(images: iStock | Upsplash)
If you’re a Millennial who doesn’t own a house or a normal South African that just loves avocado on toast, this might interest you.
It’s no big surprise that avocado has been one of THE most trending ingredients in the last 10 years and has become the global food icon of the Millennial generation. Just take a look at the interest in the search term ‘avocado toast’ on Google and you’ll see.
Derek Donkin, CEO of the South African Avocado Growers Association, says that recognition and demand for avos are on the rise and the local avocado industry is trying to meet that demand.
“At present, commercial avocado plantings in South Africa total 17000 hectares, a figure which is growing by approximately 1000 hectares every year. This expansion ensures that the industry is able to accommodate the growing local and export market”, he says.
We were interested to know just how much of our local avocado production is leaving our shores and how much is left for us to spread on our toast this Winter. Derek and his team shared some of the numbers. Take a look! The significant decrease in exported avocados between 2010 and 2011 was due to damage caused by severe hail storms in a number of production regions.
Derek says, “South Africa has, traditionally, been one of the top three exporters to Europe and South African Avocado Growers Association is working with the South African government to gain access to markets in new territories like the United States, China, Japan, India, Thailand, South Korea, Israel, Vietnam and Mexico. Negotiations with these countries are underway.”
But what does it mean for those of us in Mzanzi? The industry’s steady growth equals growth of job creation. Currently avocado farms, nurseries and packhouses employ around 8200 permanent and 7300 seasonal workers. This doesn’t involve the other, more indirect jobs that are given to suppliers who provide the fertilizer, irrigation equipment and other services in the avocado chain.