Bay of Plenty confident in kiwifruit and avocado sectors

Zespri chief grower and alliances officer Dave Courtney said the kiwifruit industry returned about $620 million to Te Puke, $160m to Katikati, $135m to Opotiki and $70m to Whakatāne in direct grower payments last season.

Courtney said the industry was set to nearly double global sales from $2.4 billion last season to $4.5b by 2025.
He said the growth had a positive spinoff for the region, with a recent University of Waikato report predicting 29,000 more kiwifruit jobs by 2030 – half offered in the Bay.

New Zealand Avocado chief Jen Scoular said the avocado industry had seen significant increases in returns in the past four years.

“Sixty per cent of avocado production is in the Bay of Plenty and contributes significantly to the community through opportunities for labour, development of profitable land use and financial grower returns being invested back into the wider community,” she said.

Scoular said excellent orchard-gate returns, a strong global demand for avocados and a “rosy” future for the industry resulted in new and renewed investment into avocados.

“The 2017-2018 season returned record per-tray prices of avocados from key export markets,” she said.

“The industry has seen large-scale investment in new plantings across all growing regions, which will position the industry to sustainably develop high-value markets offshore.

“The new plantings will allow for future capability to meet demand.”

Scoular said the recent approval of market access for New Zealand avocados into China was a huge opportunity for the industry, with the first exports to be shipped from September.