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Imported avocados smashed as grocery chain goes local

A big lift in production in Western Australia means there is less need to import avocados.

A big lift in production in Western Australia means there is less need to import avocados. Photo: Getty

Grocery chain Aldi has become the first major Australian supermarket to stock only local avocados in all of its stores.

Consumers will be able to buy only Australian-grown avocados at the chain’s 586 stores from Wednesday.

But it is not known what the decision will mean for prices.

“It is always our intention to support Aussie growers first, so it makes complete sense for us to stock only Australian avocados in our stores,” Matt Atley from Aldi Australia said.

Avocados Australia boss John Tyas welcomed the decision and hoped other supermarket chains would follow suit.

“Our production base has really been growing and we’ve gotten to a point where we don’t need imported avocados now, Australian growers can supply everything that’s needed here domestically,” Tyas said.

He couldn’t say whether the move would result in cheaper prices.

“Supply and demand will determine what prices do and it’s a pretty competitive landscape, particularly with the massive volumes of products that are expected to be harvested over the coming months,” Tyas said.

He said Australian producers supplied all avocados during autumn and winter. For the rest of the year, New Zealand supplemented supplies.

But with a huge bump in production in Western Australia during the past decade there was no longer a need for imported avocados.

“We can satisfy what the domestic market needs all year round, in fact, we’re now really pushing export markets because of the abundance of fruit,” Tyas said.

A total of 213 million avocados, or 47 million tonnes, is expected to be harvested between September and the end of the year, with a record crop anticipated for WA.

Annual avocado production in 2021/22 was a record 122,000 tonnes, which is expected to grow to 145,000 tonnes this year and balloon to 170,000 tonnes by 2026.

“There’s a lot of trees in the ground that are yet to come into full production, so we’re expecting to see Australia’s supply continue to increase,” Tyas said.

– AAP

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