Just Avocados has announced it will exit its joint venture (JV) with Southern Produce and Primor Produce and relinquish its shareholding in the New Zealand avocado marketing entity Avanza.
The announcement comes ahead of the New Zealand avocado harvest and will take effect as of late August.
The exit has been on good terms, said Just Avocados managing director Andrew Darling, who added that it was time for Just Avocados, the smallest of the three companies in the JV, to “paddle its own canoe”.
“Differing commercial philosophies and growing competitive tensions onshore for supply are key reasons for us looking to do things differently going forward,” Darling said. “However, the most compelling commercial reasons are around improving our grower returns. Reducing costs and optimising market returns will be key drivers in providing greater outcomes for our growers than we can under the current model.”
Avanza represented three companies that collectively marketed around 80 per cent of avocado exports from New Zealand, with Avanza avocados available from September to January.
Darling said Just Avocados would continue to maintain its open and cooperative communication with Avanza and other exporters in the future, keeping the best interests of the growers in mind.
“It is our absolute intention to remain committed to industry strategy around continuing the development of new markets outside Australia, and we will be committing similar volumes to Asia in the coming season,” Darling said.
“Avanza has been a collaborative vehicle by which the three shareholders and competing companies Southern Produce, Primor Produce and Just Avocados, have come together over the last decade to develop new market opportunities in Asia.
“On behalf of its supplying growers, collectively representing around 80 per cent of the avocado industry, Avanza’s development of customers in new Asian markets has led new market development for the industry.”