Just months after Medellin-based avocado grower Cartama formed a joint venture with Fresca in the U.K., the company has now entered a formal marketing and distribution agreement with one of the world’s leading companies in the category – Mission Produce.
In a release, California-based Mission highlighted Cartama had been rapidly expanding its avocado production in recent years and was expected to have nearly 1,000 hectares in production by the end of this year.
“We are very enthusiastic about the venture with Mission. Cartama is a world-class producer of Hass avocados and working with Mission gives us access to world markets and the ability to accelerate our aggressive growth plans,” Cartama CEO Ricardo Uribe said in a release.
Colombia has been a hotbed of Hass avocado development in recent years, attracting the likes of South Africa’s Westfalia and Chile’s Subsole through their JV Westsole, as well as substantial investment from local companies, many of them established in or previously involved with coffee, sugar or livestock.
The nation – with ports on both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean – has made its Hass avocado fortunes predominantly through exports Europe but has been pushing for access to the U.S. and Chinese markets. It will also host the World Avocado Congress in 2019.
“Colombia produces avocados on a year-round basis, and is a natural complement for our destination markets around the world,” said Mission’s senior vice president of global sourcing Jim Donovan.
“Our agreement with Cartama to market and distribute Colombian avocados gives us an additional source of supply as the category continues to grow globally,” he said.
“With the addition of Colombia, this will be the eighth country where Mission has invested capital and infrastructure. We are continuing to grow our global footprint and planning for the future,” added Mission’s president and CEO Steve Barnard.