The last couple of months had a view events to promote the South African Avocado Industry.  Under the leadership of Bonnie Buthelezi, Subtrop Market Development Manager, there is always something happening.  Here are a few reports of what has been happening recently.



SAAGA and SAMAC partnered with Ndalo Media and Old Mutual last week to host a high end memorable event , in Sandton to promote avos and macadamia nuts.

From a high-profile event in Sandton to the vibrant streets of Thembisa, the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) and the Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC) under the Subtrop banner have been promoting homegrown avos and macadamias in fresh new ways in recent weeks.

Eating well and incorporating avos and macadamias into a healthy balanced diet was the key focus of the associations’ participation in the Your Wealth is Your Health cocktail function, organised by Ndalo Media and its magazines, Destiny and Destiny Man, and co-sponsored by Old Mutual.

The event was held at Virgin Active Alice Lane in Sandton, and sought to educate specially invited media and guests around achieving sound physical and financial health and wellness.

Derek Donkin, provided insights on the local avocado and macadamia industries while registered dietitian, Gaby Burbaitzky, expanded on the health benefits of eating avocados and macadamia nuts.

Geoff Huber, Old Mutual’s medical officer, and Dr Phatho Zondi, president of the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA), also addressed guests, which included SAAGA  Chairman Mr Kosie Eloff, SAAGA Director Clive Garett and SAMAC past chairman Carl Henning ; CEO of Ndalo Media, Khanyi Dhlomo; and Keamogetswe Mphaka of Fruit SA.

Those of you that are on twitter , the event was largely followed on #health is wealth.



The very next day, 30 September 2016,  the Subtrop team hit the road again, but this time in Thembisa, where GG Alcock, author of the book KasiNomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them, showcased the multitude of commercial opportunities that existed in the informal market.

Alcock estimates there are about 36 000 spazarettes and around half a million hawkers currently operating in this sector, highlighting the massive potential for brands wanting to grow their market share. In fact, he estimates this so-called invisible market is worth about R10 billion, and cites the highly successful example of Parmalat which, through thoroughly exploring this market and its plethora of opportunities, achieved R1 billion growth (and that was just from the kota business!).

Derek Donkin and Bonnie Buthelezi with the Protactic team were given a front row seat to the intricate (and fascinating) workings of Thembisa’s spaza shops, spazarettes and township wholesalers, with a view to increasing the amount of avos supplied to informal market businesses.



This year, 1000 Hills Chef School took top spot in the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) Chef School competition, proving that the humble avo is indeed an everyday hero in the kitchen.

The theme was simply “add an avo to your meal at home” and the winner was determined by public vote on the SAAGA Facebook page, Iloveavos, where fans could like photos of the chefs’ creations. The best Facebook fan, was rewarded with R5 000!

Nothing was off limits as the 1000 Hills chefs set about pairing avocados with sweet and savoury ingredients to put, on a plate, 12 dishes which were a feast for the eyes on Facebook. Fans voted with gusto and the winning recipes generated 4 356 likes.

The hero of their decadent creations was incorporated in various fashions, with a strong emphasis on desserts. These included deconstructed brownie soil with avocado mousse in a dark chocolate shell and avocado foam, avocado sponge cake with avocado filling, avocado cheese cake with cream and biscuit crumbs, avocado sorbet in an orange shell and a honey balsamic reduction with pan fried chorizo and avocado jelly.

Main dishes included the likes of avocado rose with curly kale and cauliflower salad, a poached egg on toast served with hollandaise sauce, pickled carrots, sautéed baby marrow, peppadew, blanched radish and avocado puree, and an eggs Benedict breakfast served with fresh rocket, crispy bacon, traditional hollandaise and a seasoned avocado twirl.

The final prizes were awarded as follows:                                                                      winners

Overall winner: 1000 Hills Chef School (R10 000)

First prize: Jack Lai, 1000 Hills Chef School (R2 000 and R1 500 meal voucher for The Oyster Box Hotel, Durban)

Runners-up (all from 1000 Hills Chef School): Leah James, Gabriella Meloni, Sgazo Ngubane and Keegan Scott McVicar (R2 000 each)

Bonnie Buthelezi, SAAGA’s Market Development Manager says the entrants really pushed the envelope this year. “This competition just gets better every year. We all know that avos are versatile but the recipes served up during this year’s competition exceeded the limits and were extremely innovative – yet, simple enough for the home chef to want to add an avo to their meal, which is what we’re encouraging as the South African Avocado Growers’ Association.”

Other chef schools which participated this year were KeTala Chefs Academy, The Capital Hotel School, The South African Academy of Culinary Arts (SAACA), The Fusion Cooking School, and HTA School of Culinary Arts .

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