In New Zealand, Seeka chief executive Michael Franks has confirmed that the company has launched the first phase of its commercial planting programme for new avocado variety Gem.
Franks said the Gem variety had advantages over Hass avocados due to it being less prone to alternate bearing, it was high-yielding, and also that it could be planted at a higher density, the Bay of Plenty Times reported.
"The interest from Growers in acquiring Gem avocados has been extremely high," he explained. "They see it as providing them with a competitive edge because of its characteristics.
"With the harsh lessons from Psa in the kiwifruit industry, there has been a realisation in the horticulture sector that you don't want an industry based on just one main variety," he added.