New Zealand Fruit Story

A "ripe for picking" story about the theft of avocados in New Zealand, appeared in the Washington Post this morning. On the same day an Australian publication described the avocado thefts as "a major crime wave sweeping New Zealand" When you read the Washington Post story you'll probably smile like we did, and agree "Well not quite a mafia style crime wave" But it's an interesting story anyway.

As the Washington Post describes it "Someone is stealing avocados in New Zealand. Not just picking a handful to make guacamole for a picnic, but driving up to orchards in the dark of night, using rakes to sweep hundreds from trees, collecting them in blankets and driving off to sell them illegally at road stands, grocery stores and small restaurants in Auckland, the country's largest city, according to police.


The problem appears to be one of surging demand and short supply, avocado industry officials say. Traditionally, the soft green pears have been grown largely for export, but local consumers have been rapidly acquiring a taste for them -- just as heavy rainfall in neighboring Australia badly damaged last year's harvest. 

As a result, the price has more than tripled, reaching as high as $4 per avocado ($6 in New Zealand dollars) and fueling a spate of stealth robberies by enterprising thieves"

The full WP story can be seen here

The main avocado growing region in New Zealand is the Bay of Plenty in the North Island where the photo of the avocado orchard above was taken. The Bay of Plenty is included in several of our New Zealand Vacations itineraries of which the 20 day "Epic New Zealand Journey" is a good example.

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Jun 16, 2016