Avocado growers get support to access Japanese market

April 8, 2022 | 5 Min read
Avocados Australia is providing support for growers to export to Japan.

Avocado growers are keen to find new markets knowing more trees are about to mature and avocado prices dived under a $1 in stores last year.

While Avocados Australia continues its push to help growers in all states access the Japanese market, it's turning its focus to those in South Australia's Riverland.

Avocados Australia chief executive John Tyas said with lots of new plantings in the past five years securing new markets was time critical.

In 2021, national avocado production was 90,000 tonnes.

"That's expected to almost double and grow to 170,000 tonnes by 2026," Mr Tyas said.

"There's no way the domestic market will be able to absorb the volumes that are coming."

The appetite for avocados in Japan is high but it relies on imports from other countries like Mexico.

Mr Tyas said Australian growers have an opportunity to present a premium product to Japanese buyers.

"Quality will be absolutely paramount," he said.

"But the market is not growing rapidly, so it will be mainly about taking some of that market share."

Mr Tyas said last year the industry exported a record 8000 tonnes of avocados.

"Which isn't a lot but it's double what we did previously, however they were at really marginal prices," he said.

The industry body said orders from Japan for West Australian avocados were driving its push into the market.

"WA and the Riverland only got access in very late 2018 so there wasn't a lot sent and then COVID-19 disrupted things," Mr Tyas said.

"So, we only saw the first real consignments sent across this last six months or so.

"It wasn't big volumes, but the fruit was received really well from the exporters that did participate and they are planning to significantly increase their supply in the coming season."

Currently only regions free of Queensland fruit fly — WA, Tasmania and the Riverland — can access the Japanese market.

Mr Tyas said that meant Australian growers could only supply avocados for effectively half the year.

"We're really hoping we can get the east coast onto that protocol so we can send our avocados for the whole 12 months," he said.

Categories Avocado

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