The Avocado Industry Council announced last month that it will partner with the Ministry for Primary Industries in a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme called Go Global— a five year programme to increase the productivity and capability within the avocado industry to deliver significant additional returns for New Zealand.
Jen Scoular, chief executive officer of 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 2023.
“This PGP programme will create significant value across the industry, helping position New Zealand’s avocado industry to capitalise on the growing demand domestically and in Asia, for premium, safe, and healthy produce. Part of this will involve developing a New Zealand avocado story to highlight the health and versatility of our avocados,” says Scoular.
The Go Global programme’s vision is to equip the industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023.
New Zealand aims to become the avocado supplier of choice in Asian markets, by gaining an early foothold, and a “first mover” advantage in those markets.
“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,” she says.
The programme will address the industry’s biggest challenge of low and irregular bearing. Collaborative research, with strong cross industry participation will deliver best practice across the value chain which is transferred through a network of innovation leaders, rural professionals and growers. The programme aims to achieve widespread adoption of best practice driven by examples of success.
Ashby Whitehead, chair of Avocado Industry Council says the New Zealand avocado industry will be transformed to an efficient, well-informed, and highly capable industry, supplying premium health food to a number of high-value markets domestically and internationally.
“The programme includes co-investment from growers, packers, processors and exporters, it is a real cross-industry collaboration,” says Whitehead.
The programme will have a strong focus on knowledge sharing across the avocado industry, which will also be able to be utilised by the recently successful “Avocados for Export” programme, funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and led by Plant & Food Research.
Strengthening information flow, performance and efficiency will be achieved through the development of an information portal, increasing supply chain efficiency and benchmarking performance.
Justine Gilliland, director PGP, MPI, says a total investment of $8.56 million has been secured for the programme, with MPI committing $4.28 million over five years, and the balance coming from industry partners as a mixture of cash and in-kind contributions.
“We’re excited by this new programme. It’s the first horticulture programme involving fresh fruit in the PGP, showing the diversity of the industries involved in the PGP,” says Gilliland.
“We are thrilled to be part of the PGP—the industry is motivated and ready to capitalise on the real opportunities that exist for our industry. This PGP programme will see the emergence of a globally competitive, high value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand,” says Scoular.
MPI and Avocado Industry Council will now negotiate and agree a contract so Go Global can formally commence.