how healthy avocados are and my goal is to inspire people to try new recipes and incorporate this wonderful fruit into their everyday diet. Last season local avocado growers produced the largest crop in the history of avocado production in New Zealand. This season, New Zealand Avocado expects to supply the New Zealand market with 1 million 5.5kg trays. "New Zealand Avocado is a not-for-profit organisation and I'm really looking forward to supporting the work they do. Avocados are so good for you, they should be a staple food item in every Kiwi kitchen this summer, says Lim.

Nadia Lim Launches First Avocado Recipe as New Ambassador

New Zealand Avocado ambassador, Nadia Lim, is a master at serving up delicious, healthy food & and now she has created a sensational summer recipe for you to enjoy at home. The celebrity Masterchef says avocado is one of the most simple, yet versatile ingredients to create stunning, restaurant-quality meals that are as healthy as they are delicious. Lim is creating four special recipes on behalf of New Zealand Avocado to be released throughout the season. The first of which is a fresh Asian avocado, prawn and orange salad, which Nadia will be demonstrating at the official avocado season launch next month. "Avocados are truly one of nature's super heroes. There's a plentiful supply over summer, they're versatile and are packed full of nutrients and anti-oxidants. But most importantly, they taste absolutely delicious and are a great staple ingredient in any kitchen, says Lim. Since being crowned New Zealand's Masterchef in 2011, the qualified dietitian has worked to improve Kiwi's eating habits by creating healthy recipes. "Avocados are full of the good' monounsaturated fats which are essential for our health, the fact they taste delicious is a bonus, says Lim. >> Check out Nadia's recipe for Asian avocado, prawn and orange salad www.nadia.co.nz Photography by Kieran Scott

Now in Season - Avocado Reduces Fat Cravings and Inspires Healthy Hearts

TAURANGA, Friday 12th October 2012: As the avocado season's harvest kicks off, the Heart Foundation Tick programme is urging Kiwis to eat more of the world's most nutritionally complete fruits this summer. The Heart Foundation Tick has joined forces with New Zealand Avocado to encourage people to ditch bad' fats and consume more good' fats like those found in avocados. More than half the total fat in avocado is made up of oleic acid, which provides unique health benefits similar to that of olives *. Oleic acid works by increasing the body's absorption of fat-soluble nutrients and antioxidants while activating the part of your brain that makes you feel full, meaning you may be less inclined to crave saturated and trans fats found in other foods **. Avocados contain a unique combination of essential fatty acids, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. This blend of benefits has earned the fruit many accolades including super fruit' status. Avocado has also been awarded the official Heart Foundation Tick', cementing it as an official smart and healthy food choice. Heart Foundation Tick manager Deb Sue says some New Zealanders think avocados are too high in fat so avoid eating them altogether. "In actual fact, monounsaturated fat is great for heart health and helps you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Avocados are naturally cholesterol free, are packed full of nutrients and are an incredibly versatile food. Avocados are an ideal way of increasing your intake of 5 A Day fruit and vegetables and we would love to see New Zealanders eating more of them in place of foods with a lot of saturated fat, says Sue. "Avocados are really diverse and can be used in smoothies, salads, and by spreading avocado onto sandwiches instead of using butter, you can reduce your intake of cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium. There are now over 1100 Tick approved products in New Zealand, all of which must go through rigorous independent testing to ensure they comply with strict nutritional criteria. This summer the Heart Foundation will include avocado recipes in its Tick Recipe Guide booklet and on-line at www.heartfoundation.org.nz. Avocados will also be promoted via the Tick Club' which has over 30,000 members nationwide. When choosing avocados, be mindful that green ones will be ready to eat in 7-10 days and can be kept in your fruit bowl to ripen naturally. Avocados with olive green skin will be ready in 2-3 days, while purple/brown ones are ripe and ready to eat. Ripe avocados can be refrigerated to extend their life a few more days but black avocados should be avoided as they're past their best. Meanwhile, New Zealand Avocado will support the Heart Foundation Tick programme this summer by supplying avocados at events and initiatives throughout the 2012-13 season. The New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular says up to 2.9 million trays of Hass avocados are expected to be harvested between now and March for export and the domestic market. "Last season was a record crop and the favourable prices meant many people tried & and loved & avocados. There will be plenty of beautiful fruit in supermarkets this season for people to enjoy throughout the summer months, says Scoular. Avocados provide a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating them can help lower your cholesterol absorption, protect your liver, improve your skin and maintain a healthy weight and digestive system. "Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients. They taste absolutely delicious and are extremely versatile & you can use them in hot, cold, sweet or savoury dishes. We would definitely encourage people to be adventurous with avocados this summer and try something new. And there will be lots of fantastic new recipes around for inspiration, says Scoular. ENDS    * - http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/healthy-eating/5-reasons-to-eat-more-avocados    ** - http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5  

Kaino Joins Miss Japan to Push Avocados

Media Clipping from NZ Herald Business Section

United Front Key to Asia

Media clipping from Bay of Plenty Times

Governor General visits Bay avocado orchards

Avocado orchardists Andrew and Maria Watchorn were tickled when the Governor General visited their Omokoroa orchard to get a first-hand look at the Bay of Plenty s avocado growing industry. The Watchorn s hosted Governor General Sir Jerry Mataparae on Thursday, where Maria says they were amused by the fact the Governor had never seen an avocado tree before. Governor General Sir Jerry Mataparae gets his first look at an avocado tree. "He came to visit our orchard, and it was the first avocado tree & he had never seen an avocado tree until he came onto our property. "I think he was quite shocked, I don t think he thought they were going to be such lovely, lush trees. We worked hard to get the orchard looking pristine. "He really thought avocado trees were beautiful trees. As part of the tour, Sir Jerry visited the Zespri headquarters in Mount Maunganui before going to the Apata packhouse and Watchorn s orchard on Prole Road, Omokoroa. Maria says the Governor General is a "lovely, warm, approachable person who really loves avocados. "He got a tray of avocados to take back to Wellington with him. This season s avocado crop is looking good for the Watchorns. "I cannot say that about the whole industry, because of the on-off season s for people. "Because of bi-annual bearing, some people are not able to produce a crop every year. There are some growers out there that have a very, very light crop, if any at all. "We are fortunate enough to get another really good crop, good fruit, good sizes. The season for us has been very good. On the orchard, Maria says they use a range of innovative techniques to improve fruit production. "We have fully automated frost protection systems in place and the water comes from a bore that is slightly warmed, that is fully automated computerised system. Apata coolstore manager Ian Tangney speaks with the Governor General. Last season, the avocado industry recorded one of its biggest crops yet, although returns are not as good as anticipated after the record volumes swamped the Australian market. "As a grower, the impact is the price. Our normal tray payout has been reduced. Maria says although they have not received the final payout, it is estimated returns will be down by $5-$7 per tray, compared to last year. "With the Australian market swamped by both New Zealand and more Australian fruit than anticipated, it has brought the price down. Source: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/23084-bay-avocado-industry-on-show.html

Avocado industry sets export sights on Europe and beyond

The avocado industry is testing technology to prevent fruit ripening in transit that it hopes will open up markets in Europe. Two thousand trays of fruit were exported to France in December packed in shipping containers fitted with dynamic controlled atmosphere equipment - technology which creates a low-oxygen atmosphere. A shipment is on its way to Honolulu, and two more containers will be sent to France to help determine the ideal conditions for transporting avocados for more than 20 days. New Zealand Avocado Growers' Association chief executive Jen Scoular said the European market could be hugely important. "It's not just Europe, it's also Russia ... We are forecasting reasonably significant increases in volume, so the more markets we have available, the better." The technology is being used to set the oxygen level in the container at the outset, but could be adjustable in transit if it proves worth the additional expense. 'We can't ever undervalue the amount of effort that we have to put into retaining our markets. Building new markets is certainly a high priority, but retaining value in our current markets must also be a big part in our strategy." The trial is being monitored by Plant and Food Research in association with the Avocado Industry Council. Scoular said the association was keen to see greater exporter collaboration to achieve more sustainable returns for growers. "If an exporter has not provided up-to-date forecasts on returns or is unable to talk about their longer-term market strategy, growers should question whether that exporter is their best business partner." The Avocado Industry Council is engaged in a project with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to promote agreement on chemical-residue levels in six Asian countries and is working with government and industry to assess the potential for exports to China and India. The export-season harvest runs from September to February and Scoular said it was expected to be about 3.7 million trays, with Australia accounting for about 75-80 per cent. Exports in the 2010/11 year were worth $67 million. "Early in the season Australia forecast their crop would be light because of adverse weather," Scoular said. "But the actual crop out of Australia was significantly higher, so when New Zealand avocados arrived across the Tasman their market was swamped and prices fell." Cold weather before Christmas had also resulted in less demand. "I think there will be people who are losing money ... There are others who will do reasonably well. I think it's a bad year for growers because the expectation was high." AVOCADOS AHOY * Atmosphere controls are being tested to ship fruit to more distant markets. * Computer systems monitor and control the atmosphere or levels of gases present in a container. * Sensors measure the stress level of the avocado or the level of oxygen deprivation it can handle before being damaged. * A control unit then sets that level of oxygen in the container so the fruit can hibernate. Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10784036

Consumers | Links | Contact Us