Tuesday, 18 July 2017 13:55

Big demand for avocados

Written by  Peter Burke
Ashby Whitehead. Ashby Whitehead.

Demand to get into the avocado industry is exceeding the supply of trees, says the chair of the Avocado Growers Association.

Ashby Whitehead reports a wait as long as 18 months to get trees from nurseries, despite two new nurseries having started and the existing ones producing more trees. The industry recently held a function at parliament to thank its supporters such as MPI and to showcase its success to decision makers in Wellington.

Whitehead says global demand for avocados is growing 10% a year.

“It’s the new health food creating a real buzz in the market. Avocados are not only healthy, they are more versatile than most other foods... you can have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even dessert.”

There is big demand from Asia where consumers are just starting to see avocados in supermarkets; China and India are new markets. “There is a lot of headroom for avocados in these emerging markets.”

Whitehead says the health properties of avocados make them a winner in Asia. They contain folic acid, desirable for pregnant women.

Many commentators predict a bright future for the avocado industry, with good returns to growers.

Some growers get the same returns as SunGold kiwifruit growers, Whitehead says. And the cost of running an avocado orchard is much lower than kiwifruit.


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