Avocado industry regulation in Western Australia

Page last updated: Monday, 14 January 2019 - 8:31am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

The production and distribution of avocados is a complex business. Existing and potential growers need to be aware of important issues and regulations, some of which are summarised here.

Food safety

You are legally obliged to produce safe food, that is, it must meet certain conditions relating to foreign contaminants of a chemical or physical nature. It is therefore advisable that all users of chemicals attend an approved chemical users training course and be aware of quality assurance protocols.

Land clearing

Do not assume that because you own land you can clear it of any current stands of native vegetation. There are restrictions on clearing vegetation.

For more information contact the Department of Environment Regulation to discuss your clearing plans. Native Vegetation Conservation: nvp@der.wa.gov.au.

Water resources

Most water resources in Western Australia are regulated. Licences are required for commercial bores and most regions also have restrictions over dam installation. Contact your regional office of the Department of Water for more details.

Interstate sale and export

Sending avocados to interstate markets is not a simple matter of loading them into a truck and sending them off. Because we have Mediterranean fruit fly, quarantine regulations restrict the movement of avocados from Western Australia to other states.

Avocados must satisfy ‘non-host status’ protocols, be stored in a particular manner, and be inspected by an officer from Quarantine WA, or be exported under an approved Interstate Certification Assurance procedure (ICA30), for avocados using ‘non-host status’.

There are also restrictions on the export of avocados, which vary depending on the country. For more information, contact Quarantine WA, +61 (08) 9334 1800.

Industry research and promotion

The Western Australian avocado industry is a party to a range of national and state fund-collecting statutes to allow for research, development and promotion. Generally, funds are collected by market agents or product distributors, but if you deal direct with retail outlets or sell direct to consumers, you may need to calculate this yourself and forward any monies due in a timely manner to the appropriate body.

Remember, payment of these fees is compulsory.

Hort Innovation

Hort Innovation manages promotion, research and industry development for a range of horticultural commodities. The member commodities, including avocados, pay a levy based on fruit sales which is set in consultation with industry and is compulsory.

The Australian Government matches industry contributions dollar-for-dollar for research and development. Promotional activities do not attract the dollar-for-dollar matching funds. These funds are collected and administered under statutory law by Hort Innovation and used on behalf of the industry for research, development and marketing, based on recommendations received from the Avocado Industry Advisory Committee.

Members of the IAC are selected from expressions of interest, aiming to have a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience. The levy is currently set at 7.5c/kg of fresh avocados.

Hort Innovation contact details: info@horticulture.com.au.

Avocados Australia Limited

Avocados Australia Limited (AAL) is the national peak body representing the avocado industry in Australia, assisting with industry administration, research and development, promotion, market development and political lobbying. The AAL Board comprises nine elected directors who serve three-year terms, with three directors retiring each year.

AAL is partially supported by industry levy funds collected by Hort Innovation and therefore some services are available to all Australian levy-paying growers. Both 'Infocado' and the 'Best Practice Resource' are available for free although the 'Best Practice Resource' does require registering for a login and password. The 'Best Practice Resource is a very comprehensive source of information on how to grow Avocados well and DPIRD recommends it to any growers that seeking a productive avocado orchard. AAL is also a member organisation with an annual membership fee. Financial members have access to a greater suite of services including an exclusive newsletter, member notices, and have more intimate access to the AAL organisation.

AAL contact details: admin@avocado.org.au.

Agricultural Produce Commission

The Agricultural Produce Commission (APC) is a Western Australian body that is essentially a fund manager. Member industries set up their spending criteria, which may include a range of state issues from research to market development, for member horticultural commodities (which includes avocados).

This is a ‘fee for service’. The APC collects the funds on behalf of the industry and administers them under a strict set of guidelines. How the funds are spent is determined by an industry working group for each commodity. Currently, the ‘fee for service’ for avocados has been set at zero by the APC Avocado Growers Committee.

APC contact details: apcadmin@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Contact information

Declan McCauley
+61 (0)8 9777 0184