A focus on pursuing demand from high-value markets has helped packer-exporter Seeka Kiwifruit Industries to deliver sector-leading returns to New Zealand avocado growers.
The company has revealed it offered growers NZ$46,000 (US$33,866) per ha over the 2014/15 season. This was considerably more than the industry average of NZ$21,000 (US$15,460), according to a report by Fairfax Media.
Seeka growers received NZ$16.03 (US$11.80) per export tray, with additional payments projected at NZ$0.30 (US$0.22) per tray.
Seeka’s general manager of grower services, Simon Wells, said the performance was the result of strong demand from premium markets such as Australia, Japan and the United States.
“We've managed the harvest into the market so we haven't allowed volumes to discount prices,” Wells said. “We've focused on retail programmes into Australia and they've returned handsomely this year.”
In a bid to avoid significant price fluctuations throughout the season all fruit went into a pool. The average yield for Seeka avocado growers rose to 12.9 tonnes per ha in 2014-15, up from 12.3 tonnes per ha in 2013-14. Seeka handled around 7 per cent of New Zealand’s total avocado crop, which topped 7m trays for the first time.