10 Feb 2019

NZ's bid to host Avocado World Congress

3:42 pm on 10 February 2019

The avocado industry has thrown its hat into the ring to bring the Avocado World Congress to New Zealand for the first time in 2023.

Hass avocado

Photo: Wikicommons

The congress, which is held every four years, brings together 2000 people in the industry including growers, researchers and investors.

The New Zealand industry is worth $150 million and it forecast to grow to $1 billion by 2040.

Hosting the international event would be a "terrific way" to celebrate and raise the industry's visibility overseas, the New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular said.

"The growers are very keen to understand new innovation and technology."

Having 700 to 800 New Zealand growers at the conference would allow them to gather new skills and ideas.

New Zealand is the ninth largest avocado exporter in the world and is now cracking the Asia market.

Unusually, Ms Scoular said, New Zealand had a location advantage against its American counter-parts and better access to that market.

The bid would be considered at this year's event held in Colombia during late September.

New Zealand will present its submission and all the delegates will cast their vote.

Ms Scoular said New Zealand narrowly lost its bid to host the last forum to Colombia, but that most country's had to lose one before hosting.

"We were good losers and hope the Colombians will be very supportive of our bid."

If New Zealand wins the bid, the event will be hosted in either Auckland or Rotorua, to maintain proximity to the orchards.

Ms Scoular hoped international visitors would spend time in the country either side of the event, which would add value to the economy.

Tourism New Zealand is supporting the bid.