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New Zealand government wants to unlock avocado potential

By Ankush Chibber , 01-Apr-2014

New Zealand government wants to unlock avocado potential

The Avocado Industry Council announced today it will partner with the New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries in an effort to unlock potential in the country’s avocado industry.

The new Primary Growth Partnership programme—called Go Global—is a five-year initiative that is expected to increase productivity and capability within the avocado industry to deliver significant additional returns for New Zealand.

Jen Scoular, CEO at the 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 the year 2023.

“This programme will create significant value across the industry, helping to position New Zealand’s avocado industry to capitalise on the growing demand domestically and in Asia, for premium, safe, and healthy produce,” said Scoular.

“Part of this will involve developing a New Zealand avocado story to highlight the health and versatility of our avocados.”

Under the programme, the government and its partners will equip the industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare as New Zealand aims to become the avocado supplier of choice in Asian markets, by gaining a “first mover” advantage.

“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,” Scoular said.

The PGP will address the industry’s biggest challenge of low and irregular bearing, and is expected to drive collaborative research across the value chain, which will then be transferred through a network of innovation leaders, rural professionals and growers.

Ashby Whitehead, chair of Avocado Industry Council, said that the programme includes co-investment from growers, packers, processors and exporters, and it will be include focused cross-industry collaboration.

It will have a strong focus on knowledge sharing across the avocado industry, which will also be used by the recent and successful Avocados for Export programme, funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and led by Plant & Food Research.

Justine Gilliland, Director PGP at the MPI, said that a total investment of NZ$8.56m (US$7.5m) has been secured for the programme, with MPI committing NZ$4.28m (US$3.7m) over five years—the balance coming from industry partners as a mixture of cash and in-kind contributions.

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