What a global blast! We think we smashed it!
We hope you have arrived back at your orchard or your home feeling that you were part of a fantastic event.
1,160 delegates from 33 countries talking passionately about avocados, under one roof, sharing, learning, listening and taking action to grow the global avocado industry.
Thank you to the great key note speakers from five countries, thanks to the 130 speakers from 16 countries, the diversity of topics and expertise from the presenters allowed us all to listen and learn and later to talk and discuss and figure out what we can do differently.
Thanks to our wonderful sponsors without whom this congress would not have happened, Mission, Maf Roda, Tomra Food, Darling Group, Radfords, Avoco, Seeka, Agmardt and NZ’s Ministry for Primary Industries. Thank you to our partners and exhibitors.
We loved hosting you in Aotearoa New Zealand, we loved hearing the noise levels rise as conversations on business, on growing avocados, on sustainability, on agritech, on the nutritional attributes of avocados, on marketing avocados and on how we need to utilise this learning going forward.
Our key note speakers showed us a way forward; Cathy Burns highlighting the trends in produce, from innovative ways to capture carbon, or to grow spinach in air, to use robots and the growing trend of food as medicine.
Brent Clothier shared his expertise on the real challenges of climate change, Eric Imbert highlighted a significant challenge for the sector – global supply is likely to outpace global demand within the next few years unless demand is built.
Lain Jager shared how wonderfully positioned the fantastically healthy avocado is to provide the much needed plant based protein, in a world obsessed with the trendy, nutritionally dense avocado that meets the needs of vegetarians, vegans, low salt, low sugar diets.
Professor Sarah MacLaren shared insights of Life Cycle assessments before the NZ avocado life cycle assessment was presented by Massey University and NZ Avocado. Florence Van Dyke shared her sustainability values incorporating them very successfully into her company, Chia Sisters.
Francisco Mena on growing avocados in challenging times and Andrew Robson on how agritech can support our industry in new ways.
Feedback has been fantastic, thank you for sharing some of that with us. I hope the conversations and mentions on social media will continue little longer.
Thank you for your friendship and energy. The atmosphere through out the congress was phenomenal. Laughter, smiles, hugs and handshakes ruled every break. New connections,old connections, and engagement across countries, across cultures, between competitors and collaborators alike.
The opening ceremony was described as electric, with a formal welcome from Ngati Whatua, a Maori performance and addresses from Hon Meka Whaitiri and myself as President of the World Avocado Committee.
We saw 760 delegates off on 18 buses to ten different venues for fielddays. Thanks to the wonderful kiwi hosts that delighted their guests with their passion, their knowledge and their desire to be part of this global event.
We were very happy to offer you brilliant sunshine – except for that first fieldday – but I hear nothing was really impacted by a little bit of New Zealand beautiful rain. It was lovely to see delegates spilling in to the Aotea Square and onto the balcony to have lunch to chat to colleagues. We hope you noticed the kiwi music in the square, and at the opening night to add a special kiwi flavour.
Across the theme of Respectful; respect for people, respect for environment, respect for our future, key notes and presenters acknowledged the very positive steps being taken across the industry and a conclusion from the congress is the need to take back the sustainability narrative, to stop the pull of big media picking the industry to pieces.
We hope you all had fun at the Gala Dinner – my feet took a week to recover from the dance floor – sorry to those who missed out on a ticket – although we loved that tickets were so in demand. We hope you enjoyed the produce and wine of Aotearoa New Zealand, and again, the comradery of your avocado colleagues. It was brilliant fun, so much energy and positive conversation.
The programme ended with a call to action – where the world avocado congress committee, 2 representatives from each producing country, shared the stage with the president to confirm their call to action to act to build demand, and to take back the narrative on sustainability. The next meeting in 6 months’ time at Asia Fruit will discuss how countries are acting on that promise, and what can be done better collectively. A vote from delegates very strongly endorsed South Africa as the host for the 2027 World Avocado Congress. We offer a huge congratulations to Derek Donkin and the South African industry as they plan the 11th World Avocado Congress in 2027.
The 10th World Avocado Congress was an amazing opportunity to raise visibility for the global avocado sector, to help us all learn, connect and engage, with a collective view to improve the future of our sector.We thank every delegate, sponsor, speaker, exhibitor and partner.
Thank you for sharing the time with us in Aotearoa, New Zealand, allowing us to share that global stage with you, allowing us to share our kiwi hospitality and values.
We hope to continue hearing the stories and outcomes from the 10th World Avocado Congress for many
years to come. See you all again soon
Jen Scoular and the team at NZ Avocado and
World Avocado Congress 2023