23 Jun 2014

Avocado programme up and running

7:30 am on 23 June 2014

The first fresh fruit programme to get Primary Growth Partnership funding from the Government is now up and running with the goal of tripling avocado industry productivity in 10 years.

The big vision for the New Zealand Avocados Go Global programme is to triple productivity to 12 tonnes a hectare and quadruple avocado industry returns to $280 million in 10 years.

Avocado Industry Council chief executive Jen Scoular said the starting point will focus on marketing, and highlighting the points of difference for avocados grown here.

"We do grow a Hass avocado which is the most commonly-traded avocado in the world, but our avocados hang on the tree a long time, they have a wonderful industry system, the way the exporters handle them in the market, the way we ripen them, developing a story that goes around them to differentiate New Zealand avocados from anywhere else."

She said that had been done for other products.

"You would say how did bottled water become a category when it used to be just tape water? A new category was created for bottled water. Likewise vine-ripened tomatoes. They are still tomatoes. It's actually saying what are the intrinsic or emotional properties around an avocado from New Zealand that makes it have more value in the market."

The $8.5 million Primary Growth Partnership programme will run for five years.

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