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Mexico reports slightly larger avocado crop 

Mexico reports slightly larger avocado crop 

Mexican avocado production for 2020/21 (July/June) is forecast at 2.41 million tons, up slightly from last campaign, due to continued expansion and excellent growing conditions, according to FAS data. Hass is the main variety (97%), followed by Criollo and Fuerte.

Mexican exports are forecast at 1.35 million tons, up 6% from 2019/20, driven by increased demand in the US.  Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges, avocado demand in the US remains strong and is forecast to increase 6% to 1.02 million tons. According to APEAM, the state of Michoacán alone exported 139,954 tons to other countries, including Dubai and the UAE. This represents a fall of 6% from the previous campaign, as is mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased transportation and logistics prices.  

Source: APEAM

Photo: APEAM

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AvoBravo: an innovative project for Russian consumers

AvoBravo, an innovative project for Russian consumers

“It was a risk to launch the AvoBravo project because we did not know if Russian consumers were willing to buy read-to-eat avocado. But we took the risk, and AvoBravo brand was born,” said Daria Mironenko, import manager at Eurofrut (Russia). “We started to sell ready-to-eat avocado to restaurants and to end consumers through our website, and we found out that the demand is high: customers agree to pay more when they are sure the fruit is of high quality and ripe enough to be consumed at once.” AvoBravo carefully controls oily matter before the products are shipped. In addition, to protect its reputation, the company always exchanges fruit if clients are not satisfied with it. It took some time to gain a name in the marketplace. But now the project has been recognised, and restaurant chefs recommend the company.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge for all businesses,” said Mironenko. “However, we did not stop ours for a single day. Before long, the restaurants resumed their service through home delivery, and the number of online purchases grew considerably. Russian consumers wanted to treat themselves to tasty healthy food, and our client numbers have risen. And they have remained loyal to us even in the post-pandemic period.”

Eurofrut supplies avocado only in Saint Petersburg for now, but plans to expand to other regions as well. The company sources its fruit from different countries, and is constantly adding new origins and looking for new suppliers. During this period in which it is impossible to travel abroad, the company is participating in virtual expositions, such as Macfrut Digital in Italy.

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New avocados from the UCR and Eurosemillas more profitable and extend calendar

New avocados from the UCR and Eurosemillas more profitable and extend calendar © University of California Riverside (UCR), Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis
© University of California Riverside (UCR), Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis

 

The University of California Riverside (UCR) and Eurosemillas have signed a new agreement to develop and exploit a revolutionary new generation of more profitable avocados, with a harvesting schedule extended by at least two months. The avocados will also allow the expansion of suitable cultivation areas and will facilitate the introduction of intensive production systems. “We do not aspire to compete with the most successful variety, Hass. On the contrary, we aim to generate more value around it in order to respond to world demand, which continues to grow annually in double-digit percentages,” says Javier Cano, director of development at Eurosemillas. For this, the Spanish company has invested US$2.25 million in the UCR programme, which has more than 70 years’ experience and one of the best avocado germplasm collections in the world. It will dedicate another $3 million to the development of four varieties and five patterns. Such efforts will make it possible for the first time in the 31 years of collaboration between the two entities to market the varieties in Europe, South America and South Africa at the same time as in the US.

Indeed, during the last three decades, the international avocado market has multiplied by 2.5 and per capita consumption has quadrupled. Much of this success is due to the consolidation of the Hass variety, which emerged in California. Its wide acceptance has strengthened the demand for fruits with black and rough skin compared to those with green and smooth peels, which are the minority and less valued. The joint commitment of the UCR and Eurosemillas for this type of avocado has already borne fruit in a second successful variety, Lamb Hass, which extends the current harvest period for Hass to May and June. The new material that has been selected and has already begun to be planted in California and Europe. It has much more ambitious objectives and will enable the fruit to overcome almost all the agronomic and commercial limitations that this type of avocado still faces today.

All the varieties chosen by Eurosemillas are more productive than Hass. Two of them – one earlier and one later – will extend their harvesting period by another two months, which will allow the global supply of this type of avocado to grow in volume terms and from 5/6 months a year in each hemisphere to 7/8 months a year. A third selected variety, with somewhat smaller fruits but just as fleshy and with a spectacular flavour, will be marketed as a ‘gourmet’ product.

The fourth avocado chosen is a pollinator (‘type B flower’), which will reinforce Hass increase its profitability by over 10%. It is a variety that fulfils the same pollinating role as others used primarily for this purpose (such as Bacon or Fuerte).

The programme is focused on finding the best standard/graft combinations. It will be possible for avocado to be produced in areas where until now it has struggled to adapt, expanding beyond Malaga or Granada in Spain to Valencia , Cádiz, Huelva and southern Portugal.

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First Colombian avocados land in China

First Colombian avocados land in China © Eurofresh Distribution
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Colombian Hass avocados arrived in China for the first time on July 1st. Having set off from the Port of Buenaventura on May 28th, the 23-ton shipment landed in Shanghai and was released to importer Mr. Avocado. The protocol between China and Colombia was signed on December 13th 2019, and adds to a growing list of countries that can export avocados to the Asian giant, which includes the US, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand and Kenya (for frozen avocados).

In addition to testing for COVID-19, customs agents also conducted a full set of tests for pests and pesticide residues on newly imported fruits. Throughout the transit, the avocados were stored in refrigerated containers at 6 degrees Celsius. After clearing customs, they were transported directly to Mr. Avocado’s ripening warehouse.

Colombia is the world’s fourth largest producer of Hass avocados, and keeps growing. Avocado production area increased from 5,200ha in 2010 to 13,500ha in 2015, propelled by foreign investment.

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Mission Produce and Hazel Technologies unveil exclusive post-harvest technology: AvoLast Powered by Hazel 

Mission Produce and Hazel Technologies unveil exclusive post-harvest technology: AvoLast Powered by Hazel 

                                                                                                                                                                                         Press Release

Mission Produce Inc. (“Mission” or the “Company”), the world’s most advanced avocado network, today announced the launch of a premier post-harvest  programAvoLast Powered by Hazel®, featuring  a quarter-sized biodegradable and food-safe packaging insert that blocks ethylene receptors while minimizing operational impact to the supply chain. AvoLast was exclusively developed with Hazel Technologies, Inc., a USDA-funded agricultural technology company aimed at reducing food waste and increasing the efficiency of produce supply chains. Mission and Hazel Technologies announced their partnership in 2019. 
 
“As consumers adapt to new habits and behaviors during this time of uncertainty, AvoLast is the perfect solution to support the longevity of avocados on the shelf or behind the counter. With AvoLast retailers and foodservice businesses can reduce shrink and continue or enhance their avocado ripening programs without compromising on consumer experience due to overripe fruit,” said Mission Produce’s Sr. Director of Business Development Patrick Cortes. “After testing the solution in various environments throughout our supply chain, AvoLast avocados had an extended ripe shelf life of 2-3 days.”  
 
By increasing the shelf-life of both hard and ripe Hass avocados, Mission’s retail and foodservice customers can reduce throwaways, in turn increasing profit and minimizing inventory stress, while creating more positive consumer experiences that drive category growth. Above all, AvoLast can also reduce global food waste, an increasing environmental, ethical and financial threat. 
 
“AvoLast is the rare win/win solution that delivers a better consumer experience and substantial environmental benefits,” said CEO of Hazel Technologies Aidan Mouat. “In the US alone, food distribution waste consumes about 6% of our total energy budget, 24% of our fresh water, and generates somewhere around 300M metric tons harmful carbon emissions. As the market demands efficiencies to reduce this waste, Hazel’s technology is increasingly vital.” 
 
In all, AvoLast provides many in demand solutions such as extending shelf-life, improving customer experience, decreasing shrink, and reducing global food waste. “AvoLast is just one way Mission continues to invest in innovation and provide value to our customers,” added Cortes. 
 
Mission Produce plans to launch and discuss AvoLast at the virtual PMA Foodservice Delivered event beginning on July 20, 2020. To find out more information on AvoLast and its benefits to both retail and foodservice industries, visit the Company’s PMA Foodservice Delivered virtual booth or connect with a Mission Produce Sales Representative. Registration for PMA Foodservice Delivered can be found by visiting https://www.pma.com/events/foodservice-delivered. 

About Mission Produce, Inc.: Mission Produce is the world’s most advanced avocado network. For more than 35 years, Mission Produce has been recognized as the leader in the worldwide avocado business, sourcing, producing and distributing fresh avocados, servicing retail, wholesale and foodservice customers in over 25 countries. The vertically integrated Company owns and operates four state-of-the-art avocado packing facilities in key growing locations globally including California, Mexico & Peru and has additional sourcing capabilities in Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, New Zealand, & South Africa. Mission’s global distribution network includes eleven forward distribution centers in North America, China & Europe that offer value-added services such as ripening, bagging, custom packing and logistical management. In addition, Mission owns over 19,000 acres globally, allowing for diversified sourcing and access to complementary growing seasons, while ensuring its customers receive the highest quality fruit possible.  Mission is the largest global supplier of the World’s Finest Avocados, for more information please visit worldsfinestavocados.com. 
 
About Hazel Technologies, Inc.:
Hazel Technologies is a USDA-funded startup company that develops new technologies to extend the quality shelf life of fresh produce. Founded in 2015, Hazel Tech works with over 100 of the largest fresh produce packers, shippers, and retailers in the US and Latin America. For more information, visit us at www.hazeltechnologies.com today! 
 
 
 

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New test to obtain the perfect avocado

New test to obtain the perfect avocado

 

Researchers at Cranfield University have come up with a new technique for measuring the ripeness of avocados. It is hoped that besides satisfying consumer demand for ready-to-eat fruit, this method could reduce waste by up to 10%. Developed and tested by Cranfield University, the technology uses a laser and small vibration to test the individual fruits’ resonant frequency, giving a reliable assessment of ripeness without damaging the avocado.

Currently, as much as 30% of avocado is wasted due to damage caused by testing during grading, with a further 5% loss at retail. The current method for testing ripeness involves either a pneumatic device which pushes into the fruit or manual testing. For the new technique, the researchers adapted a technology more often used in automotive factories to test the uniformity of large engineered parts. Laser doppler vibrometry (LDV) beams a laser at the fruit to measure refracted light and uses small vibrations to test the resonant frequency. The vibrations are caused by a simple automated impact device which taps the fruit. The LDV test was proven to accurately predict the ready-to-eat stage of avocado fruit. 

Professor Leon Terry, director of environment and agrifood at Cranfield University, said: “Hard fruits create a higher frequency than soft fruits, so we calculated the perfect frequency for a ripe avocado and accurately measured this with the LDV test. Leaving the fruit undamaged is of great benefit and vastly reduces waste. The test we have developed could be extended to other fruits.”

As the UK imports almost 100,000 tons of avocado each year, predicting ripeness is of great benefit to both suppliers and retailers. Avocados are such an expensive product that Mexican drug cartels have even moved into the sector. The fruit travels on conveyor belts in single file, which means the LDV can test them individually. From there, an automatic sorting mechanism which largely exists already could be used to separate the ripe from unripe fruits.

Cranfield University is co-leading the new BBSRC Quality and Food Loss Network, a new initiative to link researchers with industry to find solutions for the huge food waste challenges facing the supply chain.

 

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Filipino produce continues to enter new markets

Filipino produce continues to enter new markets

 

The Philippines continues to open new markets around the world for its agri-food products, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. In just the last two months, the country has sent its first avocados to China, its first cocoa to Belgium, its first coconut milk to Russia. A 7.7-ton load of avocados was shipped by Dole Philippines from Davao to Shanghai on March 31st. The first shipment of avocados will be sold at the stores of supermarket chain Hema Xiansheng, owned by Alibaba, but there are plans to supply more stores in the future.

Speaking to sunstar.com.ph., director of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), Senen Perlada, said: “Now is the time for Philippine agricultural products to thrive. The DTI-EMB will strengthen its coordination with the Department of Agriculture and DTI-Foreign Trade Service Corps to match supply with demand. In turn, DTI-EMB will capacitate existing and aspiring exporters for them to be able to comply with international standards.

“Covid-19 may lead to market access issues and non-tariff measures. It may be more difficult to comply with stricter regulations, certifications, external and domestic regulations. The DTI-EMB commits to assist exporters, especially micro, small and medium enterprises to comply with these requirements and introduce their products to the world.”

Photo: https://www.sunstar.com.ph/

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Spain’s avocado farmers advised to choose organic

EU avocado prices to lower over the long-term

Following Spain’s avocado boom, the sector is experiencing issues which were previously encountered with other products, such as persimmon, pomegranate, and almond. The fruit’s profitability has led to a shortage of seedlings and rocketing prices. Sudden growth can be followed by saturation and price slumps. This is why agronomist with the Ministry of Agriculture, Tomás Faulí, advised producers at a recent event in Valencia to develop organic avocado to clearly differentiate the market. 

The main pests are the crystalline mite and soil fungi, such as Rosellinia and Phitóphtora, but both can be controlled with organic methods, without having to resort to chemical pesticides. This mite is less harmful than those that affect citrus and some vegetables, and can be kept at bay by favouring natural populations of phytoseids (their enemies).

 

Source: Las Provincias
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Chilean avocado might land in Australia as early as 2021

Chilean avocado might land in Australia as early as 2021

 

Chilean avocado producers are a step closer to gaining access to the Australian market. The final report published by the Australian government on pest control recommends allowing imports of fresh avocado to Australia from all commercial production areas of Chile, subject to a range of biosecurity requirements. Those requirements include a range of risk management measures combined with an operational system. This includes the proviso that all fruit be free of Mediterranean fruit fly and the hard condition of fruit for the Hass cultivar only. This means the fruit is deliberately detached from healthy branches of living trees and shows no signs of softening or spotted area, or of having any areas of breakdown or broken skin.

Chile might gain access as early as 2021. However, Australia continues to expand its own production of the fruit, meaning it is unlikely that this market will be as important as the European, US and Chinese ones for Chilean producers.

 

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Chinese take delivery of first Colombian avocados

Chinese take delivery of first Colombian avocados, Credit: Olle Svensson (Flickr)
Credit: Olle Svensson (Flickr)

 

 

The first Colombian avocados landed in China in the middle of December, following the signing of a protocol between the two countries. The first three companies to export Colombian avocado to the Chinese are Pacific Fruit, Westfalia Fruit Colombia and Avofruit. In an official statement, Agriculture Minister, Andrés Valencia, said, “China is an attractive market for the positioning of our non-traditional products such as Hass avocados, beef, pork, passionflower and shrimp, among others.” 

Colombia’s climate and geography allows it to supply avocado all year long. Colombia is starting to establish its avocados in Asian markets. This year, it began shipping to Japan and negotiations are currently underway to secure access to the South Korean market, too.