WA avocados make the cut with market access to Thailand

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Aidan SmithCountryman
WA avocado industry to benefit from trade to Thailand.
Camera IconWA avocado industry to benefit from trade to Thailand. Credit: supplied

The Western Australian avocado industry is set to reap the benefits of more than $3.5 million of investment into market access and trade initiatives following the Federal Government’s Hass market access deal with Thailand.

During the past decade, the avocado industry has strategically invested its levy through research and development corporation Hort Innovation into a wide range of trade-focused initiatives such as trade development, export strategies, consumer insights, market access research, international marketing activities and more.

WA avocado grower Alan Blight, from AvoWest, said the announcement was a win for the industry. “The Thailand market being back on the cards for WA growers is a significant development for our industry and a very welcome one,” Mr Blight said. “I know industry is excited about the possibilities it presents.”

Hort Innovation chief executive Brett Fifield said securing new overseas markets for Australian avocados has been a key focus for industry for more than 10 years. “Australia’s avocado production is rapidly increasing year on year,” Mr Fifield said.

Hort Innovation chief executive Brett Fifield.
Camera IconHort Innovation chief executive Brett Fifield. Credit: Morris McLennan / Red Square Med/supplied/Hort Innovation

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“It follows the announcement earlier this year in March that Hass avocados can now be exported to India,” Mr Fifield said. “With a surplus of avocados coming, research and development has never played a more important role.” Mr Fifield said the announcement comes off the back of significant efforts across the avocado supply chain to be strategic about which overseas markets to focus on. “In 2016, a levy-funded export strategy was developed, which identified top potential markets and recommended the best strategic approaches to succeed in them,” he said. “Thailand was identified as the highest priority for exports, given that it was the second largest export for Australian avocados before 2013 when Thailand introduced the new cold treatment protocol that put a halt to our exports.”

Various overseas market promotional activity is under way year-round through Grown in Good Nature, with scope for industry to leverage the program in Thailand in the future.

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