INFO: Future bright for Tasmanian avocados


Paul and Maria Bidwell moved from their avocado orchard in Western Australia to North Motton, Tasmania in the hope of slowing down and working less. Yet it turns out that avocados flourish in Tasmania soil and the couple now have to consider whether they can manage what has become such a high level of operation.


The Bidwells’ three-hectare orchard boasts about 1200 trees groaning under the weight of healthy green avocados.


Launceston greengrocer Young’s Vegie Shed sells the fruit and since January the Bidwells have had a stall at the city’s Harvest Market.


Despite popular perception, avocados grow well in cooler climates.


The Australian industry average has one hectare of trees producing an average of seven to eight tonnes of fruit.


“We thought if we could achieve that average we’ll be pretty good,” Mr Bidwell said. “Next year in parts of the orchard we’re looking at 15 to 20 tonnes per hectare.”


There is appetite interstate for Tasmanian avocados but freight costs and the process’s impact on quality could pose challenges, and whether there is enough demand inside Tasmania for the product is another question entirely. However, Mr Bidwell said, the fruit could clearly become an area of growth for the state.


“I think the future here for avocados is quite bright,” he said. “This is a place where we could consider growing them commercially on a bigger scale.”


Source: Fresh Plaza

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