Avocado industry marketing allows focus on year-round national supply
The Avolution, a new Australian avocado industry marketing company was officially launched 12 June 2013.
The Company said its business model would simplify and centralise the marketing of avocados in Australian so that growers could concentrate on producing the fruit.
“We are focused on the expansion of the avocado category, as well as making sure that growers are maximizing returns on their fruit,” said Antony Allen, The Avolution CEO.
Originally founded in March 2012 by major Queensland-based avocado producers Lachlan Donovan and Daryl Boardman, together with Western Australian avocado packer Jennie Francheschi of Advanced Packing and Marketing Services, The Avolution now represents growers in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, and currently supplies 20 per cent of Australia’s avocados.
Company grew from need to market Australian avocados “in a better way”
Mr Donovan, Director and Co-owner of The Avolution, said the business evolved from a need to “market fruit in a better way”. He said he had considered hiring a marketing professional to handle sales of avocados from his 50,000 trees in the Wide Bay area, but realised that the person would only be required for seven months of the year, when his fruit was picked and packed.
“The problem was there would be nothing for them to do for the rest of the year, and they would lose interest,” Mr Donovan said. “So Daryl [Boardman] and I got together and worked out how we could develop a 12-month-a-year operation that could supply the chains, wholesalers and retailers all year round,” he said.
Mr Donovan said they decided to bring in a manager to refine and grow the system, to “develop the market, not only for us, but for other Australian growers who needed help”.
Another major avocado pack house, Advanced Packing and Marketing Services in Western Australia then came on board to fill the gap, supplying fruit for the months of the year when the east coast was not producing.
Co-ordination of year round supply for all Australia
Between the three main pack houses, which includes a network of smaller growers who supply the larger pack houses, The Avolution said it has “a 12-month supply covered”.
“Previously there was a period in the year when the New Zealand marketers would come in an offer to supply avocados to the supermarket chains, because there was no unity of supply from the Australian growers,” Mr Donovan said.
“The Avolution was designed to give service to the chains, so they don’t have to go overseas chasing fruit. There is a 12 month supply of fruit here in Australia and if we can manage that supply it helps the whole system,” he said.
Since its formation, The Avolution said it has secured business with Woolworths, Coles and several independents, including premium grocer Thomas Dux. Through the Bidvest Fresh distribution network, the Company also supplies popular Mexican restaurant chain Guzman y Gomez with avocados for its guacamole.
‘Grower-owned’ status benefits large and small growers
The Avolution said the 65 growers currently supplying fruit to the Company benefited equally from its “fully recorded supply chain and quality assurance system, transparency and fixed costs to market fruit, as well as quick payment terms”. The Company said its status as a grower-owned organisation benefitted both growers and consumers, and that, given the success of its marketing model so far, would consider applying it to other crops.