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The Avocado Industry Council’s chairman John Schnackenberg said the industry expected to be able to treble its production to 12 million trays per year by 2015 with 200,000 trees reaching maturity within the next few years, according to Radio New Zealand.

Last season the industry produced 21,500 tonnes of avocados or nearly four million trays.

Nearly two-thirds of last year’s harvest was exported to Australia and Schnackenberg believes the industry needs to reduce its reliance on that export market because domestic production is increasing there.

He said new export markets, particularly in Asia, need to be developed.

The council is waiting on getting clearance for exports to China and India, but New Zealand’s main focus is on south-east Asia for the next three to six years.

Schnackenberg said some south-east Asian countries have concerns around chemical residues on avocados, which the industry is trying to rectify. – Source: Radio New Zealand

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