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 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”.