Keynote speaker suggests global avocado production is “developing too quickly”
The “golden age” for the avocado category is over, according to international agri-economics researcher Eric Imbert.
Commenting on the state of the global market ahead of his appearance at the World Avocado Congress in Auckland (2-5 April), Imbert said the balance between supply and demand was at a critical juncture.
“The golden age is over and the world avocado market is changing fast,” explained Imbert, who is the lead researcher for CIRAD, a French agricultural research centre working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions.
“Avocado is an incredible fruit; we have strong scientific evidence of its health benefits. The growth potential of the market remains very strong, however, production is developing too quickly now. It’s essential we deliver this message to all stakeholders of the world avocado industry, who are often small or medium size growers.”
Imbert is the publishing director of Fruitrop, CIRAD’s market news and research service. He and his team closely follow the world avocado market.
At the World Avocado Congress, Imbert will update his research to include more data and information on Australasia.
He will also provide a vision as to how the world avocado market can continue to evolve in the mid-long term.
“A great part of the world production still comes from small to medium size growers, and the industry plays an enormous social and economic role,” Imbert said. “It’s important to ‘protect the market’ working in two directions: reducing the plantation rhythm and also investing more in promotion to stimulate the great margin of growth that exists everywhere in the world.”
Imbert’s pertinent topic aligns well with the World Avocado Congress theme ‘respectful’, according to Jen Scoular, chief executive of New Zealand Avocado and president of the World Avocado Congress committee.
“The congress will challenge what we think we know,” Scoular said. “Our speakers will likely pose uncomfortable question and concepts. But, to ensure the sustainable growth of the global avocado industry, we must consider the phrase ‘growth occurs outside the comfort zone’ and all play our part in a vital conversation about the future of the avocado sector globally.”
Scoular said global landscape has vastly changed since the last World Avocado Congress, held in Colombia in 2019.
“We continue to navigate the challenges of a post-pandemic world,” Scoular explained. “While these challenges have forced some uncomfortable questions, they have simultaneously created and encouraged a future ripe with opportunities when it comes the changing world of avocado production.”
Topics for discussion at the World Avocado Congress 2023 include the future of food, sustainability, climate change, food trends, food security, water and carbon lifecycles for avocado production, research and practical on-orchard application of research to achieve high-yield, agri-tech innovation, global supply chains, grower returns, and the ongoing challenges of food supply.
For more information about the World Avocado Congress, or to register to attend, visit wacnz2023.com