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Updated tool-kit to help farmers improve health and safety

An updated tool-kit designed to help farmers better manage risks on their farms will be distributed at National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.  The tool-kit, which provides practical advice and resources to help farmers improve health and safety on their farms, has been developed by Safer Farms, ACC and WorkSafe New Zealand’s health and safety programme designed with farmers and the wider agricultural sector.  Beef Lamb New Zealand and Federated Farmers were among the groups which provided input to the tool-kit. Beef Lamb New Zealand, in addition to working with WorkSafe on the new tool-kit, is working with sheep and beef farmers to help them meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Beef Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Sam McIvor, says that by the end of June, the organisation will have run over 70 health and safety workshops for more than 2,100 attendees around the country. "There’s no question that as an industry we need to make sure we have good health and safety practices in place on our farms,” says Mr McIvor. "We’ve been working closely with WorkSafe and farmers to get these systems in place on sheep and beef farms. Tools, like those promoted on the WorkSafe website, give farmers good practical information to make their farms safe places to operate,” McIvor says. Al McCone, WorkSafe’s Agriculture Programme Manager says that while many farmers recognise that proactive planning is needed to make sure they can keep healthy and safe, they find it difficult to know where to start with changing their approach. He reassures farmers that this doesn’t need to be hard. The easy-to-use tool-kit concentrates on those things that make a difference on farm, which are also at the heart of the new Health and Safety at Work Act - involving everyone on farm, recognising health as well as injury risks, and working with other businesses to make sure overlapping risks are managed. "Fit and healthy people are a critical factor for successful farming. In 2013, around 20 per cent of agricultural workers made a farming-related injury claim to ACC, at a cost of over $26 million. Some of those injuries will keep costing for several years. Keeping everyone on your farm safe and healthy helps ensure a farm is productive and profitable. "The new tool-kit can help farmers keep safe and keep farming,” says Mr McCone. For a hard copy of the tool-kit, visit Worksafe at the Mystery Creek Field Days – site E64-F63, phone 0800 030 040, or go to www.saferfarms.org.nz We have some of the tool-kits available at our NZ Avocado office - growers are welcome to pop in and see us to pick up one. 

New Zealand Avocados break record for New Zealand sales at $41 million

New Zealand’s love affair with avocados has produced record-breaking domestic sales of $41 million during the 2015-16 season. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, today announced impressive end-of-season results of $134 million in industry value from export and New Zealand market sales. Strong global demand also delivered outstanding returns from the Australian market and strong returns from the Asian export markets. Scoular says the value returned to the industry is an exceptional achievement almost matching the $135m posted for the 2014-15 season despite a much lower crop. But it was the $41m value of the New Zealand market that broke records."Five years ago the New Zealand market achieved between $15m and $20m annually, without ever getting much above that. This year’s return of $41m is 25 percent above last year’s return of $31.8m and shows year on year growth of 17 percent since 2011,” she says. Scoular credits strong collaboration across the industry, good communication, information sharing and jointly implemented promotional activities. "In New Zealand, demand is growing at a phenomenal rate and we are seeing the emergence of diehard avocado lovers. Avocados are becoming a highly valued fruit due to their amazing health benefits,” says Scoular. Avocado production has irregular swings in volume. This year 4.2m trays were sold, versus 7 million trays sold the year before. Of the 4.2m trays, 2.6m trays were exported, 1.2m trays were sold as fresh in New Zealand and 380,000 trays were processed into avocado oil and other products. "The great news for consumers is that the 2016-17 season will start in New Zealand in late June with what is predicted to be a bumper crop,” says Scoular. The industry has added significant resource to the New Zealand market through the Primary Growth Partnership programme ‘NZ Avocado Go Global’, working alongside marketers and retailers to provide supply chain education and consumer education through PR and social media. Efforts by the industry are raising the visibility of the amazing health benefits and versatility of this New Zealand-grown fruit. Andrew Darling, Chair of the Exporter Council, says the Australian market performed very strongly, with increased demand for the healthy avocado. He stressed the importance of strong relationships across the industry in New Zealand as well as with partners in export markets. Ashby Whitehead, Chair of NZ Avocado, says growers will be very happy this season. "The industry has worked very well across the supply chain to deliver an exceptional result in a moderate volume year. Grower returns are very good this year. As growers we are very happy with the success of our industry. ” Consumers in New Zealand can look forward to a much greater supply of avocados when the 2016-17 export season begins in August. The first crop estimate for the new season is 7.6m trays – nearly double the volume available last season.  "Our avocado industry is well on track to become a significant export earner and contributor to New Zealand’s economy,” Scoular says. "As an industry we are looking forward to breaking more records when the new export season starts in September.” About New Zealand Avocado The New Zealand avocado industry is vibrant and growing with a vision and strategy in place to quadruple sales to $280m and triple productivity by 2023. The industry is pursuing exciting opportunities in both export and the New Zealand markets, supported by innovation and collaboration with stakeholders and with new partnerships with the Crown and Crown Research Institutes. New Zealand currently produces just 2% of the global supply but is the ninth largest international avocado exporter. There are over 4,000 hectares of avocado trees planted in New Zealand, primarily in the Bay of Plenty and Northland.For more information visit www.nzavocado.co.nz or follow us on social @NZ_Avocado @Jen_Scoular 

Early season New Zealand market dry matter maturity testing

The AIC early season New Zealand market maturity testing initiative is open for 2016 and will apply to all new season avocados collected and tested from now until 31 July 2016.  An independent review of avocado maturity sample size was undertaken in 2015 on behalf of the AIC Quality Standards Review Working Group. As a result of a recommendation from this review, a sample size of 20 fruit will be required in order to qualify for payment of collection and testing under the AIC New Zealand market maturity testing initiative in 2016.  AIC will pay the cost of Agfirst collection and testing for new season New Zealand market avocados that: Are collected and tested by Agfirst Have an average dry matter content across a 20 fruit sample of at least 23% Fruit that passes must be ethylene ripened using the AIC Ethylene Ripening Protocol, however if the 20 fruit sample averages 24% dry matter or greater, ethylene ripening is not compulsory.  To order an early season maturity test, you should contact you pack house or Agfirst.  It is important that consumers who are purchasing new season avocados early in the season have a positive experience with the ripening and taste of their fruit.This initiative has been developed to make it easier for all avocado growers to assess the maturity of their fruit prior to harvest and help ensure a positive consumer experience.

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Upcoming Events

Just Avocados, DMS and NZ Avocado field day

10:00 AM, 28 June 2016

Come along to the Just Avocados, DMS and NZ Avocado field day taking place in Katikati on 28 June. Date: Tuesday 28 June Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm Venue: Pat and Dawn Torr's orchard, 12 Sargent Drive, Katikati  We will cover a variety of topics including soil microbial, bacteria activity, irrigation work from the MBIE programme as well as hearing from marketers around the local and export markets. We will also have some discussion while we take a walk around the orchard. Growers are then invited to stay for refreshments afterwards.  Please note - Sargent Drive can only safely be approached from the south-bound lane on SH2. Traffic from Tauranga should continue past Sargent Drive and use another side road to turn around. Registration is essential – contact NZ Avocado by calling 07 571 6147 or by emailing jo.nunn@nzavocado.co.nz and let us know which field day you would like to attend. Bring a folding chair for your comfort, suitable footwear, a jacket and a water bottle. Please read our notes on Field day biosecurity. 

Seeka and NZ Avocado field day

02:00 PM, 29 June 2016

Come along to the Seeka and NZ Avocado field day taking place at in Katikati on 29 June.  Date: Wednesday 29 June Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm Venue: David and Lynne Smith's orchard, 258a Beach Road, Katikati At this field day, hear about temperature and research results and discussion about airflow. There will also be a practical exercise run by Seeka about crop estimate as well as discussion around this afterwards. Growers are then invited to head back to Seeka packhouse in Katikati for afternoon tea. Registration is essential – contact NZ Avocado by calling 07 571 6147 or by emailing jo.nunn@nzavocado.co.nz and let us know which field day you would like to attend. Bring a folding chair for your comfort, suitable footwear, a jacket and a water bottle. Please read our notes on Field day biosecurity. 

Kauripak, Avoco and NZ Avocado field day

02:00 PM, 30 June 2016

Come along to the Kauripak, Avoco and NZ Avocado field day taking place in Katikati on 30 June. Date: Thursday 30 June Time: 2:00pm - 4:30pm followed by a BBQ Venue: Louise Dinmore and Peter Woods orchard, 471 Kauri Point Road, Katikati We will start this field day out at Louise and Peter's orchard with Hugh Moore covering spring start up. Phillip will also do a practical demonstration of sampling roots for phosphonate testing. We will then head back to Kauripak packhouse for a discussion on irrigation, a market update from Avoco and a BBQ. Registration is essential – contact NZ Avocado by calling 07 571 6147 or by emailing jo.nunn@nzavocado.co.nz and let us know which field day you would like to attend. Bring a folding chair for your comfort, suitable footwear, a jacket and a water bottle. Please read our notes on Field day biosecurity. 

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