Colombia "one step away" from exporting Hass avocados to Japan

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After many years of negotiations, Colombia and Japan have agreed on export protocols for Hass avocado shipments from the South America country. 

In a statement, the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) said the protocol had been agreed to by Kazuhiko Shimada, the director of plant protection at the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

In order to authorize the first exports, Japanese officials will visit Colombia to inspect production areas, transport conditions, traceability systems and packaging facilities.

"This market is among the government's priorities for 2018, and the approval of requisites by Japan's phytosanitary authority leaves us one step away from exporting to this market," said ICA general manager Luis Humberto Martinez Lacouture.

"The work done by ICA and the country's avocado growers has strengthened rising demand for the fruit in international markets, based on the sanitary strength of national production and on the capacity of the sector to take it to different parts of the world."

Colombia currently has Hass market access to several other destinations including the U.S. - which was gained in August last year - along with the European Union, Costa Rica, Panama and Russia.

In Colombia there are approximately 14,000 hectares of Hass avocado orchards, and in 2017 the country exported 30,341 metric tons (MT).

ICA noted the country is also seeking Chinese avocado market access.

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