Strong quality and a new marketing campaign are supporting a great start to Just Avocados’ New Zealand avocado 2020-2021 export season.
Growers began harvest mid-August with most of the initial volume coming from earlier maturing orchards in the Far North.
Darling Group general manager of group sales and marketing Jacob Darling says quality assessments on Just Avocados’ arrived fruit have taken place in Australia, China, Taiwan and Thailand with all being positive to date.
“It is fantastic to see the outcomes when all Just Avocados’ stakeholders have worked hard to reassess the supply chain and our on-orchard practices to ensure we continue to deliver a premium product.”
Harvesting after rain
Jacob says the grower services team have put together resources and a how-to video to assist growers when making decisions on harvesting after rain. They have also held a workshop and made videos on best practice during harvest to maintain quality.
“Last season, an average of 14.3 per cent of damage seen in the reject analyses could have been avoided with education of harvesters and vigilance at harvest time.”
Supporting brand awareness and sales of their avocados in Asia is a new marketing campaign with the tag line: ‘Family. Fresh. Fun.’ which relates to the people/origin, the product characteristics, and the how-to aspects of the brands Darling Avocado and Jake’s Avocado.
“Our marketing material was first launched to 129 retail stores in Thailand. Also included in the Thailand programme is in-store sampling in a selection of our retail customer’s more significant stores.”
A relatively high proportion of small fruit is being seen across the industry. Jacob says that the long summer drought has affected fruit size but Just Avocados’ innovative prepacks are mitigating their exposure to the smaller size profile.
“Retail prepack programmes have commenced for the 2020 season in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. These programmes will consume a large portion of our small fruit sizes through a value-added channel. Our partners in China are also working on developing further prepack options suited to their customers.”
This season, Just Avocados will direct 20 per cent to 25 per cent of export volume to markets in Asia.
“This Asian volume is lower than what we originally set out to achieve and the change is primarily driven by a strong Australian market.
“We recognise the importance of our Asian development programme as this is where future values will be driven from as early as next season. We are also mindful of the continuing short Australian market that needs to be prioritised for growers’ returns.”