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Year-round supply a focus for new avocado group

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The Avolution is a new avocado marketing company bringing producers from around the country together to help ensure consumers have a year-round supply of the fruit.

Officially launching in Sydney on 12 June, the Avolution's CEO, Antony Allen, said the company centralises the marketing of avocadoes, allowing producers to focus on growing high quality fruit.

"We are focused on the expansion of the avocado category, as well as making sure that growers are maximising returns on their fruit," he said.

Founded in March 2012 by major Queensland-based avocado producers Lachlan Donovan and Daryl Boardman, together with West Australian avocado packer Jennie Franceschi of Advanced Packing and Marketing Services, The Avolution represents growers in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia and currently supplies 20 percent of Australia’s avocados.

Lachlan Donovan, director and co-owner of The Avolution, said he'd considered hiring a marketing professional to handle sales of avocadoes from his 50,000 trees in the Wide Bay area, but said the difficulty was the person would only be required for seven months of the year, when his fruit was picked and packed.

"The problem was there would be nothing for them to do for the rest of the year, and they would lose interest. So Daryl [Boardman] and I got together and worked out how we could develop a 12 month a year operation that could supply the chains, wholesalers and retailers all year round," Donovan said.

"We decided to get someone to manage the system and grow and develop the market not only for us, but for other Australian growers who needed help. We found the right person in Antony Allen."

Major avocado pack house, Advanced Packing and Marketing Services (APMS) in Western Australia then began supplying fruit for the months of the year when the east coast was not producing.

Between the three main pack houses, which includes a network of smaller growers who supply fruit to APMS and Boardman’s Sunnyspot Pack House in Ravensbourne, Queensland, The Avolution has a 12 month supply.

"Previously, there was a period in the year when the New Zealand marketers would come in and offer to supply avocados to the supermarket chains, because there was no unity of supply from the Australian growers," Donovan said.

"The Avolution was designed to give service to the chains, so they don’t have to go overseas chasing fruit. There is a 12 month supply of fruit here in Australia and if we can manage that supply it helps the whole system."

Since its formation, The Avolution has secured business with Woolworths, Coles and several independents including premium grocer Thomas Dux.

Allen said the 65 growers who currently supplied fruit to The Avolution benefited from the company’s fully recorded supply chain and quality assurance system, transparency and fixed costs to market fruit, as well as quick payment terms.

"With more growers making the switch to The Avolution, we predict the company will market over three million trays of fruit in the next few years," he said.

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