9 Sep 2014

Asian expo helps push NZ avocados

3:32 pm on 9 September 2014

The avocado industry is hoping to reap the rewards from its first time participation in Asia's leading fresh fruit and vegetable trade show.

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Photo: PHOTO NZ

460 exhibitors from 38 countries were at Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong last week.

Avocado industry organisation, New Zealand Avocado, was one of 13 exhibitors in the New Zealand Pavilion. Seven were there for the first time.

Chief Executive of New Zealand Avocado, Jen Scoular, said the organisation's presence at the show, along with two avocado exporters, will benefit the industry's marketing push into Asia.

"We got a lot of feed-back. We put together a pack which included information on the industry, on how to ripen and handle avocados, a little recipe book, a little bit about our systems, and we gave out 200 of these tool-kits.

A really mixed group of people were at the trade show. It is trade it's not a consumer event. We got a lot of interest from importers from China. We don't currently have access into China, but a lot of interest from importers in Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore, as well as Russia."

Jen Scoular said New Zealand exports avocados to about 10 Asian markets, led by Japan, Singapore and South Korea, and officials are continuing negotiations to get access to China.

Another first time exhibitor at Asia Fruit Logistica said being at the expo will pay dividends for it, in the long run.

Kono Horticulture, is part of Maori-owned Wakatu Incorporation that was showcasing its apples and pears at the event.

It was also pushing the Kono food basket grown in the Nelson region, including products from the wine and seafood arms of its operation there.

The general manager, Ru Collin, said it's expecting more sales into Asia as a result.