Discussing the harvest potential: (From left) Alistair Young, Hugh Moore, John Schnackenberg and John Carroll - Photo: AVOCO

AVOCO is embarking on a new avocado export season with a new packhouse partner and a fresh commitment to delivering growers solid Orchard Gate Returns.

DMS in Te Puna has joined the ranks of AVOCO’s professional growers and packers for the start of the 2017-18 season – a move that boosts AVOCO’s export volumes in what is a low crop year for the industry.

New Zealand is expected to export up to 2.4 million trays – half of what was shipped offshore in 2016-17. AVOCO, the industry’s largest export marketer, handled about 2.9 million trays during last year’s record-breaking season but this year, growers’ crops are well down, with AVOCO expected to export about 1.46 million trays.

The see-sawing figures illustrate the irregular bearing nature of avocados common among avocado growing nations around the world, and is when trees produce fruit in large quantities one year then in smaller volumes the next.

The problem creates challenges for export marketers but is one AVOCO was prepared for, AVOCO director John Carroll says.

“What’s encouraging for us is that New Zealand growers are up-skilling themselves around orchard management all the time so in the low crop years, volumes are generally higher each time.

“Our game plan this season has received an added boost through our new packhouse partnership. The crop from DMS growers will lift our export volumes and help us maximise the value of fruit sold in all our offshore markets.”

AVOCO director Alistair Young adds the opportunity to partner with DMS was a “no-brainer”.

“For the past four years, we’ve had incredible support from Golden Mile Packers and Far North Packers up north, as well as Trevelyan’s, KauriPak and Apata in the Bay of Plenty. Growers have great relationships with these packhouses and long may that continue.

“DMS and its growers bring that same commitment to growth, technical excellence and an understanding that collaboration can generate improved results for everyone.

“We’re thrilled they’re now a part of our team and we look forward to seeing them at grower meetings, field days and in their orchards over the coming season.”

AVOCO, a collaborative partnership between exporters Team Avocado and Primor Produce, has enjoyed four successful seasons since the two companies joined forces in 2013. Much of their success has come from their forward-thinking and collaborative approach to exporting, disciplines around flow planning, technical support for growers and their expertise in market development.

Most of AVOCO’s fruit will head to Australia but as 100% owner of the AVANZA brand, AVOCO is committed to shipping about 20% of its crop to Asian markets with a focus on Japan, Korea and Singapore.

The export programme to Asia will start with AVANZA representatives attending Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong this month – Asia’s leading trade show for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.

The Asia supply programme runs between September and the end of January. For the fourth consecutive year, the AVANZA team will operate a joint trade booth with US-based marketing partner, Mission Produce, with both parties using the trade show to meet with their existing Asian customers and show them how effectively their partnership provides a 12-month solution to the growing demand for premium avocados.