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Press Release: Topical news for avocado industry in BOP – June/July 2012

1.Commodity Levy Referendum

2.AVEC – collaborative review of exporter marketingplans

3.Early season fruit warning

4.USA – double digit consumption growth forecastfor 2012

 

1. Grower Referendum for Avocado CommodityLevy

The Commodity Levy for avocados provides funding forindustry governance, administration and management, promotions, research andgrower communications.

The current Commodity Levy for avocados is due to expire inJuly 2013. A grower referendum will take place in September this year to voteon the future of the levy.

A grower consultation process is currently underway.

Growers have been sent an information pack on the CommodityLevy, Five Year Plan and Options for the Future.

Grower meetings will take place from 18-25 June.

The current rates forthe Commodity Levy for avocados are:

For export avocados:

·20 cents per tray promotion

·15 cents per tray export commodity levy

·2.5 cents per tray to repay the costs of theASBVd biosecurity scare in 2007 (finishes in 2012)

·A total of 37.5 cents per tray

·With maximum of 50 cents per tray.

For fresh and processed local market avocados:

·A maximum of 3% of the value at the first pointof sale.

Quotes:

NZAGA Chairman John Schnackenberg
"The Commodity Levy provides essentialfunding for maintaining an industry structure to ensure we can maximise valuefor growers over the long term. Weencourage all growers to have their say on the Commodity Levy as growerfeedback is vital to helping shape the industry moving forward.

2. Exporters and NZAGA coordinated approach

The 2011-12 season highlighted the need to reduce theavocado industry’s dependence on the Australian market for exportavocados.

Avocado exporters have begun submitting five year marketing plansto the Avocado Exporters Council (AVEC) and Avocado Growers Association (AGA).A consolidated version of all exporters plans will be reviewed. This will help todevelop a more cohesive approach as an industry, identify any gaps andhighlight key areas for new market development activity.

Quotes:

Andrew Darling, Chairof AVEC "Ultimately what AVEC is trying to achieve is greater cooperationamongst its exporters to ensure maximum returns are achieved for the industry.”

"Growers need to engage with their exporter and find outwhat their marketing plans entail. All exporters should have one and growershave the right to ask and be provided with the necessary information. It isafter all, growers product that is being marketed.”

AIC CEO Jen Scoular "Informationis such a valuable tool and as an industry we need to share that information,whether is about market potential or issues of likely market capacity, to allowNew Zealand avocados to be sold more widely.”

3. Early season fruit

Avocados are generally picked in the Bay of Plenty fromabout August onwards. Throughout May, June and July there may be some previousseason’s fruit still on the tree.

Almost all reputable sellers of avocados will currently beselling last season’s fruit, which at this stage of the year is mature and goodto eat.

If you see fruit currently advertised as "new season”avocados, it has been picked very early and could take up to 20 days to ripen.

Very early season fruit may not meet the requiredwithholding periods for spray residues.

The AGA provides a sampling service to ensure that avocadosmeet food safety (spray residue) and ripeness requirements.

The NZ Avocado Growers Association recommends the followingif you see fruit currently being marketed as new season:

·Check that the stalk has been cut. Stolen fruitis often raked from trees which results in the stalks being completely pulledout of the fruit.

·Check the colour of the avocado. Fruit that is abright green and hard will be new season and prematurely picked. Last season’sfruit will be a dark green in colour and will be good to eat now.

 

4. USA consumption growth predicted

Consumption of avocados is growing globally. This isparticularly evident in the USA, where the Hass Avocado Board is predictingdouble digit growth for avocado consumption for 2012.

With an increased volume of fruit this season destined forthe USA this season, growers choice of chemicals for pest control is critical.There are a number of chemicals that have lengthy with holding periods as theUSA is very restrictive on permissible residues.

Growers should check with their Packer or Exporter beforeapplying any sprays.

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