Steve Trickett has joined AVOCO’s senior management team to extend market development opportunities for New Zealand avocados overseas.
In his role as marketing and communications manager, Trickett will be responsible for market planning and performance, with a focus on new and developing markets where fruit carries the AVANZA brand.
He will also support AVOCO’s existing sales and marketing teams and develop the group’s communications and profile among the grower community in New Zealand.
With more than 30 years of experience in the export sector, including stints at the NZ Kiwifruit Marketing Board (now Zespri), Chiquita Brands New Zealand, Freshmax and most recently Darling Group, Trickett said the move to AVOCO enabled him to continue working in an industry he’s passionate about.
“I’ve worked with, known and respected the key people in AVOCO for well over 20 years and I’m a strong supporter of the AVANZA model used beyond Australia,” Trickett explained. “So, I am excited by the fact that AVOCO management were keen for me to join them and further bolster what is a formidable marketing team.”
Outside of Australia, Asia is the New Zealand avocado industry’s biggest market. Trickett has worked in the region extensively and said New Zealand’s export “story” had real currency for export groups like AVOCO.
“In Asia, our fruit is regarded as a great product, it’s come from a great origin and is mostly supplied at a time when competitor supply countries struggle with quality. People also have a favourable perception of our clean, green image,” Trickett explained.
“Every time you go to a NZ trade office in Tokyo, Seoul or elsewhere in Asia, they say don’t stop promoting the ‘New Zealandness’ of your product. It’s very important and resonates well with consumers.”
With the New Zealand avocado industry inching closer to market access to China, Trickett has been visiting the People’s Republic to learn more about sales and distribution systems.
A small industry coordinated non-commercial trial shipment to China is scheduled for next month, following completion of on-shore audits by the Chinese authorities. However, full commercial shipments are unlikely until the new season starts in September 2018.