By Maja Burry of RNZ.
The season just ended was a record breaker for the avocado industry, with the value of sales lifting more than 40 per cent on the year prior.
New figures from New Zealand Avocado show the industry's revenue from the 2020-21 season totalled $227 million compared to $155 million the season prior.
Overseas markets accounted for $167 million dollars worth of sales, with export volumes up 10 per cent.
Industry group chief executive Jen Scoular said the result had been achieved against the odds, with Covid-19 lockdowns and significant freight disruption presenting major hurdles.
"A smaller average fruit size was another challenge encountered in 2020, with a significant increase in the percentage of small-sized avocados in the crop."
The volume of avocado shipments to Australia was up 45 percent on the previous season, partly driven by a shortage of domestic avocado supply across the ditch Scoular said.
"Australia has always been our biggest export market and last year it took an extra one million trays from New Zealand, because the production out of Western Australia was very low and that was because of a climatic event."
Scoular said Australian domestic supply forecast to increase considerably this year and over the coming five years, so further developing other markets remained a priority in 2020.
Just over half of last season's fruit was grown in the Bay of Plenty and nearly 40 percent was grown in Northland.
Scoular said the harvest of new season avocados had just got under way.
Early indications showed fruit size was looking larger for the coming season and more in line with New Zealand's historical avocado fruit size profile, she said.