Holy guacamole – New Zealand attracts thousands of global avocado experts

New Zealand will welcome thousands of international avocado experts in 2023 after winning the bid to host the 10th World Avocado Congress (WAC).

A team approach helped New Zealand win the 10th World Avocado Congress

Tourism New Zealand’s Global Manager Business Events Lisa Gardiner says: “We’re delighted that the World Avocado Congress is coming to New Zealand. This is a huge boost for our local avocado industry and a chance to showcase New Zealand’s horticulture industry to thousands of influential international guests. It also provides the opportunity to access innovation, global knowledge and science to support the growth of the sector.” 

New Zealand’s bid was led by Tauranga-based NZ Avocado, which represents 1350 New Zealand growers, with support from Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the New Zealand Embassy in Colombia.

New Zealand, which contributes 2 per cent of global avocado production and is the world's ninth largest avocado exporter, was up against Mexico, the largest avocado exporter in the world, and Kenya, the sixth largest exporter of avocados globally, in the competitive bid.

NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular said New Zealand’s team approach was integral to its win. This included six months of lobbying activity with key representatives of the international avocado industry, a VIP event for influential delegates hosted by the New Zealand Ambassador to Colombia, and a video message from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern inviting voters to come and experience New Zealand first-hand.

Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme provided support and marketing resources communicating New Zealand’s proposition. These included its strong avocado and horticulture community, unique cultural experiences, and tiaki - sustainability - promise.

“Winning the rights to host the 2023 World Avocado Congress would not have been possible without the excellent support of Tourism New Zealand and NZTE,” Scoular says.

"Our amazing unspoiled landscapes, a reputation for openness, fairness and equality, and a commitment to care for its land and people, provides an ideal environment for the global avocado industry to share its values with consumers and media around the world.”

Scoular says the congress will demonstrate New Zealand growing practises, food safety and quality systems, and the ethical treatment of growers and communities.

“The congress will bring the brightest minds in world avocado research to our shores. It will bring leading researchers and innovators of avocado breeding, production, supply chain technology and marketing. It will attract the world’s fruit and trade media, showcasing New Zealand’s avocado industry as a leader to existing and potential customers and investors from around the world.

“We talked up this as a trip of a lifetime, so we hope it will also bring families wanting to experience New Zealand.”

The five-day conference will bring the world’s leading avocado growers, researchers, marketers, tech innovators and investors to New Zealand.