A record avocado crop in Australia has sent local markets prices down to just A$1 (US$0.77), just a couple of years after prices hit A$9 (US$7) in the summer of 2018.
The eye-watering drop in price is due to a bumper crop – the result of good weather and new trees. Australia is home to three million avocado trees, half of which were planted in the last five years alone.
For avocado lovers the good news just keeps coming. New technology developed this year by the University of Queensland could see 500 new trees produced from a one-millimeter cutting in future, compared to the single tree per cutting growers get now, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
“Like many people in the developed world, Australians didn’t really eat avocado 20 years ago,” said Tyas.
He credits the local appetite for the spreadable fresh produce – technically a berry – with the fact that avocados can be grown year-round. Australians also eat avocados for breakfast – with the beloved and now ubiquitous “smashed avocado” – minced with a fork, seasoned and served toast – made world famous by Sydney chef Bill Granger.
“My parents probably didn’t eat an avo until they were in their 50s,” said Daryl Boardman, who traded dryland wheat and cotton farming for avocados in 1999. “I didn’t eat one until I was 20. Now people start eating them as babies.”
So voracious is the appetite for avocado in Australia, young people have been warned to stop eating so many if they ever want to own their own home. In 2016, a columnist for News Corp daily The Australian complained that he had personally seen young people paying “$22 a pop and more” for smashed avo, when they could have been saving this money for a house instead. The financial advice was repeated by Australian millionaire Tim Gurner in 2017.