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Ongoing project

Monitoring avocado quality in retail (AV19003)

Key research provider: Applied Horticultural Research

What’s it all about?

Beginning in 2019, this project is monitoring avocado fruit quality in retail stores across the country and providing detailed, timely feedback to specific packhouses and the industry as a whole. Fruit quality has been identified as a challenge for the avocado industry, with surveys of fruit quality in recent years finding that up to a quarter of avocados in stores have significant levels of bruising, internal rot or other disorders.

The project team is conducting regular assessments at supermarkets, independent and specialty retailers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide over three years – providing some 600 separate quality assessments each year. Information is being recorded on factors such as quality of store displays, fruit age, pricing and potentially the difference in fruit quality between displays in the back and front of stores.

Passing quality information on specific batches of fruit to packhouses is intended to help businesses identify improvement opportunities and help address any inefficiencies or issues in their operations. De-identified data from the sampling is also being analysed to monitor industry performance on the whole.

ACT NOW

The project team will communicate the results of this research to industry via levy-funded channels including the National avocado industry communications program (AV18003) and extension projects Avocado industry development and extension (AV17005) and Implementing best practice of avocado fruit management and handling practices from farm to ripening (AV18000).

Keep up to date on any developments by signing up for communications on the Avocados Australia website here.

Retail avocado quality monitoring commenced in May 2020, completing 38 sampling rounds to assess more than 5,000 fruit.

Feedback reports were provided to suppliers and retailers, with both groups responding positively and identifying improvement opportunities.

Initial data suggests that retail avocado quality in Australia has improved, although the second two years of monitoring are needed for confirmation. A large dataset is being generated, with correlations being made between fruit quality and factors such as retail display format, firmness, fruit age, and growing region.

Project communications are well established with articles in Talking Avocados magazine, industry reports on the Avocados Australia Best Practice Resource, and meetings held with the major retailers. Presentations at the industry regional extension forums commenced.

ACT NOW

Keep up to date on any developments by signing up for communications on the Avocados Australia website.

Read more about industry performance in Talking Avocados magazine.

Visit the Avocados Australia Best Practice Resource for more resources from this project.

Related levy funds
Details

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund