New Zealand avocados poised to Go Global

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Telephone: 029 894 0328

The first horticultural programme in the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) involving fresh fruit is now underway following a contract signed between the Avocado Industry Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)—marking a significant milestone towards securing the future of New Zealand’s avocado industry.

The NZ Avocados Go Global PGP programme is a five year programme aimed at increasing the productivity and capability within the avocado industry to deliver significant additional returns for New Zealand.

“We’re excited by this new programme.  It’s the first horticulture programme involving fresh fruit in the PGP, which further diversifies the industries involved in the PGP,” says Justine Gilliland, MPI’s Director PGP.

“It will also contribute to the government’s economic growth studies for Bay of Plenty and Northland, as the majority of the avocado industry are based across these regions.”

Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of the Avocado Industry Council, says formalising the NZ Avocados Go Global PGP programme is a significant milestone for the avocado industry.

“We’re thrilled to be part of the PGP and now look forward to delivering our programme.  There’s real enthusiasm in the avocado industry to be involved and we’re ready to capitalise on the opportunities that exist for our industry,” she says.

The NZ Avocados Go Global PGP programme’s vision is to equip industry with the tools to triple productivity to 12 tonnes per hectare and quadruple industry returns to $280 million by 2023.
“As an industry, our biggest challenge is low and irregular bearing of fruit.  Our PGP programme will enable us to research and develop solutions to this through collaborative research with strong cross industry participation,” says Jen.

“We want to deliver best practice across the value chain, transferred through a network of innovation leaders, rural professionals and growers to achieve widespread adoption, driven by examples of success.”
NZ Avocados Go Global will have a strong focus on knowledge sharing across the avocado industry, which will also be able to be utilised by the recently successful “Avocados for Export” programme, funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and led by Plant & Food Research.

The PGP programme will develop an information portal to strengthen the flow of information and assist in increasing the performance and efficiency of the avocado supply chain.  It will also enable the industry to benchmark their performance. 

“This should help to place our industry in good stead to respond to the domestic demand for premium, safe, and healthy produce, but also position New Zealand as the avocado supplier of choice in Asian markets by gaining an early foothold, and a “first mover” advantage in those markets,” says Jen.
“Our PGP programme will see the emergence of a globally competitive, high value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand,” she says. 

Ashby Whitehead, Chair of Avocado Industry Council, says he’s excited about the potential of the PGP programme to bring together all of the knowledge about best practise throughout the avocado industry.
“By having access to best practice information and encouraging uptake, we aim to drive the growth of the avocado industry and enable a consistent supply of premium avocados,” he says. 

“This will be assisted by a unified marketing strategy, based on market research undertaken as part of the programme, which creates a point of difference for New Zealand avocados,” he says.
“This programme provides a basis for real cross-industry collaboration and co-investment by bringing together growers, packers, processors and exporters. 

“Our avocado industry will be transformed to an efficient, well-informed, and highly capable industry, supplying premium health food to a number of high-value markets domestically and internationally.”
A total investment of $8.56 million has been secured for the programme, with MPI committing $4.28 million through the PGP over five years, and the balance coming from industry partners as a mixture of cash and in-kind contributions.

“With NZ Avocados Go Global now underway we have 18 contracted PGP programmes,” says Justine.

“They cover the breadth of the primary industry sectors being wool, dairy, fishing and aquaculture, meat, pastoral, bee keeping, forestry, viticulture and horticulture.

“The PGP is all about growing New Zealand’s future - it’s projected to benefit New Zealand’s economy by at least $6.4 billion in GDP growth by 2025.”

About NZ Avocado Growers’ Association Inc. & Avocado Industry Council Limited

The New Zealand avocado industry is the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand.
NZ Avocado Growers’ Association Inc. (NZAGA) and Avocado Industry Council Ltd (AIC) work with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote New Zealand avocados and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers of which there are over 1600 based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. For more information visit

About the PGP

  • The PGP aims to boost the productivity and profitability of our primary sector through investment between government and industry.  It provides an essential springboard to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of primary sector innovation.
  • PGP programmes are generally long-run programmes of five to seven years’ duration and are subject to oversight and monitoring by an independent panel (the Investment Advisory Panel) and MPI. 
  • There are 18 announced programmes covering the breadth of the primary industry sectors: wool, dairy, fishing and aquaculture, meat, pastoral, bee keeping, forestry, viticulture and horticulture.
  • Monitoring requirements for PGP programmes include programme steering groups, quarterly progress reporting, annual plans, audits, and progress reviews, along with evaluation of the overall programme. Funding is only released to programmes on receipt of invoices for work completed in accordance with programme plans.
  • MPI is seeking applications for new PGP programmes.  Applications must be received by MPI by 12pm on Wednesday 25 June 2014.  See the PGP webpage on MPI’s website for further information and guidance.

For more information contact:

Jen Scoular 
CEO, Avocado Industry Council
021 741 014

Midge Munro
Communications Manager, Avocado Industry Council
+64 7 571 6147
+64 21 275 3331

Brad Young, Senior Communications Advisor, MPI
Media phone: 029 894 0328

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