The first shipments last year were followed by reports of suspensions due to pest concerns, however the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) has announced exports will be underway this month.
In a release late last week, ICA emphasized Hass avocado exports to the United States would continue in accordance with the Work Plan signed between Corpohass, the agricultural and food safety authorities in Colombia and their counterparts in the United States.
“The ICA (Colombian Agricultural and Livestock Institute) continues the surveillance and eradication program for Hass avocado quarantine pest in 21 municipalities located in 7 departments of the country,” the entity said.
“During the month of January, exports shall begin from a farm in the department of Antioquia, which has been approved and continues under surveillance until the end of the harvest as established in the Work Plan signed with the USDA (U.S Department of agriculture).
“The forecast for 2018 is a 20% increase in the total exports of Hass avocados from Colombia to Europe and North America.”
The estimate for exports in the 2017 calendar year is between 26,000-27,000 metric tons (MT) with a value of US$50 million.
ICA is currently working with 33 Hass avocado production sites including buffer areas, and once certain requirements have been met those farms will be authorized to export to the United States.
“According to the Work Plan, both health authorities jointly determine which farms are temporarily not allowed to export as well as when they will be approved, once the pest is eradicated at the production site,” ICA said.
“Currently there are several farms or production sites that are already pest-free, according to the official surveillance program carried out by ICA. There is still some work to be done to eradicate the pest in buffer areas, once this is finalized these farms will be approved for exports to the United States.
“The future for Colombia´s exports of Hass avocados to the United States is very promising and ICA, as well as other government entities such as the Presidency of Colombia, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ProColombia and PTP are fully committed to this.”