Three challenges for the Colombian avocado sector

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Three challenges for the Colombian avocado sector

This article is sponsored content from the World Avocado Congress, which takes place in Colombia in 2019

Colombia is one of the most attractive supplies of Hass avocado in the world due to its almost year-round availability. In a conference called Avocado Territory II, Pedro Pablo Díaz, director of the Board of Directors of Corpohass and manager of Exotics Garden, spoke about the challenges of the Colombian avocado sector.

Opening of markets

The country currently has 14 markets open for the export of avocados, including the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, Germany and Afganistan.

Around 95% of Colombian avocados are exported to Europe, and so it is important to expand volumes into other markets to which we have access and therefore avoid the potential problems of a collapse of the European market.

According to an interview published in the Portafolio newspaper of Giovanni Gómez, director of economic affairs at Analdex, there is a potential for growth in various markets, such as the United States, which consumers around 900,000 metric tons of Hass avocados annually.

Currently, Colombian is negotiating market access for countries like Japan, where avocado consumption is becoming more commonplace. By contrast, China is a market that is just now learning about avocados.

According to Colombian Agriculture and Development Minister, Andrés Valencia, Japan is a country with more than 120 million consumers of avocado.

For avocado growers, is it important to get a fair price in markets for their fruit, and it is important to understand the various factors that affect the sales price of avocados in foreign markets.

Return prices

The volatility of avocado prices is one of the main challenges, given that the market is not stable and the prices vary in relation to supply and demand.

An example of this happened in June 2018 when the supply of avocados was greater than the demand in international markets. The U.S. was heavily supplied by fruit from California and Mexico. South Africa and Peru sent more containers to Europe than normal. They supplied this market with around 600-700 containers per week, with the population typically consuming around 450 containers per week. This oversupply in the market cause avocados to be sold at 4 euros per box.

This case leads us to reflect on the importance of not oversaturating markets with one single product and of exporting to new markets to not bring down the sales price in export markets.

For avocados to be sold at a good price, it is important to ensure that good quality fruit is produced that meets every one of the parameters required by the international market.

Quality in the destination

“Thie is Colombia’s main challenge”

One of the main challenges in the avocado industry is the quality of export fruit, as occasionally the level of dry matter of fruit on a single tree can vary greatly, which has implications for the quality.

Growers must focus their efforts on protecting the flowers and carrying out more intensive nutrition of the fruit to improve the quality, thereby complying with the parameters required by the final market for the fruit.

To learn more about the main challenges of the Colombian avocado sector, the export requirements and phytosanitary issues,  come to the IX World Avocado Congress and learn first-hand from industry leaders. Get your tickets here:

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