Record-breaking avocado season

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Avocado NZ has announced total returns of $134 million for the 2015-16 season, including record-breaking domestic sales of $41 million.

Strong global demand also delivered outstanding returns from the Australian market and strong returns from the Asian export markets, said Jen Scoular, chief executive of NZ Avocado.

Ms Scoular said the value returned to the industry was an exceptional achievement almost matching the $135 million posted for the 2014-15 season despite a much lower crop.

But it was the $41 million value of the New Zealand market which had broken records.

"Five years ago the New Zealand market achieved between $15 million and $20 million annually, without ever getting much above that. This year's return is 25 per cent above last year's return of $31.8 million and shows year on year growth of 17 per cent since 2011," she said.

Ms Scoular credited strong collaboration across the industry, good communication, information- sharing and jointly implemented promotional activities.

Avocado production has irregular swings in volume. This year 4.2 million trays were sold, against 7 million trays sold the year before. Of the 4.2 million, 2.6 million trays were exported, 1.2 million trays were sold as fresh in New Zealand and 380,000 trays were processed into avocado oil and other products.

"The great news for consumers is that the 2016-17 season will start in New Zealand in late June with what is predicted to be a bumper crop," said Ms Scoular.

Andrew Darling, chair of the industry's Exporter Council, said the Australian market performed very strongly, with increased demand for the avocado. He stressed the importance of strong relationships across the industry in New Zealand as well as with partners in export markets.

Ashby Whitehead, chair of NZ Avocado, said growers would be very happy this season.

"The industry has worked very well across the supply chain to deliver an exceptional result in a moderate volume year. Grower returns are very good this year. As growers we are very happy with the success of our industry. "

- Bay of Plenty Times

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