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Top Chefs Set To Serve Up Inspirational Treats At Avocado Festival

Thousands of foodies are expected to descend on the small Bay of Plenty town next month for the Katikati Avocado Food and Wine Festival, featuring celebrity Masterchef, Nadia Lim.

Over 1000 avocados were consumed by avocado aficionados during the 2012 festival and the involvement of both avocado ambassador Nadia Lim and local chef Peter Blakeway is expected to send consumption at the 10th annual event through the roof.

New Zealand Avocado CEO, Jen Scoular, says this dedicated festival is growing in popularity every year and is all about celebrating one of our most diverse ingredients as well as educating and inspiring avocado lovers to try new recipes at home.

"Last year the industry produced a record avocado crop and New Zealanders had lots of opportunities to enjoy their extensive nutritional benefits. Nadia's cooking demonstrations will be one of the festival's highlights and will be a great opportunity for avocado lovers to pick up new ideas and sample some innovative dishes.

Since the festival began in 2003, over $80,000 has been raised and donated to local charities. All proceeds from the 10th annual festival, run by the Pakeke and Katikati Lions clubs, will be donated to the Cancer Society Lodge in Hamilton.

Festival organiser David Crispin says the festival is a wonderful summer's day out and is a real treat for foodies, with thousands of people expected to enjoy tasty avocado treats and entertainment with a glass of wine in hand.

"This festival is a great family opportunity to relax in the sunshine, with bands performing throughout the day and six top wineries providing wine tastings. There is a wide variety of food available to purchase, plus the public can try their hand at making guacamole which will be judged by Nadia and Peter, says Crispin.

Children will also be well catered for with plenty of entertainment and rides. Prizes are up for grabs in the avocado spoon races and avocado art will allow youngsters to create their own masterpieces by stamping painted avocado pieces onto paper.

Nadia Lim is a qualified dietician and winner of Masterchef 2011 is the ambassador for New Zealand Avocado and will share her passion for the superfruit by educating Kiwis how they can use avocados in unique ways.

The Katikati Avocado Food and Wine Festival will be held on Saturday 19th January 2013 at the Uretara Domain in Katikati from 12pm-6pm. Early bird tickets are $16 (plus booking fee) from http://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2013/jan/avocado-food-and-wine-festival-2013 Those under 18 years accompanied by a parent are free. For more information visit http://www.avofest.co.nz/.

Read More 10 Aug '17 New avocado research makes superfruit even more desirable Photo

New avocado research makes superfruit even more desirable

New Zealand researchers have discovered thatNew Zealand-grown avocados have unique nutritional qualities, with double the amount of vitamin B6 and 20 percent more folate than those grown in other countries. Demand for avocados is already surging in New Zealand and this nutrient packed superfruit is fast becoming a staple ingredient in the diets of high-performance athletes, busy parents and the elderly. The findings were announced at the New Zealand Avocado 2017-18 season launch held at Eden Park’s Centenary lounge  on Wednesday 9 August. The launch drew celebrities and included presentations from head international rugby strength and conditioning coach, ironman and avocado grower Nic Gill, and chef, author and avocado enthusiast Nadia Lim. New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive Jen Scoular says the new research is huge news for the nation. “We always knew avocados were good for us. It’s wonderful that we have now confirmed our locally grown fruit is especially healthy.” New Zealand avocados have a folate measurement of 81.6 ug* per 75g serving, providing 41 percent of the recommended daily intake.  They have a vitamin B6 measurement of 0.47mg per 75g serving, providing 30 percent of the recommended daily intake. Folate contributes to normal growth and development in children, and to good tissue growth in pregnancy. Vitamin B6 contributes to normal immune system function and helps reduce fatigue. But that’s not all - the superfruit is fullof healthy mono-unsaturated fats that help keep appetites under control, is low in sugar and sodium, a good source of dietary fibre, and is packed with a range of essential vitamins and minerals. These vitamins are particularly beneficial for athletes, mums, busy families and young professionals. Nic Gill, who is also an associate professor of Sport and Recreation at AUT, addressed the guests on achieving optimal performance.  Gill is credited by the likes of Jeff Wilson and Steve Hansen as being the key architect behind the best-conditioned team in the world. Avocados are “the Ferrari of fruit.” “Many athletes and high performing individuals eat avocados throughout the day, due to the nutrient dense and quality fuel they provide,” says Gill Celebrity chef and co-founder of My Food Bag, Nadia Lim, demonstrated healthy ways of using avocados at the launch, and spoke about the need to innovate for a healthier New Zealand. “Avocados are simply one of the best everyday simple, healthy delicious foods and Kiwis love learning new ways to enjoy them.” Nadia prepared for guests two salads; roast pumpkin, pear, avocado salad with blue cheese and raspberry balsamic dressing and harissa chicken, pumpkin and avocado salad with mint yoghurt dressing.  Launch guests included Art Green and Matilda Rice, Laura McGoldrick, Mikki Williden, Zac Franich and Viarni Bright who were served five different avocado dishes to enjoy. The latest research was conducted by the Phytochemical and Health team at Plant & Food Research throughout the 2015-16 season. New Zealand avocados were analysed in accredited laboratories in New Zealand following the protocols required by the New Zealand Food Composition Database, NZFCD. NZFCD is an independent validated source for the nutritional composition information for the foods consumed by New Zealanders. ug* is the correct symbol for the metric measurement microgram which is one millionth of a gram or one thousandth of a milligram.

Read More 17 Jul '17 School holiday entertainment Photo

School holiday entertainment

Struggling to keep your kids entertained over the school holidays? Why not print out this kids colouring activity to help them learn about the nutrients in avocados - and have fun while they do it! Download here We've also got some great recipe ideas to make with kids: Avocado ice cream Bliss balls Avocado morepork with sushi See all our kids recipes here

Read More 13 Jun '17 Biosecurity preparedness for the avocado industry  Photo

Biosecurity preparedness for the avocado industry

Biosecurity preparedness for the avocado industry NZ Avocado is seeking industry feedback on the intention to sign the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Operational Agreement (OA).  Just like the Fruit Fly OA, this is a threat specific arrangement under the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) biosecurity partnership. All horticulture groups were asked to undertake research to determine if they will be impacted by the arrival of BMSB into New Zealand. NZ Avocado has now completed this assessment and believes that we would be a minor beneficiary for the collective readiness and response activities that industries and MPI will undertake. Although the threat to avocados is believed to be minimal there remains a number of unknowns as BMSB has not yet invaded some of the major avocado producing areas of California so the investigation into the bugs potential to impact avocados continues.  The conclusion of the NZAGA Executive is that we should be part of the BMSB Operational Agreement. However, as the impact to avocados is minimal we have negotiated a very lowimpact rating and proportionate cost share (0.2%) with a well-defined fiscal cap. This ability to fix an industry’s financial liability through the Operational Agreement process is one of the main advantages of joining GIA.  With over 150 BMSB interception events in the 2016-17 risk period (September to April), this invasive bug has a high potential of invading NZ in the coming years. Through the GIA partnership we would want to help mitigate the impact of BMSB as they will also be a significant household nuisance for growers. See video here Also see the following video produced by MPI on the potential impacts to horticulture in New Zealand. See video here   Please contact Brad Siebert if you wish to discuss this further. 

Read More 17 May '17 On The Way To Meet Audacious Goals - Growers Rewarded With Record New Zealand Avocado Season Photo

On The Way To Meet Audacious Goals - Growers Rewarded With Record New Zealand Avocado Season

The New Zealand avocado industry has just reported its highest value ever with avocados sales reaching $198 million, an increase of $64 million on last season and $62 million higher than the previous record of $136 million in 2013-14. Volume too was a record 7.7 million trays in the 2016-17 season - an 84% increase on last season. The season saw significant increases in demand across all markets, with Australia remaining the industry’s largest market with an almost insatiable consumer demand. Over 70% of New Zealand avocados are exported with the remaining avocados sold in New Zealand. New Zealanders too are finding more and tastier ways to use avocados, and starting to add them regularly to their shopping basket. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, says the industry’s Primary Growth Partnership programme: NZ Avocados Go Global, has provided a major boost to the sector. "We are part of an industry that has gone from $70 million in value in 2013 to an impressive $200 million in 2017. The Go Global programme gave us the platform as an industry to develop a strategy with audacious goals of quadrupling sales and trebling productivity in ten years. That strategy, and Crown investment has been implemented and resulted in fantastic growth in value right across the supply chain” says Scoular. "The independent review of the NZ Avocados Go Global programme said the five-year programme had made a major contribution to the New Zealand avocado industry,” says Scoular. "The review noted that we’ve achieved a step change in the way the industry operates and it’s now a much more trusting, collaborative, cohesive, communicative and co-ordinated industry, with a correspondingly greater public profile.” Alistair Petrie, Chair of the Avocado Exporter Council said, "We saw a superb increase in demand that was matched by excellent planning and supply from harvest through to delivery to customers in market. Versatility, health benefits and the amazing taste of avocados are the key drivers for that demand.” Ashby Whitehead, Chair of NZ Avocado, says the industry is in the best state it has been for many years. "With the huge increase in value from avocados and much higher visibility of the global opportunities, we are seeing strong growth throughout the industry. Demand for new trees has resulted in a near trebling of production at nurseries, large commercial investors in Northland are converting dairy farms to avocado orchards and smaller orchards are maximising the productivity of their orchards. Growers will be very happy with their returns and are looking at further investment. It’s a very exciting time to be in the New Zealand avocado industry.”