The Avolution, a new avocado marketing company, is bringing together producers from around the country to ensure Aussie families have access to locally grown fruit all year round.
The Avolution CEO Antony Allen, speaking at the company’s official launch today at the PMA Fresh Connections Conference in Sydney, said The Avolution simplified and centralised the marketing of avocados, so that growers could concentrate on what they do best – producing some of the finest fruit in the world.
“We are focused on the expansion of the avocado category, as well as making sure that growers are maximising returns on their fruit,” Mr Allen said.
Founded in March 2012 by major Queensland-based avocado producers Lachlan Donovan and Daryl Boardman, together with West Australian avocado packer Jennie Franceschi of Advanced Packing and Marketing Services, The Avolution represents growers in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia and currently supplies 20 per cent of Australia’s avocados.
Mr Donovan, director and co-owner of The Avolution, said the business has evolved from a need to “market fruit in a better way”.
He had considered hiring a marketing professional to handle sales of avocados from his 50,000 trees in the Wide Bay area, but said the difficulty was the person would only be required for seven months of the year, when his fruit was picked and packed.
“The problem was there would be nothing for them to do for the rest of the year, and they would lose interest. So Daryl [Boardman] and I got together and worked out how we could develop a 12-month-a-year operation that could supply the chains, wholesalers and retailers all year round,” Mr Donovan said.
“We decided to get someone to manage the system and grow and develop the market not only for us, but for other Australian growers who needed help. We found the right person in Antony Allen.”
Another major avocado pack house, Advanced Packing and Marketing Services (APMS) in Western Australia then supplied the missing piece of The Avolution puzzle, by supplying fruit for the months of the year when the east coast was not producing.
Between the three main pack houses, which includes a network of smaller growers who supply fruit to APMS and Mr Boardman’s Sunnyspot Pack House in Ravensbourne, Queensland, The Avolution has a 12-month supply covered.
“Previously, there was a period in the year when the New Zealand marketers would come in and offer to supply avocados to the supermarket chains, because there was no unity of supply from the Australian growers,” Mr Donovan said.
“The Avolution was designed to give service to the chains, so they don’t have to go overseas chasing fruit. There is a 12 month supply of fruit here in Australia and if we can manage that supply it helps the whole system.”
Mr Allen said the 65 growers who currently supplied fruit to The Avolution benefited from the company’s fully recorded supply chain and quality assurance system, transparency and fixed costs to market fruit, as well as quick payment terms.
The Avolution co-owner and director Mr Daryl Boardman said the key difference between The Avolution and competing marketing companies was its grower-owned status.
He said other companies and market agents could not provide the paddock-to-plate detail that The Avolution could instantly supply to customers.
“There are people out there who can buy fruit from anywhere, but don’t know the origin of it, or how long the fruit has been sitting around,” Mr Boardman said.
“We, on the other hand, own the trees and own the fruit. Or if not, we are dealing directly with the farmers supplying it. We can trace all the fruit back to the individual farmers’ paddocks, and that is something other businesses cannot provide.”