Colombian company Cartama has sent the country's first container of Hass avocados to the recently opened Japanese market.
This achievement follows years of work to open the market, said the company, which is in partnership with Mission Produce.
"This export is an effort by the entire avocado industry in the country along with various governmental groups to achieve access to new markets," said Ricardo Uribe, director of Cartama.
With help from the Colombian Institute of Agriculture (ICA), Cartama's phytosanitary and post-harvest conditions met the strict requirements of the Japanese market.
Not only is this its first time sending to Japan, it also marks the company’s first export to Asia.
Having been active in European and North American markets for five years, Cartama decided to expand after partnering with Mission Produce in 2017.
The Colombian avocados were sent from Port Buenaventura and will be received in Yokohama port in by Farmind after 24 days of transit.
Why Japan? Cartama's perspective on the market
Cartama sees this step as an opportunity to diversify exports and enter into a market that shows potential. Japan is in constant growth, stated the company.
Hass avocado imports added up to 74,096 metric tons (MT) in 2018, a 22% year-on-year increase. Japan also shows an average consumption of 0.5 kilograms per capita.
In this market Colombia will compete with countries like Mexico and Peru.
Along with Mission Produce and the ICA, Cartama paid credit to industry body Corpohass and the Ministry of Agriculture.