Australian avocado industry explains price rise
Australian avocado industry’s marketing body The Avolution has blamed poor weather and increasing demand for recent price hikes.
With many of the avocados sold in Australia over summer coming from New Zealand, recent heavy rains in the country have hindered farming efforts. This in combination with seasonal desire for avocado has created low supplies says CEO of The Avolution, Antony Allen.
“In the past 20 years, Australia’s avocado production has increased from 18,000 tonnes a year to nearly 68,500 tonnes in 2015. With more Australians than ever adding avocados to their shopping baskets, the current lull in supply has led to a higher wholesale price,” Allen said.
“We are expecting production to ramp up in time for March which will stabilise retail prices across the country. Until then, consumers can expect prices to continue to rise as the industry tries to meet exceptional demand with less fruit,” he said.
Australia’s avocado industry
The majority of avocados sold in Australia over summer come from New Zealand and Western Australia. According to the industry, Australia’s expansive land and varied climate lends itself to growing avocados year-round and growers nationwide are starting to capitalise on the increasing demand.
Avocados first arrived in Australia in 1840 in seed form and were planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney. A commercial avocado industry in Australia did not however establish itself until the 1960’s.
Today there are more than 70 avocado varieties sold in Australia but the most prevalent is Hass, which accounts for 75 per cent of production.
According to Avocados Australia, a representative body for Australian avocado growers, the industry has been undergoing significant growth for more than a decade – doubling in volume in the last 10 years. Current industry statistics indicate there are approximately 1000 commercial growers producing approximately 9 million (5.5kg) trays or 49,500 tonnes (2009/10). Plantings are estimated at 1.6 million trees.
The gross value of production of Australian avocados is approximately AUD$180m at farm gate and AUD$420m at retail level.