Australia’s favourite breakfast smash could soon become cheaper to come by with a record harvest tipped for the industry.
And local growers look set to avoid the brunt of any price changes as global consumption continues to drive significant improvements in grower returns.
The nation’s peak avocado body is forecasting an abundant supply of the popular fruit in 2017/18, with initial estimates expecting 75,000 tonnes of avocados to be produced this financial year.
This is a far cry from early 2016, where a tightened supply saw consumers paying up to $6 per piece of fruit and leading to some using avocados as a barometer for modern house prices.
Riverland fruit grower Colin Fechner said steadying retail prices, as well as the increasing farmgate returns for producers, was a win for everyone.
“The volume of fruit going through the market keeps moving, the consumers are happy because fruit isn’t stale, and everybody is happy,” Mr Fechner said.
Avocado numbers grow to match consumption
Avocados are now a common sight on breakfast and brunch menus across the country, as more global consumers turn to the fruit.
Australian growers have boosted their plantings over the years to meet demand, and the estimated total crop production could break the 100,000 tonne mark in coming years.
Chief executive officer of Avocados Australia, John Tyas, said production looked set to continue soaring.
“We have seen growth in Australian avocado production pretty much year on year for a couple of decades,” Mr Tyas said.
Mr Fechner, who put in his first plantings of avocados in 1976, agreed the industry was currently in positive territory.
“Most avocado growers are walking around with a smile on their face,” he said.
Industry confident of avoiding fruit glut
Despite the substantial numbers of fruit anticipated, the nation’s peak body believed it would find enough markets.
Mr Tyas said the development of overseas exports would be vital to the industry’s growth.
“In terms of protocol markets, Japan, Thailand and China are our real priorities,” he said.
“I think if we can achieve those in the next few years, that will set us up nicely.”
Mr Tyas also said the growing use of avocados across different meals and cuisines, including desserts such as ice cream, will keep the fruit flying off local shelves.
“The marketing efforts have gone into encouraging people to use avocados at lots of different meal occasions,” he said.
“We are only just on the tip of the iceberg in terms of that area of usage.”
source: ABC Rural