<strong>Bringing the global avocado community to New Zealand</strong>

Bringing the global avocado community to New Zealand

This time the world is coming to New Zealand. New Zealand exporters are so used to getting on a long haul flight, laptop in hand, to meet and make new customers, understand the market and promote their product or service.

In just over a week the global avocado business community arrives in Aotearoa New Zealand for the 10th World Avocado Congress, hosted here in New Zealand for the very first time.

Eight different fielddays will take 760 delegates to South Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty, to visit orchards and packhouses, to hear science presentations and see New Zealand agritech businesses in operation.

Jen Scoular, CEO of New Zealand Avocado and President of the World Avocado Congress Committee.

“We are showcasing our wonderful country, our growers, our technology and of course our avocado sector,” says Jen Scoular, CEO of New Zealand Avocado and President of the World Avocado Congress Committee.

New Zealand companies are demonstrating their products on orchard, Plant and Food Research are presenting four topics under a marquee at David French’s avocado and kiwifruit orchard and delegates will be taken through the brand new MAF RODA technology installed at Just Avocados packhouse in Katikati. Delegates will be treated to the park like orchard of Maria and Andrew Watchorn, New Zealand’s top performing growers for the last four years.

TOMRA Food will offer a tour of their Auckland premises prior to the congress as an additional networking opportunity.

At the Congress in Auckland New Zealand exporters will exhibit in front of over 1,150 delegates from 32 countries, 750 of those from outside New Zealand. 35% of those delegates list agritech as a reason for being at the congress.

Radfords Software CEO Adam Cuming says, “It is a fantastic opportunity to meet with existing and potential customers on home turf, to be able to share a little bit of New Zealand with them right here. We are looking forward to a great trade show and congress.”

New Zealand delegates will hear from over 140 presenters from outside New Zealand, on topics from science in avocados to consumer marketing to the sustainability initiates of Chile, Peru and the US. To have that new knowledge being shared in New Zealand is adding real value to many sectors.

With the recent weather events in New Zealand, climate change and sustainability will be a hot global topic at the Congress, where the theme is “respectful; respect for people, respect for the environment, respect for our future”. Dr Brent Clothier presents his climate change research and expertise as a keynote speaker, and four keynote speakers cover sustainability from different perspectives.

For New Zealanders wanting to understand how the world sees New Zealand, the networking and engagement opportunities with delegates from 33 countries will enable better understanding and create lifelong connections. If we want to know what Mexicans think of New Zealand – we can ask them, 185 of them are attending the Congress, bringing their culture, avocado knowledge and passion with them.

Steve Trickett, Avoco says that their growers will have the opportunity to really understand the global business they are in. Getting first hand presentations on global supply and demand, on production around the world and on consumer marketing of avocado. It is so important growers learn about what happens after their avocados leave their orchard.

“As an avocado sector we are both passionate and engaged, says Scoular. “We recognise the amazing opportunity with the world coming to us. Delegates will learn so much from this congress, its professional development you cannot get anywhere else. Learning, sharing, and understanding our global customers, networks and scientists – this congress has the ability to unlock amazing and diverse opportunities. We know our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and delegates will leverage that opportunity”.

About the World Avocado Congress

•        The 10th World Avocado Congress takes place at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand from 2-5 April 2023. It is the first time that New Zealand has hosted this event.

•        This is the largest horticultural event ever to be held in NZ, with more than 1100 people attending, representing 33 countries.

•        The congress is comprised of a three-day academic programme with eight international and national speakers, around 130 presentations and multiple programme streams covering a wide range of topics across the whole avocado value chain.

•        Eight keynote speakers are featured at the World Avocado Congress including:

o       Cathy Burns, CEO of the International Fresh Produce Association.

•        Dr Brent Clothier, Principal Scientist, Plant and Food Research NZ and President of the New Zealand Royal Society Te Apārangi.

o       Eric Imbert, Lead Researcher at CIRAD and Publishing Director at FRUITROP.

o       Lain Jager, Co-chair of Te Puna Whakaaronui / Fit for a Better World.

o       Florence Van Dyke, Sustainability Lead, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

o       Francisco Mena Volker, Co-founder of Gama Research, Chile.

o       Professor Andrew Robson, Director of the Applied Agricultural Remote Sensing Centre, University of New England, Australia.

o       Professor Sarah McLaren, Director of the New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre, Massey University.

•        The World Avocado Congress is sponsored by international sponsors Mission Produce, Maf Roda Agrobiotic, TOMRA, and national sponsors Darling Group, AVOCO, Radfords and Seeka. The event is supported by Plant & Food Research, New Zealand Avocado, Tourism New Zealand, Tataki Auckland Unlimited, the Hass Avocado Board, Horticulture NZ, Zespri, AgMardt, Mainfreight, and Oji.

About NZ’s avocado industry

•        New Zealand currently produces around 2% of the global avocado supply and is the ninth largest avocado exporter.

•        Avocados are New Zealand’s third largest export market, behind kiwifruit and apples.

•        There are around 5,000 hectares of avocado trees planted in New Zealand, primarily in the Bay of Plenty and Northland.

•        New Zealand has around 1,400 active growers, and nearly 1,800 avocado orchards.

•        The NZ avocado industry was valued at $234m in 2020-21 but fell to $123 million in 2021-22

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