A recent spate of avocado thefts in the Bay of Plenty has prompted police to warn growers to be vigilant with their security.

Police said they were expecting a spike in thefts from avocado orchards because of soaring avocado prices.

New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay, about how the thefts are affecting growers.

"It's their private property and that's the hard thing because it's not just about the avocados being stolen, this is number one, their livelihood, and number two, their private property that people are going on to and violating by stealing avocados. So it's really tough on the grower."

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Thieves turn up to orchards, under the cover of night, with rakes and tarpaulins and hack avocados off trees. Scoular says this activity can devastate someone's livelihood in half an hour, and often can be all for nothing, as the avocados aren't yet fit for consumption.

"The consumer's not going to enjoy it because they're not mature avocados. No one knows if they've just recently been sprayed and so they're never going to have a good eating experience with these stolen avocados either."

Also in today's interview: Jen Scoular explains why avocados can reach such expensive prices.

Listen below: