9 Feb 2012

Avocado industry trials new technology to send fruit further

12:52 pm on 9 February 2012

The avocado industry is looking to ship its fruit much further afield with a new technology that prevents it from ripening in transit.

The new technology could open the export market to Europe for the first time and is an attempt to reduce the industry's reliance on its main export market, Australia.

Avocado Industry Council chief executive Jen Scoular says a trial shipment to France has been successful.

"We haven't previously been able to ship to Europe because the journey time of four weeks is just too long for an avocado, but this new technology, Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere, effectively hibernates the avocado during its journey, so that we can have really good quality avocados arriving in the European market", she says.

Ms Scoular says the new technology could also lead to trade with Russia, China and India.

A shipment of 2000 trays to France in December was successful, and two more trial shipments are destined for Honolulu in the next few months.

Avocado growers produced a record 6 million trays last season, with exports to Australia, the United States and South-East Asia.