“It’s been an exciting time for the past 25 years,” Mr Donovan said, with a smile.
“But the past few years have been really good.”
The success of the past few years is no fluke.
Avocado growers voted for a substantial increase to pay for research and development into the industry.
Now the levies have paid off, and the marketing campaign the industry put in place eight years ago is coming to fruition with avocado sales skyrocketing.
“There is a lot more production around the country,” Mr Donovan said.
The Donovans sell their avocados through the Avolution, a grower-owned fresh produce-marketing wholesaler based in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Mr Donovan said working with Avolution had streamlined the marketing process, freeing up valuable time.
“Where it’s helped us a lot is we just send the fruit out and they do all the marketing and I don’t have to deal with orders and negotiating prices,” he said.
Mr Donovan said one of the biggest changes he had witnessed in the past 25 years had been the advancement of technology.
From irrigation and water monitoring to grading the quality of avocados, technology has left its indelible mark on the industry.
Mr Donovan said he invested in a Compac InVision blemish grader at his packing shed, which takes 30 or so photographs from multiple angles in infra-red and IR.
“The whole idea is to reduce the labour component and make the grading a lot more accurate and reliable,” he said.
The Childers region has garnered a strong reputation as a growers’ paradise.
“One of the reasons is good fertile soil and water,” he said. “This means we can get our fruit harvested and packed before flowering time so we can actually set up the crop for next year as well,” he said.