Woolworths has stopped sourcing Australian avocados early, opting to import New Zealand avocados over local producers’, according to Avocados Australia.
While Australian growers supply avocados all year round, the country’s supply is boosted by New Zealand imports during the spring and summer months.
Avocados Australia’s CEO John Tyas said that from September until Christmas this year, Australian avocado growers are expecting to harvest more than 17,000 tonnes of avocados – that’s about 85 million avocados.
“This volume is down a bit from last year, but should be sufficient to supply more than half of the Australian market demand during this period,” Mr Tyas said.
“The Australian industry is expecting to supply more than 1,200 tonnes per week in September (about 6 million avocados per week), which largely meets the Australian market demand at this time.
“We know most Australian consumers prefer to buy Australian-grown avocados and we therefore encourage all of our Australian retailers to support our local avocado growers.
“Australian growers are very disappointed that Woolworths has stopped sourcing locally-grown avocados for most of its Queensland stores already, given the large volumes of Australian fruit that are currently available.”
Mr Tyas said this decision may have been made as a result of Western Australian production being predicted to be lower than last year, but there is still plenty of Australian fruit this season, particularly during spring.
“The market will need the imported fruit to boost the local supply later in the year, but not right now,” he said.
“It is important the major chains consult with their suppliers and Avocados Australia to ensure their decisions are based on the best information available.
“Some do this better than others.”
Avocados Australia has published its latest industry statistics which show projected strong growth of the industry .
CEO John Tyas said supply is expanding in most growing regions, particularly in those regions supplying the market during the spring and summer months.
“Australian production doubled over the past decade and is forecast to double again, with 100,000 tonnes expected to be reached by 2025,” he said.
“One of the industry’s priorities is to continue to drive increased consumption in Australia to match the growing supply.
“Last year, Australian per capita consumption reached 3.27 kg per person, amongst the highest avocado consumption levels in the English-speaking world.
“We believe Australian households will continue to increase their consumption of this delicious, nutritious fruit.”
For more information: http://www.avocado.org.au/industry