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Eosta pushes mangoes and avocados with Living Wage premium

Eosta pushes mangoes and avocados with Living Wage premium
Photo: Eosta

In 2020, organic fruit and vegetable importer Eosta became the first in the world to put a Living Wage product on shop shelves: the Living Wage mango from Zongo Adama in Burkina Faso. Eosta customers paid 10 cents more per kilo of mangoes to ensure Zongo’s employees earn a living wage. A second product will be added in April 2021: Living Wage avocados from Anthony Ngugi in Kenya. Unlike the mangoes, Eosta customers will now not be given a choice – if you want to sell Anthony’s avocados, you have to pay the living wage price, which is 2 cents per kilo more.

Living Wage is a new concept in food retail practice. A living wage allows for a decent standard of living for a family, and is usually higher than the local minimum wage. If we truly want to eradicate poverty and give people a fair chance, products must be priced to pay a living wage. Although many organizations are conducting extensive studies on Living Wage, Eosta is the first company to bring Living Wage to the shop and to the consumer. The launch of avocados will be followed by Zongo’s mangoes later in April.

In order to be able to sell the Kenyan avocados as Living Wage, an inventory of the incomes of Anthony Ngugi’s 83 employees and the standard of living in Kenya was carried out in the fall of 2020. Eosta followed the protocol of the development organization the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), using their calculation method. This year, for the first time, a review of the calculation by an auditor took place, which is a first step toward Living Wage certification. A Kenyan employee of the international auditor Sedex conducted the inventory. Formal certification of Living Wage does not exist yet, but this is an important step in that direction.

The study showed that adding 2 cents per kilo to the price of avocados is necessary to provide a living wage. Major retailers in Scandinavia, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have shown interest. The first pioneers in 2020 were health food stores in Germany and Austria. During the summer season, Eosta sold over 100,000 kilos of Living Wage mangoes to them. The premium collected was enough to cover 40% of the wage gap for Zongo Adama warehouse workers.

 

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First Californian avocados land in China

First Californian avocados land in China © Mission Produce

© Mission Produce

 

Mission Produce and Mr. Avocado have sent the first-ever shipment of avocados to China from California. The market access was granted for avocados from California following years of negotiation and planning between the California Avocado Commission, the USDA and the government of China.

Steve Barnard, CEO and founder of Mission Produce, said: “Mission was the first  to send avocados to China from Peru, Chile and Colombia – and now we’re the first to send from California. Our goal is to provide a year-round supply of the world’s finest avocados, and now we’re doing so with more volumes and availability than before.”

John Wang, CEO of Mr. Avocado, said: “Sourcing from the premium source of California will open more opportunity for Chinese retailers to capitalise on the lucrative and healthy avocado. California avocados are  high  quality in late  winter to early spring, which hits the market in perfect time to allow consumers the ability to enjoy a great tasting piece of fruit year round.”

Transit time from California to China takes 14-16 days by sea. California avocados in China are expected to be available at Ole, Rainbow Supermarket, Aldi China, JD.com, Seven Fresh and Pagoda stores.

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Colombia positions itself as Europe’s leading avocado supplier

Colombia positions itself as Europe’s leading avocado supplier © PROCOLOMBIA
© PROCOLOMBIA /// PRESS RELEASE

 

According to figures from CIRAD, a French agricultural research center, Colombia took first place above countries such as Israel, Spain, Chile and Mexico, during the first weeks of the year.

Hass avocadoes grown in Colombia continue to make giant strides around the world. According to data from the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD, as per its acronym in French), which works with more than 90 countries, Colombia is currently the leading supplier of avocadoes to Europe.

Accordingly, Jorge Enrique Restrepo, director of Corpohass, explained that “the leading player in Hass avocado supply to Europe is Colombia, with 30% of the market share. Total supply has decreased, which favors an increase in prices due to several factors. Mexico reduces shipments of Hass to Europe to focus on the United States market this season prior to the Super Bowl and the volume exported by Chile has been 75% lower than it was in 2020. Additionally, Israel and Spain have supplied the market to a lesser extent.”

For her part, Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, described this as momentous news and declared that “avocado continues to position itself as one of the main milestones of the agro-export offering, thanks to the flavor, quality, and sustainability that are sown every day by domestic producers and supported by foreign investors. We will continue to support exporters so that this Colombian-grown fruit can secure first place in more countries, taking advantage of markets such as that of the United States and Asia, where there are opportunities to grow exports into the double digits.”

Meanwhile, Sergio Plata, country manager of the Chilean-owned company NAF Colombia, said that “we are making a strong impact in countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, France, England, and Germany. As a country, we have been creating a good reputation and consumption has been growing year after year on the continent. We must continue to increase production to stay in first place in supply in the first quarter of the year.”

Plata added that, during the pandemic, avocado has gradually gained more space within the basic food basket, maintaining its regular consumption in the diet in several European countries, given its versatility as a food and its nutritional value.

Along the same lines, Mauricio Moranth, general manager and partner of Montana Fruits, a company with Australian investors, assured that “in addition to the fact that Chile has reduced its avocado exports and Peru has not yet started its harvest, the avocadoes that we offer are of high quality and have positive environmental and social certifications, which are required by some European countries. I think that in addition to being the leading supplier in the first quarter of the year, we will also be number one from August and October, which is an important trade window for Colombian exporters in Europe.”

Colombia can take advantage of these two trade windows to be the main supplier in Europe from January to March and from August to September. In the year to date, this ranking has been held by countries such as Peru, Mexico, Chile, Israel, and Spain. Meanwhile, in recent years Colombia has gained ground amongst the top ten avocado suppliers in Europe. 

Additionally, it is worth remembering that between January and November 2020, avocado exports from Colombia grew by 50%, reaching US $124 million, of which Europe is responsible for approximately 80% of purchases. The Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and France, together with the United States, appear as the largest importers of Colombian-grown avocadoes. Antioquia, Risaralda, and Caldas are the departments with the highest exports

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Chile’s avocado production area begins to climb once more

Chile’s avocado production area begins to climb once more

Chile’s avocado production area is expected to increase slightly in 2020, following 6 years of shrinkage. Th3 MY20201 crop is expected to total around 220,000 tons, with exports reaching 145,000 tons, assuming planted area and productivity remain unchanged. Hass avocado accounts for almost 90% of the total 30,143 hectares, according to ODEPA data. Chileans consume around 30% of the domestic avocado production (graph 1).

The region of Valparaiso is the top avocado production region with 20,318 hectares (67.4%), followed by the Metropolitana (14%) and Coquimbo (13.2%).

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Nature’s Pride brings Apeel avocados to Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland

Nature’s Pride brings Apeel avocados to Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland © Eurofresh Distribution

© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Following successful results in Germany and Denmark, Apeel and Nature’s Pride will be expanding the market for Apeel avocados to the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. This move will serve to intensify cooperation between the organisations, both of whom share the same vision of reducing food waste and enabling a more sustainable food system in Europe. 

Apeel avocados have been available nationwide for quite some time in Germany and Denmark. Measurements during the pilot phase revealed a more than 50% reduction in food waste at retail stores supplied with Apeel avocados from Nature’s Pride. The difference per trailer load is 3,900 avocados, equating to supply chain environmental savings of 640 kg CO2 and 720,000 litres of water. Nature’s Pride and Apeel are not surprised that these results have encouraged other countries to join the initiative. This week has seen the launch of pilot programs in the Netherlands with Apeel avocados being marketed under the EAT ME brand at the Hoogvliet retail chain. Pilots have also started in Norway, while three retail chains are currently in a pilot phase in Switzerland. 

“To facilitate market expansion, we are increasing our capacity to apply Apeel to produce. We are working intensively with Apeel to scale up the Apeel process so we can supply even more customers and widen the scope of our efforts to fight food waste. We are also expanding the range of Apeel-treated products. We hope to start with mangos in early 2021. In this way, we want to introduce greater numbers of consumers in Europe to our products with Apeel,” explains Adriëlle Dankier, Chief Commercial Officer of Nature’s Pride.

“We are thrilled that more and more retailers in Europe are experiencing the benefits of Apeel produce. With Apeel, retailers are dramatically reducing food waste in stores and for shoppers at home, while growing sales and helping the planet. That’s something we can only achieve with innovative partners like Nature’s Pride and we’re pleased to be expanding our footprint with them,” said James Rogers, CEO and founder of Apeel.

The plant-derived materials in the Apeel coating help to retain moisture and reduce oxidation in the fruit for an extended period. This maintains quality for longer and slows down the rate at which produce spoils. This innovative technology helps growers, suppliers and retailers improve the quality of their products and extend the shelf life. It reduces food waste in the supply chain from the grower to the shop shelf and kitchen table. 

In Europe some 88 million tons of food is wasted annually, with associated costs estimated at €143 billion. In the Netherlands, for example, households waste an average of 34.3 kilograms of solid food per person per year. For the whole of the Netherlands, this means that consumers waste 589 million kilograms of solid food per year.

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Mission Produce joins Eurosemillas 

Mission Produce joins Eurosemillas 

Mission Produce, the world’s most advanced avocado network, has strengthened its global leadership by joining Eurosemillas in Green Motion. Green Motion is an international platform that broadens the varieties and rootstocks available to growers, advances the creation of diversified and sustainable markets, and facilitates access to the University of California, Riverside’s (UCR) germplasm collection. The platform was born after a ground-breaking partnership announced earlier this year between Spain-based Eurosemillas, a global leader in the development and commercialization of agricultural innovation, and UCR, whose 70-year-old avocado breeding programs house one of the most elite germplasm collections of scion and rootstock material in the world.

Green Motion is conducting trials of varieties that have already shown excellent potential at UCR’s test sites in California, a region with Mediterranean climate and growing conditions. Together with other member companies of Green Motion, Mission Produce will bring its world-class experience to evaluate advanced selections of four Hass-like avocado varieties and five rootstocks. If validated, these varieties and rootstocks will ultimately extend the front and back ends of the traditional Hass marketing window. They may also provide increased tolerance to diseases, drought, heat, and soil salinity.

Javier Cano, Director of Business Development for Eurosemillas, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Mission Produce on board with us at Green Motion. Together we will work to build the future of the global avocado industry, creating a diversified and sustainable market and providing excellent new opportunities to growers around the world.”

Steve Barnard, president & CEO of Mission Produce, said: “Mission Produce is excited to be part of Green Motion. We are confident that with our expertise, we can help create an even brighter future for the global avocado industry.”

Brian Suh, director of technology commercialisation at UCR, said: “We have released several well-known avocado varieties available on the market today. We are thrilled to have our advanced scion and rootstock selections tested and evaluated internationally through Green Motion with the goal of bringing the next generation of avocado cultivars to industry around the world.”

 

 

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First Myanmar avocados land in UK

First Myanmar avocados land in UK

 

The first shipment of Myanmar’s avocados have been sent to the UK by air, according to an announcement by the Myanmar embassy in the UK. The exported avocados are of three varieties: Amara (local variety), Hass and Buccaneer. The Myanmar Fruits and Vegetables Producer and Exporter Association (MFVP) worked together with the British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar to make the export project happen. 

The avocados were initially scheduled for export in October but transport was delayed due to COVID-19. The next phases of the trial will see six types of avocados, including those from Chin State and Pyin Oo Lwin. Preparations are being made to export more to the British market in 2021, the embassy said. Because of the entry into the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets have also shown an interest, it added.

Eighty-five percent of Myanmar avocado pears are exported to Thailand. Due to border trade disruptions since 2019, no exports have been made to China. The price per ton in the British market is around US$2000, and US$1200 in Thailand. 

Source : Myanmar Times

 

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Colombia promotes environmental and social sustainability certifications

Colombia promotes environmental and social sustainability certifications
Photos: ProColombia

“Today, the global trends suggest that sustainability in the life cycle of agri-food products must be shared by all links in the chain, by producers, industry, distribution channels and the consumer. In this sense, at ProColombia, we encourage the different agro-food exporting sectors of Colombia to gain environmental and social sustainability certifications, since international consumers and clients are increasingly aware of the importance of respecting the environment, natural resources. and, of course, people and animals,” said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.

Two sectors that are heading in this direction are bananas and avocados. In Colombia, bananas are the third-largest agricultural export item after coffee and flowers, with shipments of more than 101 million 18.14 kg boxes in 2019, of which 79% went to the European market, 15 % to the United States, and the remaining 6% to smaller markets, where there has been a growing culture of sustainable consumption.

Bananas, a fair crop

The Colombian banana has several differentiating factors, including the organisation of the sector into unions. The main ones are AUGURA and ASBAMA, representing about 85% of the production for export. Likewise, there is a high level of compliance with certifications and voluntary sustainability standards (Voluntary Sustainability Standards -NVS14). In the agricultural sector, NVS are standards developed at the local, national or international level by public and private sector organisations for environmental and social improvements that promote sustainability throughout the value chain. In the banana sector, they define the criteria that the certified product or organisation must meet, often resulting in an identifiable seal for consumers. Linked to this is respect for workers’ rights. Employers and unions in the sector have opted for peaceful dialogue as a form of negotiation, with fair and transparent worker-employer relations, high levels of formalisation, as reflected in decent working conditions, such as the right to unionise, high wages, guarantees regarding housing, education, health, social security, and collective bargaining agreements, among others. Lastly, the sectors have made investments in the social development of communities and undertaken actions to take care of the environment.

Increased exports and certifications for avocados

As for the Colombian avocado, there has been unprecedented growth in recent years. While exports amounted to just US$107,918 (56 tons) in 2010, by 2019, sales abroad totalled US$89.1 million (44,570 tons). Between January and September 2020, exports of this fruit reached US$95 million, +34% compared to the same period of the previous year, and thus exceeding all exports for 2019. However, there has not only been an increase in exports, but also in the pace of certification. According to figures from NaturaCert, in 2019, 20,000 hectares of avocado were certified worldwide with the Rainforest Alliance seal, and Colombia had one of the highest growth rates: in 2018, it had 241 certified hectares, but by the end of 2019, it had almost 1,000 hectares. As for GLOBALG.AP, in 2019, there were around 700 certified avocado farms, which represented an increase of 30% compared to 2018. The projection is that this number will continue to grow because international markets, such as Europe and the United States, are concerned that the fruit is grown through sustainable practices and demand these certifications. Furthermore, in Colombia, irrigation systems are rare thanks to the fertile nature of the land, and the carbon footprint in terms of planting trees is positive.

These advances in compliance with national and international parameters have encouraged the Corporation of Avocado Producers and Exporters (Corpohass) to present a pilot plan for the creation of its own label, “Sustainable Hass”, which promotes sustainability among the various entrepreneurs involved in Hass avocado production, packaging and marketing. Thus, the body becomes one of the first to voluntarily orient itself towards a sustainability strategy.

For Jorge Enrique Restrepo, executive director of Corpohass, “The creation of a referential seal with a sustainable approach is a commitment to improve the competitiveness of the Hass avocado. The implementation of Sustainable Hass will allow the sector to continue generating and sharing value for stakeholders throughout the chain. We believe it is important to start setting an example in sustainable practices to continue to establish this product, even more so when our higher purpose is precisely to lead the sustainability of the Colombian Hass avocado agribusiness.”

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Nature’s Pride launches more sustainable avocado packaging

Nature’s Pride launches more sustainable avocado packaging © Nature’s Pride

© Nature’s Pride

 

In line with the firm’s plan to increase the sustainability of its packaging, Nature’s Pride is introducing 100% cardboard packaging for avocados. This packaging represents a huge step in reducing plastic usage. In addition, it consists of just a single type of material, cardboard. This means it can be fully recycled and eliminates the need for a label. 

The new avocado packaging is made of 100% recyclable, certified cardboard. By implementing this change with just the 2-packs, the company will reduce its use of plastic by 52,000 kg annually. As well as being more sustainable, the new packaging also cuts down on transport movements of the flat folded packaging: 21 fewer trailers compared with 2019. 

The design of the new avocado packaging still offers good product visibility and representation of the EAT ME brand. The pack also displays relevant information for consumers, including the nutritional values of the product. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, this aspect has become a key purchasing argument for consumers. 

The new avocado packaging will have a phased introduction at the customers. Following the trend set with the avocado packaging, Nature’s Pride will also introduce more sustainable packaging for mangos, kiwis, passion fruit and chillies in the future. Read Nature’s Pride’s complete sustainable business plan at: www.naturespride.eu/sustainability

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Corpohass creates its own seal of sustainability, becoming an example for the agriculture sector

Corpohass creates its own seal of sustainability, becoming an example for the agriculture sector

“Hass Sostenible” (Sustainable Hass) is the Association´s commitment for promoting the sustainability among the different businesses involved in the Hass avocado production, packaging and marketing chain.

To obtain this certification, the interested growers and exporters members will voluntarily undergo an evaluation on their organizational performance from the sustainability point of view.

Hass avocado is one of the main agricultural export products of the country. According to DANE (the National Statistics Administrative Department) figures, between January and September 2020, exports of this fruit reached 95 million dollars, representing an increase of 34% compared to the same period of the immediately previous year and thus exceeding all exports in 2019.

Its growing importance in the local and international markets, as well as its relevance for the economy of the families that intervene in each one of the stages of the value chain, have encouraged the Hass Avocado Growers and Exporters Association of Colombia (Corpohass) to be aware of the positive impact that should be generated in the communities and the environment, considering international standards such as GLOBALG.A.P. and RainForest Alliance, among others.

These improvements in complying with national and international parameters encouraged the Association to present a pilot plan for the creation of its own seal to promote sustainability among the different entrepreneurs involved in the Hass avocado production, packaging and marketing chain. Thus, the Hass avocado guild is one of the first ones to voluntarily address a sustainability strategy.

From this desire was born “Hass Sostenible” (Sustainable Hass), the sustainability seal that Corpohass will grant by the hand of the Colombian company Portafolio Verde, a top consulting firm for sustainable development. To obtain the seal, interested companies may voluntarily submit to an evaluation of their sustainability organizational management. This evaluation process will make possible to identify the set of improvement measures aimed at strengthening its management systems on environmental, economic and social issues, framed in the relationship with its stakeholders.

The aspects to be evaluated are divided into three groups that respond to management in economic & strategic, environmental and social sustainability. Some of these aspects evaluated are organizational governance strategy, customer and supplier management, natural resources management, environmental culture, safety and health at work, talent management, among others. Organizations that obtain scores higher than 70% compliance in the evaluation may be recommended to obtain the Hass Sustainable Superior or Hass Sustainable Premium seal, once the pilot plan is completed and the seal is officially launched.

For Jorge Enrique Restrepo, Executive Director of Corpohass, “the creation of a seal with a sustainable approach is a bet to improve the competitiveness of the Hass avocado sector. The implementation of Sustainable Hass will allow the sector to continue creating and sharing value with the stakeholders throughout the chain. We believe it is important to start setting a reference in sustainable practices that continue to position this agricultural product, even more so when our higher purpose is precisely to lead the sustainability of the Colombian Hass avocado agribusiness”.

The 17 companies that are currently participating in the pilot plan are located in the departments of Risaralda, Caldas, Quindío, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca and Tolima; ten of them are growers and the other seven are exporters / packing houses. The seal will be awarded officially once the adjustments generated from the stage of the pilotage are done. The distinction will last for one year, which will encourage companies to be in constant update and innovation to respond in a sustainable way and responsible to the changing demands of the market.

Jorge Enrique Bedoya, executive president of the Sociedad de Agricultores de Colombia (SAC), described the creation of this seal as “a sign of the commitment of Corpohass and its members to Sustainability in all dimensions of the production and marketing process, and as a bet to strengthen the differentiation of the Colombian Hass avocado in the international markets. To undertake a permanent evaluation in the field of Sustainability, definitely strengthens the capacity of self-management of the companies, raises their standards and contributes to the holistic development of their activity in the relationship with the communities and natural resources”.

The piloting stage will be carried out until the end of this year, from this exercise a recommendation will emerge so that organizations classified at a high level can obtain the seal once it is launched. Meanwhile, Corpohass will continue to be committed to different sustainability efforts, such as the Environmental Agenda recently signed with the Risaralda Regional Autonomous Corporation (CARDER), the agreement of wills for environmental sustainability signed with the Regional Autonomous Corporation of the Rivers Negro and Nare (Cornare) and the videoconferences on sustainability issues that have been carried out biweekly with leaders in this field in different matters of interest for the Hass Avocado sector.