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New Zealand Avocados set to Go Global with New Government Partnership

The Avocado Industry Council announced today it will partner with the Ministry for Primary Industries in a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme called Go Global— a five year programme to increase the productivity and capability within the avocado industry to deliver significant additional returns for New Zealand. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive Officer of Avocado Industry Council, says it is a landmark development for the avocado industry that will increase sales to more than a quarter of a billion dollars by 2023. "This PGP programme will create significant value across the industry, helping position New Zealand’s avocado industry to capitalise on the growing demand domestically and in Asia, for premium, safe, and healthy produce. Part of this will involve developing a New Zealand avocado story to highlight the health and versatility of our avocados,” says Scoular. The Go Global programme’s vision is to equip the industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023. New Zealand aims to become the avocado supplier of choice in Asian markets, by gaining an early foothold, and a "first mover” advantage in those markets. "A consistent supply of premium avocados and a unified marketing strategy which creates a point of difference for New Zealand avocados will drive this growth,” she says. The programme will address the industry’s biggest challenge of low and irregular bearing. Collaborative research, with strong cross industry participation will deliver best practice across the value chain which is transferred through a network of innovation leaders, rural professionals and growers. The programme aims to achieve widespread adoption of best practice driven by examples of success. Ashby Whitehead, Chair of Avocado Industry Council says the New Zealand avocado industry will be transformed to an efficient, well-informed, and highly capable industry, supplying premium health food to a number of high-value markets domestically and internationally.  "The programme includes co-investment from growers, packers, processors and exporters, it is a real cross-industry collaboration,” says Whitehead. The programme will have a strong focus on knowledge sharing across the avocado industry, which will also be able to be utilised by the recently successful "Avocados for Export” programme, funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and led by Plant & Food Research. Strengthening information flow, performance and efficiency will be achieved through the development of an information portal, increasing supply chain efficiency and benchmarking performance. Justine Gilliland, Director PGP, MPI, says a total investment of $8.56 million has been secured for the programme, with MPI committing $4.28 million over five years, and the balance coming from industry partners as a mixture of cash and in-kind contributions. "We’re excited by this new programme. It’s the first horticulture programme involving fresh fruit in the PGP, showing the diversity of the industries involved in the PGP,” says Gilliland. "We are thrilled to be part of the PGP—the industry is motivated and ready to capitalise on the real opportunities that exist for our industry. This PGP programme will see the emergence of a globally competitive, high value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand,” says Scoular. MPI and Avocado Industry Council will now negotiate and agree a contract so Go Global can formally commence. About NZ Avocado Growers’ Association Inc. & Avocado Industry Council Limited The New Zealand avocado industry is the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. The 2014-15 season will see the industry produce a near record of five million trays.NZ Avocado Growers' Association Inc. (NZAGA) and Avocado Industry Council Ltd (AIC) work with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote New Zealand avocados and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers of which there are over 1600 based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. For more information visit www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry About the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) The PGP aims to boost the productivity and profitability of our primary sector through investment between government and industry. It provides an essential springboard to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of primary sector innovation. MPI and industry have now collectively committed around $708 million in 18 announced (15 contracted and three pending). PGP programmes are generally long-run programmes of five to seven years’ duration and are subject to oversight and monitoring by an independent panel (the Investment Advisory Panel) and MPI. Monitoring requirements include programme steering groups, quarterly progress reporting, annual plans, audits, and progress reviews, along with evaluation of the overall programme. Funding is only released to programmes on receipt of invoices for work completed in accordance with programme plans. MPI is now seeking applications for new Primary Growth Partnership programmes. The closing date for proposals is 12pm on Wednesday 25 June. See the PGP webpage on MPI’s website for further information and guidance www.mpi.govt.nz **ENDS** For further comment, contact: Jen Scoular  CEO, Avocado Industry Council  jen.scoular@nzavocado.co.nz 021 741 014 Brad Young Senior Communications Advisor, MPI media@mpi.govt.nz 029 894 0328 (MPI media phone) For media assistance, contact: Midge Munro Communications Manager, Avocado Industry Council midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz  64 7 571 6147  64 21 275 3331 Bridgette Paton-Tapsell Village Public Relations | Marketing b@villagenz.com  64 7 572 1608 64 27 553 3929 

New Zealand Avocados Profile boosted at Major Singapore Food Festival

New Zealand’s avocado industry has this week made a high-profile push into Asia with celebrity cook and New Zealand avocado ambassador, Nadia Lim, taking to the stage at a global food festival in Singapore to help promote consumption of New Zealand avocados. Over 17,000 people attended the SAVOUR food festival which featured Michelin star chefs and award-winning cuisine from around the world. Growing demand from health-conscious consumers has already seen our avocado exports to Singapore soar from 600 trays per week to 3600 trays per week in the past five years. The promotion of New Zealand avocados at SAVOUR was led by AVANZA Ltd (who collectively market 80 per cent of New Zealand avocados exported to Asia), with support from their Singaporean-based importer, Freshmart, and industry body New Zealand Avocado. AVANZA Ltd spokesman Carwyn Williams says Asian markets are very receptive to products which promote health and well-being. "The Singaporeans are rapidly taking on board the health and beauty benefits of avocados. They’re high in potassium, protein, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. They’re also great for your skin and cardiovascular health so we expect to gain a lot from the exposure at SAVOUR,” he says. Freshmart spokesperson Qi Lin Phan says there is a lot of "untapped potential” in Singapore. "Avocados are still viewed as a ‘Western’ fruit and are used mostly in Western cuisine. But they are becoming increasingly popular among the educated middle aged group who are looking for healthier additions to their daily diet.  "By exhibiting at SAVOUR and having Nadia Lim on board, we hope to ‘localise’ New Zealand avocados and present them in a way that appeals to the Asian palette,” says Phan. Industry organisation NZ Avocado supported AVANZA’s plans by involving its ambassador Nadia Lim in the food festival. Lim has worked as the New Zealand Avocado ambassador for two seasons, fronting significant print and public relations campaigns here at home which has helped make the fruit more popular than ever. New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular says it’s vital to work collaboratively with industry partners such as AVANZA to open up new export markets around the world. Scoular says Lim has helped increase consumption in New Zealand by developing new and unique ways to use avocados, and is sure her appearance at SAVOUR will inspire food lovers and international chefs to include avocados on their menus. "Nadia successfully hosted a variety cooking events over the three days, as well as engaging with consumers on the AVANZA booth. There was a mixture of cookery classes, demonstrations and seminars, teaching the crowd how to cook with avocados and about the health benefits of the fruit. She’s a natural presenter and as a qualified dietician, she represented our industry superbly,” she says. Scoular says there are also huge benefits of being in the market to understand the food and consumer trends in Singapore which will help inform the industry’s promotions in the coming season. SAVOUR marketing manager Eunice Chua says this year’s festival re-created a farmer’s market atmosphere showcasing lots of fresh fruit and vegetables – hence Lim was invited to host several highly-prized cooking demonstrations using avocados. "In Singapore we import a lot of food because we don’t have many natural resources to grow it. People here increasingly want to see where their food comes from, meet the producer and see how it is grown.” Chua agrees Singaporeans are becoming more health conscious about what they eat, so avocados are more popular than ever, particularly among people aged under 40. "We have a lot of fresh juice shops in Singapore which used to only stock things like watermelon and banana shakes. Now they all have avocado smoothies. And restaurants serve avocado on toast for breakfast or in salads. Five or 10 years ago we wouldn’t have seen that in Singapore.” About SAVOUR Now in its third year, SAVOUR has been described as one of the world’s best food festivals. The 2014 line-up of restaurants featured over 50 signature dishes created by 20 of the world’s top chefs The event also included a gourmet market showcasing a plethora of food and drink exhibitors, celebrity chef master classes, a hands-on cooking studio, wine workshops and other themed areas. All workshops, tastings and demonstrations were conducted by renowned experts and are complimentary, on a first-come first-served basis.

New evidence published in nutrition journal reveals insights into the effects of adding half an avocado to lunch

Loma Linda University Study on Satiety is the Second in a Series of Hass Avocado Board-funded Nutrition Studies Expected to be Released over the Coming Years IRVINE, Calif. (January 8, 2014) – The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) today announced publication of a study that suggests adding one-half of a fresh avocado to a lunch may have helped 26 healthy, overweight people feel more satisfied and reduced their desire to eat following a meal. The avocado study, which was conducted by researchers at the Loma Linda University and funded by HAB, was published in Nutrition Journal, a monthly peer-reviewed journal that publishes work in the area of human nutrition. The human clinical study is the second in a series of HAB-funded nutrition studies expected to be released over the coming years as a part of HAB’s single-minded nutrition marketing and research strategy.  Researchers found that study participants who added half of a fresh Hass avocado to their lunch reported a significantly decreased desire to eat by 40 percent over a three-hour period, and by 28 percent over a five-hour period after the meal, compared to their desire to eat after a standard lunch without avocado. In addition, they reported increased feelings of hunger satisfaction by 26 percent over the three hours following the meal. "HAB has found that more and more retailers are communicating health information to customers to help them make smart eating choices,” said Emilano Escobedo, executive director, Hass Avocado Board. "The nutrition research conducted by HAB is an important program that will help retailers accomplish that goal.”  "Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to eat between meals,” said Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, Chair of the Department of Nutrition who led the research team at Loma Linda University. "We also noted that though adding Hass avocados increased participants’ calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the lunch without avocado. This leads us to believe that Hass avocados potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation.” While the findings were generally positive, more research is needed to determine whether the conclusions drawn from this study can be applied to the general public. However, the results do provide promising clues and a basis for future research to determine Hass avocados’ effect on satiety, glucose and insulin response.  "The publication of this study indicates a continued step forward for HAB’s nutrition research program,” said Escobedo. "We are confident that the program will continue to strengthen the positioning of Hass Avocados in the market.”  The research at Loma Linda University is one of several studies supported by HAB as part of a research program established in 2010. Clinical studies are currently underway to investigate the relationship between avocado consumption and risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, support of weight management and healthy living with top researchers and universities in the United States.  To view the abstract or the full study, "A Randomized 3x3 Crossover Study to Evaluate the Effect of Hass Avocado Intake on Post Ingestive Satiety, Glucose and Insulin Levels, and Subsequent Energy Intake in Overweight Adults,” visit www.nutritionj.com/content/12/1/155/abstract.   About the Hass Avocado Board The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is an agriculture promotion group established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass Avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass Avocados directs HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2012, retail volume for avocados exceeded 1.1 billion units and retail sales topped $1.2 billion.  HAB provides industry members and stakeholders with resources that they can use in their day-to-day business operations including shipment data and consumer research available at http://www.hassavocadoboard.com/.  In 2010, HAB established a Nutrition Research program to increase awareness and improve understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. The Nutrition Research program is an integral part of Love One Today, HAB’s multi-year, science-based food and wellness education program to encourage Americans to include fresh Hass avocados in everyday healthy eating plans. For more information visit http://www.loveonetoday.com/research.

Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower Competition

Wednesday 18 Jun 2014, 10:00 AM to 03:00 PM

Venue: BayPark Function Centre, Mount Maungnui NZ Avocado is a proud sponsor and participant in the Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower Competition. The BOP Young Fruit Grower Competition recognises some of the industry's finest young future leaders. It showcases their ability to be innovative and highly-skilled in a competitive environment.  There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs and the winner goes forward to the national final of the NZ Young Fruit Grower on 14 August 2014 in Christchurch.  While at the final the winner of NZ Young Fruit Grower also competes against the NZ Young Vegetable Grower for the national title of Young Grower of the Year 2014.  This high-profile competition event is followed by a gala dinner and awards evening, and is attended by hundreds of industry people.  We invite young people in the fruit-growing industry to enter this competition.  For those who are committed to supporting the future of the horticultural industry and our talented future leaders, there are many opportunities to partner with the Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower of the Year.  Click on the links below for more information.  BOP Young Fruit Grower Competition - application form  BOP Young Fruit Grower Competition - advertising flyer  BOP Young Fruit Grower Competition - sponsorship opportunities 


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