August 2020 Blog
By Jen Scoular
We were excited to release the results for the industry last week, a total of $154m returned to New Zealand across both export and the New Zealand market. Volumes were the second highest ever, with over 7.2m trays.
As an industry we focus on our export season from August through March but supply the New Zealand market 12 months a year. For the first time in a number of years we had strong supply from one season to the next, so consumers had no period with short supply as has been the case previously.
It’s great news too that New Zealanders are eating more avocados, over 70 million sold in New Zealand over the past year, that’s nearly 3.2kg per person per year. Which isn’t a whole lot if there are lots of people like me who could easily eat 2 or 3 avocados a week, which is more than 3.2kg per month! I’ve also realised recently, with the buy local campaign, that New Zealand goats cheese is so much nicer than what I’ve been buying for years. I’ve never particularly liked feta, well I didn’t think I did, until I tried some delicious local ones. So my avocado consumption goes up accordingly, with just a smidgeon of feta crumbled into it.
Our season has started well with good supply meeting decent demand in New Zealand. We are anticipating good demand for avocados from New Zealand in Australia, where a poor pollination in Western Australia last November caused a significant decline in their avocado production. It’s unclear what the impact of the state of Victoria’s return to lockdown will be, but our exporters remain confident that demand for our healthy avocados will remain strong.
We are in the process of an election for Grower Representatives and I hope our avocado readers have cast their vote. It is so important that growers do have a voice. We are also conducting some research to understand what attracts growers to the avocado industry, and what motivates and drives them in their avocado growing. I look forward to the feedback we will receive from growers through this process. We have real diversity across our grower base and as an industry body we are trying to deliver well to best meet the needs of all avocado growers. This research is intended to help us know growers better, so we can deliver the services they need from us in the most effective and useful way.
We have recently begun trialling online workshops and zoom updates and seen good appetite from growers to connect with NZ Avocado through these online channels. The way the world communicates, learns and shares information is changing rapidly and we are committed to evolving and adapting our service delivery to support avocado growers.