AUSTRALIA: Bumper avocado harvest will see 60 per cent jump in national volume, which could cause quality issues

by Bridget Fitzgerald,


The summer harvest has begun for growers in Western Australia and New Zealand with bumper crops in both regions.


An influx of avocados in the past two weeks has increased Australia’s average volume by 60 per cent, from about 200,000 trays to 334,000 trays.


Jennie Franceschi, the Managing Director of the Avocado Export Company and Advanced Packing and Marketing Services, based in Western Australia’s south west, says Australia will likely see volumes remain at that level of 60 per cent above average for the next 10 weeks.


“We’re just reaching a point where we’ve had a couple of really big volume weeks,” Ms Franceschi said. “So to manage that, it needs to be really coordinated and we all need to talk.”


Ms Franceschi said an oversupply of avocadoes could lead to a backlog of fruit, which could impact quality and cause consumers to turn off buying avocadoes, so the industry will need to attempt to streamline national supply.


West Australian avocado growers produce about four million trays of avocadoes each year and Pemberton grower George Ipsen says the industry is growing rapidly, with volume of fruit set to double in the next few years, which could cause issues for growers.


“Ultimately it’s supply and demand,” Mr Ipsen said. “We’ll be seeking some more consumption.” He says the local industry will need to ‘push out’ New Zealand product to deal with the increasing volumes of fruit from Australia.


“All that market pressure does suppress price.” But he said suppressed price could also lead to increased consumption, which could be positive for the industry.


In an effort to address issues of oversupply and marketing from a local level Mr Ipsen and fellow grower Russell Delroy are campaigning to transfer control of national industry levies to local bodies.


Mr Ipsen said transferring levies to local hands would help growers address regional marketing and research and development issues.



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