As its 2017/18 New Zealand avocado export campaign gets underway, Darling Group is confident of making the best of a challenging situation.
The Australasian company has begun the first export harvest for the season from its avocado-centric company Just Avocados.
“Fruit from Just Avocados’ first export harvest for the 2017/18 season is bound for Australia, South Korea, and Thailand,” said Jacob Darling, general manager group sales and marketing for Darling Group.
The New Zealand avocado industry is coming into a lower volume season, with Darling estimating an overall export crop of between 2.2m and 2.4m trays, almost 50 per cent down on last season.
“The 2017/18 season is going to be a challenge from a marketing perspective, but although our volume has reduced along with all New Zealand suppliers, Darling Group continues to increase their share of supply which is pleasing,” Darling added.
Australia will remain the New Zealand industry's largest market by volume and value for the foreseeable future, however, Darling said developing markets in Asia is a focus for his company.
“Asia as a whole, looks set to deliver outstanding values, as the category continues to evolve in consumers’ lives,” Darling explained.
“South Korea is New Zealand’s fastest growing market for avocados and will be New Zealand’s number one market in Asia for volume this coming season, surpassing Japan.”
To meet growth in Asia, Darling Group is developing twelve-month supply of avocados to its Asian markets, providing a key point of difference for the company and its growers.
“We are currently placing Australian sourced fruit into our markets with fantastic returns for growers, this gives a positive indication for the continuation of our programmes with New Zealand supply,” Darling said.
“With access to more volume of fruit we have a better understanding of values out of different markets and this added market intelligence will benefit New Zealand growers as we continue to prioritise fruit into the better paying markets for the coming season.”