The Fruit Tree Biotechnology Programme (FTBP) in FABI held their annual industry meeting with the board of the Hans Merensky Foundation on 18 September. Postgraduate students from the group presented updated reports on their research projects, illustrating the benefits this work has to industry. The main research focus of the FTBP is the investigation of the responses of avocado rootstocks to infection with Phytophthora cinnamomi, the most damaging pathogen to avocado production worldwide. Two prominent researchers from the USA attended the meeting as external advisors, Prof Randy Ploetz and Prof Mary Lu Arpaia. Prof Ploetz is a well-known plant pathologist from the University of Florida, working on tropical and sub-tropical crops, while Prof Arpaia’s research at the University of California Davis focuses on avocado rootstock selection. Feedback from the board was positive and both the FTBP and Hans Merensky look forward to the continuation of the research programme.