The world's leading avocado growers and specialists will descend upon New Zealand's shores in 2023, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, after New Zealand won the bid to host the 10th World Avocado Congress (WAC).
This week NZ Avocado, which is based in Tauranga, attended WAC 2019 in Medellin, Colombia, and was one of three countries to put forward a bid to win the hosting rights for the 2023 event.
New Zealand, which contributes 2 per cent of global avocado production and is the world's ninth largest avocado exporter, was up against Mexico, the largest avocado exporter in the world, and Kenya, the sixth largest exporter of avocados globally.
In a video message, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern invited voters to come and experience New Zealand's natural beauty, unique adventures, the country's friendly people, and to see first-hand New Zealand's incredible avocado industry. She encouraged attendees at the Medellin event to choose New Zealand as the destination for the 2023 WAC.
It will be the first time this global flagship event will be held in New Zealand.
"We are incredibly proud to have won the votes of the global avocado community. It's been an amazing team effort to put forward this bid, across the NZ Avocado team, Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Embassy in Colombia and NZTE," Tauranga's NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular said.
"Our amazing unspoiled landscapes, a reputation for openness, fairness and equality, and a commitment to care for its land and people, provides an ideal environment for the global avocado industry to share its values with consumers and media around the world," Scoular said.
WAC, held every four years, was an opportunity for New Zealand to highlight the country's avocado and horticulture sectors.
The congress attracted more than 3000 delegates including growers, researchers, marketers, tech innovators and investors.
New Zealand had the opportunity to share how the NZ avocado industry implement initiatives to support the communities, land and economies impacted by growing avocados.
The congress would demonstrate New Zealand growing practises, food safety and quality systems, and the ethical treatment of growers and communities who lived in avocado-growing regions. It also provided the opportunity to access innovation, global knowledge and science to support the growth of the sector.
"This proves that a vision, hard work, team work and partnerships deliver results. The board congratulates the team that has made this happen," NZ Avocado chairman Tony Ponder said.
"It is a terrific win, testament to the incredibly hard work across the team and across countries. It is an amazing opportunity for all avocado growers in New Zealand to hear first-hand from avocado experts about current and emerging innovation and technology. And of course to network and share their avocado stories."
NZ Avocados' bid was supported by Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Embassy in Colombia and NZTE.
The Ambassador in Colombia, Lucy Duncan, hosted a VIP event and spoke at the congress, strongly supporting New Zealand Avocado in its bid to win.
- Supplied copy