Bumper avocado crop for Bay

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NZ Avocado Growers' Association chief executive Jen Scoular.
NZ Avocado Growers' Association chief executive Jen Scoular.

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.

The return eclipses the previous sales record of $84.1m set in 2009-10 and is far well up on the $60.4m worth of avocados sold last year.

Chief executive of NZ Avocado Jen Scoular said this season's success was 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," Ms Scoular said.

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."

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.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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