Biosecurity Fact Sheet - Avocados from Chile

​​​​​Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, March 2018

The factsheet provides an overview of the risk analysis for fresh avocado fruit from Chile.​

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Key facts

  • The department is conducting a risk analysis of fresh avocado fruit from Chile.
  • A draft report is being prepared for public consultation and is intended to be released before the end of 2018.
  • The final report will be published after consideration of comments on the draft report. The department aims to finalise the report in early 2019.

Risk analysis for avocados

The department received a formal market access request from Chile for the importation of avocados to Australia. Avocados are Chile’s highest priority horticultural new market access request.

As a World Trade Organization member, Australia is required to assess market access proposals and develop the least trade restrictive and scientifically justified import conditions.  The same scientific principles are used by our trading partners when assessing Australian commodities.

Australia permits imports of fresh avocados from New Zealand, provided they meet Australia’s biosecurity requirements.

A preliminary assessment of the pests associated with fresh avocados from Chile has identified that the potential pests of quarantine concern are Mediterranean fruit fly, scale insects, a mealybug, thrips and mites. Currently, no pathogen species have been identified as being of quarantine concern.

The potential quarantine pests identified are the same, or of the same pest groups, as those associated with other horticultural commodities that have been assessed previously by the department and for which risk management measures are established.

Given the pests of concern are similar to other horticultural commodities, and that there are appropriate risk management measures in place for these pests, this risk analysis is being conducted as a review of biosecurity import requirements (a non-regulated risk analysis).

Process for the risk analysis

The objective of undertaking a risk analysis is to ensure that any fresh products imported into Australia are free from unwanted pests and diseases. The department initially identifies pests and diseases associated with fruit or vegetable produced for export in the source country that are not present in Australia.

The assessment includes analysis of the potential pests of concern and recommends risk management measures if required. If there are no available risk management measures to effectively manage biosecurity risks, trade is not permitted until suitable measures are identified.

The department will verify commercial production, packing, and export practices in the source country before determining any phytosanitary measures to be applied to mitigate any potential risks that do not achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection.

How stakeholders can contribute

The department invites stakeholders to contribute scientific information relevant to this risk analysis at any time.

Stakeholders will be invited to comment on a draft report during a 60 calendar day public consultation period. The final report will then be published after consideration of stakeholder comments and will complete the scientific risk analysis process.

Australian-Chile trade

Australia and Chile have a strong two-way trade relationship, with exports to Chile worth about $469 million in 2016. Australia’s main export to Chile is coal but Australia also exports meat and dairy products. In 2016, imports from Chile were worth about $533 million, which included copper, zinc, frozen fruit and nuts.

Avocado production in Chile

Chile is one of the world’s largest producers of avocados, producing around 215,000 tonnes in 2016-17. The main avocado cultivar grown in Chile is Hass.

In 2016, Chile exported approximately 147,000 tonnes of avocados. Chile’s avocado export season is typically from September to March.  

Avocado production in Australia

There are approximately 850 commercial avocado growers in Australia. Most farms are located in Queensland, with farms also located in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Australian avocados are available all year round with the major harvesting season varying between production areas.

Australia produced around 66,000 tonnes of avocados in 2016-17, worth about $374 million. Australia is a net importer of avocados, importing more than 13,000 tonnes and exporting about 2,300 tonnes in 2016-17. Australia only imports avocados from New Zealand, mainly from September to March.

Subscribe for updates

Stakeholders interested in receiving further updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s new online subscription service.