The aim of this report is to investigate what the future sustainability of the New Zealand avocado industry looks like. The purpose is to provide an indication to my own business on how viable my business will be in the coming years in terms of industry growth rate and growers taking on more work themselves and less contracting out.
Will this be a recurring theme or are there potentially multiple factors at play?
This will be done by looking into the current scale of avocado plantings in New Zealand, how it has changed over time and what are the future plans of the Avocado industry. It will also cover off the challenges under the Covid-19 environment and how export has been affected due to the pandemic.
The ultimate picture of what the industry’s future looks like will be determined by the demand for New Zealand avocados and if there is still a viable overseas market. What the current market trends are and what direction they are going in and will New Zealand hold up against overseas competitors.
We will delve into the overseas markets and create an understanding of how New Zealand avocado supply holds up against them. If we can understand what the present situation is and the reasons that have shaped the avocado industry into what it is today, we can understand the direction, structure and psyche of the sector.
Once this investigation has been undertaken, our findings can be used to discuss our perceived future of the avocado sector.
The main findings include:
- A 3-fold increase in the current production of fruit for upcoming years due to the rapid rate of new plantings.
- The costs associated with getting fruit to market are rising
- In New Zealand we struggle to compete on quality, logistics, shipping cost, reliability, and industry resources required to promote and expand our markets and market-share.
My recommendations as an outcome of this report are:
We should invest more time into seeking alternative markets, other than our closest neighbour, to export our premium fruit too.
The rapid rate of plantings will cause the fruit return to plummet unless we implement a restricted planting rate to ensure the market stays competitive and keeps new and old growers with a plausible return.
Industry bodies need to work together as one cohesive group to support growers, positively promote the industry and provide solutions to the common challenges.
Due to our little natural advantage of growing avocados in NZ, our focus to generate new consumer markets should move to organic production, carbon zero and further play on the clean, green, safe food aspects.