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AVOCO expecting to be tested
20 May 2014

Asian markets are expected to be critical to the success of New Zealand’s avocado exports next season, with predictions a bumper crop both here and across the Tasman will test our country’s export giant like never before.

AVOCO, New Zealand’s largest supplier of avocados to the Australasian market, are rolling up their sleeves as they plan for how to optimise the flow of fruit to market and achieve a decent return for growers in the 2014/15 season.

Their challenge will be to offset what is likely to be a heavily supplied Australian market by channelling avocados under the AVANZA brand into growing Asian markets.

AVOCO director Alistair Young says the joint entity is predicting next season to be New Zealand’s largest export crop ever – in excess of 5 million trays.

But Australia is also expecting an above average crop – meaning more competition for New Zealand to sell its avocados across the Tasman and placing huge importance on international markets further afield.

AVOCO emerged as a collaborative venture in 2013 after years of rivalry between New Zealand’s two biggest avocado export companies – Bay of Plenty-based Southern Produce Ltd and Auckland-based Primor Produce Ltd.

AVOCO’s inaugural season was a huge success, with over 1.9 million trays exported.

Australia is New Zealand’s largest market for avocados and most of AVOCO’s trays were exported there. But instead of solely relying on its closest neighbours, AVOCO also worked last year on developing its export relationships in key emerging Asian markets as part of its 10-year involvement with AVANZA, the collaborative marketing body which exports to all the countries outside Australia, including Thailand, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Japan.

AVOCO director John Carroll says those relationship-building efforts are likely to pay off next season by helping to prop up a softened Australian market affected by heavy supply.

"We need these new Asian markets to grow quickly in 2014-15. Those markets, combined with our team of people and planning expertise should stand AVOCO’s fruit, through the AVANZA channel, in good stead.”

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Partners: Southern Produce, Primor, Team Avocado

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