February 2020 Blog
By Jen Scoular
It couldn’t have been a better afternoon to celebrate avocados at the recent Katikati avocado food and wine festival. Topped by New Zealand’s famous singing, dancing and yodelling twins, it was lovely to see so many people enjoying the music, food and wine amongst their friends and colleagues. Oysters served on a half avocado was one innovative dish on offer and there was plenty of home-grown fare in the numerous stalls around the Uretara Domain.
It has been a very different season this year from last, when rain seemed to come at all the wrong times. It has been much better not to have challenges of rain while we harvest, although many growers will be concerned at the lack of water as their new fruit develops. The promised rain never seems to arrive.
We are seeing great demand for avocados from New Zealand shoppers, with many retailers saying they will take all the supply they can get. Social media continues its love affair with avocado and I was wowed by Sachi Nomura’s avocado wedding cake that made TV news just before Christmas.
The New York Times reported this week that “Millennials Aren’t Spending All Their Money on Avocado Toast, Actually”, and have saved more for their retirement than the previous generation, Gen X. Based on the youngsters I know who are starting to make their way in the world, they are well grounded in reality, they’ve seen a lot of the world, if only their screens, and they are taking accountability for their lives and their planet. We are being pushed by them to look after the world we will leave them and I’m pleased that we are developing an environmental, social and economic sustainability strategy for the avocado industry.
Sometimes it’s hard to choose what we should do, because there is so much to do, but I’m liking the strategy that every small step helps. We are going paper-less in the NZ Avocado office, nearly half of the team is cycling to work and we are increasing our focus on recycling. I hope you too are looking at how you can cut down on waste, plastic, and resource use.
It has certainly been an amazing summer for eating avocados. We know they taste good at any time, even when it’s cold and wet – but avocados really shine when the sun is out. I was trying out a new recipe from a book received at Christmas, enjoying being able to use up a heavy crop on my plum tree and found we were short of butter. No problem, I substituted 80g of avocado instead and the plum tart was delicious. A tick for Christmas gifts, plums and avocados. Not to mention how delicious it was with a cup of tea.