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China Market Is Open For Avocados From New Zealand

New Zealand Avocado is very excited by the opportunity to export avocados to China in the 2018 season following a successful technical audit of the regulatory system for exporting this week. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) signed the protocol to agree export requirements in November 2017, and a successful audit was the final step in enabling the export of avocados to China. The New Zealand industry has been seeking access for four years and through that time has been building an understanding of the market, with exporters building relationships in the China market. NZ Avocado has attended the China International Fruit and Vegetable Fair in Beijing for the last four years, on the New Zealand stand with other horticulture sectors. “Gaining access to China for our avocados has been a key focus for the board,” says Tony Ponder, Chair of NZ Avocado. “We recognised the need to commit to that market with regular visits to build relationships at a political and commercial level.” NZ Avocado will airfreight a trial shipment to Shanghai in the current season, which will be enjoyed by kiwis at a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise arranged event at NZ Central. Zespri staff at their China head office in Shanghai will also enjoy some avocados from the trial shipment. Avocado imports into China are increasing very strongly as Chinese consumers learn about the impressive nutritional properties of avocados. Mexico, Peru and Chile are the only other countries with access to the huge Chinese market. The global demand for avocados has certainly hit China, says Jen Scoular, CEO of NZ Avocado. “We are thrilled to be able to offer avocados from New Zealand to consumers, who are keen to add avocados to their daily diet.” “Recent research about avocados from New Zealand show that avocados grown in New Zealand have 20 percent more folate and twice as much vitamin B6 than avocados grown elsewhere, and we will be exploring our messaging in China in regard to that differentiation,” says Scoular. The 2018 export season starts in August, and the first shipments are likely to be in mid to late September, reports Alistair Petrie, Chair of the Avocado Export Council. “We have been anticipating access to China for some time and it is exciting to now have the opportunity. We have established relationships in China and will work with them to develop niche markets for our avocados,” says Petrie. Ponder acknowledges the extensive work, support and cooperation by MPI, AQSIQ officials, and New Zealand Avocado - this work has enabled significant progress in New Zealand’s trade with China. He acknowledges the growers and packer involved in the trial who he says put in significant time and resource on behalf of the industry to ensure this last step was successful.

New Zealand avocados step closer to China

New Zealand is a significant step closer towards supplying fresh avocados to Chinese consumers and opening up access to a brand new market for our growers, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and New Zealand Avocado announced Friday 17 November 2017. A series of technical discussions and the negotiation and signing of a protocol to agree export requirements for avocados have successfully wrapped up between MPI and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), with input from New Zealand’s avocado industry. The next step before trade commences is an audit of New Zealand’s regulatory system for exporting avocados by AQSIQ in mid-December 2017. “Securing export access for our avocados into China is New Zealand’s top horticulture priority,” says MPI Director-General Martyn Dunne. “I would like to acknowledge the extensive work, support and cooperation by MPI, industry body New Zealand Avocado and AQSIQ officials in enabling this significant progress in New Zealand’s trade with China.” In the 2016/17 season, New Zealand’s avocado industry achieved its best ever season reaching a record breaking industry value of more than $200 million from 7.9 million trays. Avocados are still relatively unknown in China, but demand for New Zealand’s avocados has boomed.  In 2016/17, New Zealand exported $155.5 million of avocados into markets such as Australia, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Thailand – growth of around $64 million from the previous season. China is expected to be a significant market for New Zealand avocados. “China is very aware of the significant global increase in avocado consumption, the associated health benefits and the strong growth and huge potential in the avocado category,” says New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive Jen Scoular. “Our conversations with Chinese importers show there will be strong interest in New Zealand avocados.” “Our aim is to create a globally competitive, high-value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand,” says Tony Ponder, Chair of the New Zealand Avocado Growers Association. “We’re well on the way towards this, and access to China for our avocados will play a big part.” Avocado exports will join New Zealand’s other fresh fruit exports to China that include apples, kiwifruit, cherries, plums, citrus and persimmons. Martyn Dunne says the progress towards avocado access into China is a good demonstration of the strength of collaboration and positive, respectful relationships. “The progress to date towards securing access for our avocados is underpinned by collaboration and the positive relationship shared by both New Zealand and China,” says Mr Dunne. “MPI and the avocado industry are committed to getting our avocado trade with China underway as soon as possible.” Growth in the avocado industry is also being enabled through the New Zealand Avocados Go Global Primary Growth Partnership programme between New Zealand Avocado and MPI.  It’s a 5-year, $8.56 million collaboration that has made real progress towards goals to triple productivity and grow industry returns to $280 million per year by 2023.

Guide on how to be healthy and safe in horticulture

At this time of year, life is getting busy for avocado businesses. Unfortunately, when workplaces get busy, the likelihood of someone being harmed while working increases. Read more about how you can be healthy and safe in horticulture. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 all businesses have a responsibility to keep workers healthy and safe. “What this takes is some underlying health and safety planning and management as part of your everyday operation. It’s not just about paperwork, it’s about everyday good business practice,” says Al McCone, WorkSafe Sector Lead for Agriculture. “The key is in three simple actions:  identify the risks work out how to eliminate them (or if they can’t be eliminated, managed) then make sure everyone in the workplace understands both risks and management.  ‘Everyone’ includes contractors. There are specific requirements when other businesses are working on your property - you need to make sure you are aware of each other’s risks and are jointly managing these. “There are some real basics you need to get right, like making sure machinery and vehicles are fit for purpose and safe to use, or making sure that people are competent to safely do the tasks they are doing.  “In addition, you need to pay real attention to the things that can cause fatalities and serious injuries – for these ‘critical’ risks, you need to work out how to separate the person from the risk.”   WorkSafe New Zealand and Horticulture NZ have published a horticulture-specific guide called Keep Safe, Keep Growing:  How to be Healthy and Safe in Horticulture to help you. The guide will help you work out:the best way for you to identify, manage and communicate health and safety risks to family and workers what part other people on farm should play in risk management. “Health and safety doesn’t just happen. It needs a conscious decision to make a healthy and safe workplace. ” says McCone.

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