Visit follows tour of West Australian orchards late last year  

Riverking, one of China’s leading avocado importers, is set to take part in a trade visit to Queensland from 25 to 26 June. The avocado procurement leaders will meet with some of Queensland’s leading avocado growers, packers and exporters located in and around Bundaberg.  

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Avocados Australia’s chief executive, John Tyas

Riverking will visit Simpson Farms, Costa Group and Donovan Avocados among others to learn about Australia’s production practices and further build strategic alliances with stakeholders involved in the Australian avocado industry. 

Lachlan Donovan, from Donovan Avocados, said encouraging Riverking’s interest in the growing region was important for the industry. 

“We know there is a lot of interest from China in Australian avocados and hosting visits like this one from Riverking is a logical step for us to take to progress our relationships with Chinese stakeholders,” said Donovan. 

Avocados Australia in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, and Trade and Investment Queensland organised the trade visit to Bundaberg. In addition to site visits, Riverking delegates will have the opportunity to participate in important discussions with representatives from these organisations. 

The tour follows a previous visit of West Australian avocado growers’ orchards and packhouses late last year where Riverking representatives met with Western Australia’s agriculture minister Jackie Jarvis. This time they are focused on the East Coast.  

According to Avocados Australia’s “Facts At A Glance” report, Queensland continues to produce the majority of Australian avocados with 65 per cent of production coming from the state in 2022-23. Given the growth expected over the next few years, gaining access to China is a critically important outcome for industry. 

Avocados Australia’s chief executive, John Tyas, sees this as a special opportunity to showcase Australia as a leading provider of quality avocados demonstrating a commitment to best practices and service delivery. 

“Avocados Australia has made it a priority to increase Australian avocado exports and I believe this visit by Riverking paves the way for further engagement with our key Chinese stakeholders,” he said. 

“Avocados Australia is building a strong and enduring relationship with Riverking. We met with Riverking’s president and executive team at their Shanghai head quarters in 2023 and they attended a special memorandum of understanding signing ceremony between Avocados Australia and the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association in the same year.” 

In 2023, Riverking completed its build of new avocado ripening facilities in Shanghai to support the accelerating growth of avocados in China, which has just surpassed Japan as the largest avocado importer in Asia. 

The Australian avocado industry is also growing rapidly, having produced just over 115,385 tonnes of avocados in 2022/23 with production forecast to increase strongly over the next few years to approximately 170,000 tonnes by 2026. In line with this growth, Australian growers are committed to opening up new overseas markets such as China.