The 10th World Avocado Congress in Auckland attracted a delegation far exceeding expectations, with 1160 attendees including 750 international delegates from as far afield as Mexico, Peru and South Africa.
Jen Scoular, CEO of conference host New Zealand Avocado and president of the World Avocado Congress Committee, said it was “an incredible congress”.
“Feedback from the event has been phenomenal, everyone in the avocado industry came together, to share, to collaborate and to collectively influence positive growth of the whole sector,” said Scoular.
“It was an amazing opportunity to showcase our wonderful country, our growers, our technology and of course our avocado sector. New Zealand currently produces just 2% of the global supply but is the ninth largest international avocado exporter, with an ambitious strategy to grow to a $1 billion industry by 2040. Delegates learned so much from this congress, it’s professional development you cannot get anywhere else.”
The event took 760 delegates to 10 different field days across two days in south Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty, to visit orchards and packhouses, and hear presentations from Plant and Food Research scientists.
This was followed by three days of academic programming at Auckland city centre venue Aotea Centre which featured eight keynote speakers, panel discussions, and more than 130 presentations from speakers representing 16 countries.
“To have that new knowledge being shared in New Zealand adds real value to many sectors,” Scoular said.
Pam Ford, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s director of investment and industry, said the conference offered growth potential for the New Zealand businesses involved.
“The World Avocado Congress allowed us to showcase the strength of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s agritech sector to the world, connecting our local researchers, growers, and sustainability experts with international delegates,” Ford said.
“Feedback from the Tātaki Auckland Unlimited team who attended the conference was glowing. The connections they made at the conference provide great opportunities for collaboration and exploring long-term sector development outcomes.”