Just Avocados’ Australian retail channel has grown by 55% over the past three seasons and a further boost to this has been announced for the 2018-19 season with the specialist avocado packer and exporter to now supply a major Australian retailer directly.

“We are very excited to announce we have direct vendor status this season with Australian retail which allows us to place a significant volume into this channel,” says Jacob Darling, GM Group Sales and Marketing for Darling Group – the parent brand to Just Avocados, JH Leavy & Co and Avoworks.

“Our valued partner Costa has made this channel possible for us previously and they will continue to be an important partner for us in other areas of Darling Group business.”

Jarrod Redwood, GM Operations and Grower Services for Just Avocados says this development will benefit their growers.

“This season, 65% of our Australian programme will go direct to retail – this is a more streamlined transaction with cost savings,” says Redwood.

Additionally, according to Darling, Just Avocados is positioned to see more value retained from Australian exports by utilising newly approved facilities at JH Leavy & Co.

“Our team in Australia has launched a third-party logistics division and has recently had inspection and treatment facilities approved – both allow us to remove time delays and costs in the supply chain for our growers.”

“We can receive our containers directly from the port and inspect and treat them ourselves. This increases the speed of our fruit to market which reduces quality issues through minimising stock age.”

Overall, according to Darling, the market outlook is positive for the start of the New Zealand export season.

“Wholesale in Australia is currently well represented with Australian fruit and our market information suggests current volumes of over 350,000 trays per week will continue into October. To mitigate the wholesale market in the early part of the season, we will begin exports with our direct retail programme.”

Darling Group’s strategy is for strong volumes early in the season into the Asian markets and to then optimise the late season Australian window.

“In 2017-18, we shipped 24% of our volume to Asia, versus the industry at 19%. This strategy proved successful with leading export returns for Just Avocados growers. Currently 95% of our volume for the 2018-19 season to date has been shipped to Asia – Korea and Thailand,” says Darling.

Redwood explains that with a valuable early Asian market and a time premium payment for fruit harvested late season for the Australian market, Just Avocados offers options to suit a range of grower needs while meeting market requirements.

“We are committed to providing a model that allows flexibility around harvest and rewards growers for holding fruit from week 50 onwards.

“We work with growers to deliver the outcome that will maximise returns and suit what they want to achieve on their orchard.”

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Jacob Darling, GM Group Sales and Marketing for Just Avocados, is thrilled with the direct to retail development for Just Avocados.