Washington D.C. (Sep. 10, 2018) – The World Avocado Organization, the first and only organization in the world devoted to promoting the consumption and awareness of avocados at a global level, is pleased to welcome Colombia as its newest member country director. The announcement was made during the opening of Asia Fruit Logistica, a most important annual trade show for the international fruit and vegetable in Asia. WAO’s current members include the top avocado producing nations of: Mexico, Peru, the United States of America, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Spain.
“We are delighted that Colombia joins WAO and look forward to working together to supply the European avocado market, which has been soaring over the last few years. We are pleased to replicate the programs WAO has implemented in Europe during the fall and winter months together with the Colombian Hass avocado sector,” said Zac Bard, Chairman of WAO.
One of the largest avocado producers worldwide
Colombia is home to some of the top Hass avocado producers and exporters in the world, including Fruity Green, Cartama – Avofruit, S.A. & Westfalia Colombia, each of whom have also officially joined WAO. Colombia has only recently entered the Hass avocado market but is already one of the biggest producers and exporters worldwide. It currently produces over 15,000 hectares of Hass avocados and is growing at an unprecedented rate, as its agricultural outlook continues to flourish.
Xavier Equihua, CEO of WAO commented “Avocado production in Colombia has experienced rapid growth over the past few years where volumes have grown by 550 percent a year between 2012 and 2016 – We are pleased to announce the inclusion of Colombia as a country director of WAO and we look forward to working with them on expanding avocado supply and consumption across the European market.”
“Hass avocado production is growing at a tremendous rate in Colombia. At the same time, the consumption of avocados in Europe is growing at an immense pace, where more than 510 million kilos of avocados were sold in 2017. Joining WAO will help Colombia to unlock their full potential and key opportunities across the European avocado market,” underlined Daniel Bustamante, Vice-Chairman of WAO.
WAO members covering most of the European market
With the addition of Colombia and Spain this year, WAO now represents over 70% of the avocados commercialized in Europe.
WAO will be holding its 2018 Mid-Season Meeting in Madrid, Spain on 22 October 2018 – one day before the start of the Fruit Attraction, the international trade show for the fruit and vegetable industry.
About the World Avocado Organization (WAO)
The World Avocado Organization’s (WAO) primary purpose is to promote and increase the consumption, awareness and value of avocados in international markets. It was established in February 2016 as an international non-profit organization. Based in Washington, D.C., WAO represents some of the world’s largest avocado producers, exporters and importers, including Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the United States of America. Europe is one of the fastest-growing markets worldwide and already the second-largest market for imported avocados in the world. It is expected to grow by at least 15 percent per year in the next five years.