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The US has become a nation of “super” avocado-consumers 

The US has become a nation of “super” avocado-consumers 
Photo: HAS AVOCADO BOARD

A recent Hass Avocado Board (HAB) study shows that avocados purchases grew substantially between 2016 and 2019, driven largely by a growing segment of “super” avocado shoppers. Super avocado-purchasing households spend at least US$26 annually on avocados and contributed to 94% of the increase in avocado purchases over the three-year period (2016-2019). In 2019, these households accounted for 70% of all avocado purchases in the US. The study is based on household purchase data from the IRI Consumer NetworkTM. 

This household segment is growing faster than the other three segments analysed in the study, accounting for 28% of all US households in 2019, up from 25% in 2016. “Light” households accounted for only 22% of households in 2019, down from 25% in 2016.

Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board, said, “As avocado shoppers move to higher purchase levels, they will find themselves as a member of the Super household segment. Understanding and engaging with this shopper group is key to the future growth of the avocado category.”

Two key recommendations of the study are to develop marketing activities that bring new shoppers into the category and drive more trips to retailers, while also focusing on marketing for the Super avocado-purchasing household group.

 

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Strong growth forecast for Australian avocado 

Strong growth forecast for Australian avocado 

 

Australia’s avocado industry keeps growing, reaching record volumes in the 2019/20 campaign. According to data published by Avocados Australia, avocado production was up 2% to 87,546 tons, and worth AUS$15.9million. While domestic consumption fell slightly to $845million, exports rose by over 25% in value to $25million.

South Australia and Victoria/Tasmania recorded much-improved production figures, following sharp drops in 2018/19. Meanwhile, South Australia (2,448 tons) and Victoria/Tasmania (2,203 tons) had their best ever seasons. However, in main avocado-producing state Queensland, output was down 8% to 43,069 tons, and production in New South Wales slumped by almost 50% to 6,587 tons.

Hass remains the main avocado variety produced across Australia, representing 80% of production. The Shepard variety accounts for 17%, with other varieties making up the remaining 3% including Lamb Hass, Reed, Wurtz, Gwen, Sharwil, Fuerte, Pinkerton, Gem, and Bacon.

Australian production is projected to continue growing strongly over the next few years, with crops of at least 115,000 tons per annum expected by 2025. 

 

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Chilean avocados gain foothold in Australia 

Chilean avocados gain foothold in Australia 

Chile’s first avocado campaign exporting to Australia has already seen almost 150 tons of Hass shipped across the Pacific. On August 4th, Chile became only the second country, after New Zealand, to be authorised to export fresh Hass avocados to the Australian market. Data published by ASOEX (Association of Fruit Exporters), Chile has sent 148 tons of Hass avocados to Australia since Chile’s export season began on September 1st. Australians are among the world’s largest consumers of avocado, consuming 3.8 kilos per capita each year.

Since September 1st, Chile has exported 25,967 tons of Hass avocados to the world. Europe is the main market, accounting for 81.3% of the volume, followed by Latin America (9.7%), Asia (5.7%), and the US (3.4%).

 

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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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Westfalia Fruit sends Colombian avocados to Japan

Westfalia Fruit sends Colombian avocados to Japan

After years of hard work, a container carrying 16 tonnes of quality Colombian Hass avocados has been exported from Westfalia Fruit Colombia (WFC) to Yokohama, Japan. This is the first time that WFC has shipped avocados to the country.

“Colombia’s avocados are in such good condition that WFC is confident shipping avocados to markets that require longer transit times – including Japan, Russia and the Middle East,” says WFC General Manager, and newly elected Vice Chairperson of the Colombian Avocado Board, Pedro Aguilar.

Westfalia Fruit Farms in Colombia has successfully developed its orchards in Sonsón over the past four years, with a constant vision to export its quality fruits to new diverse markets. The excellent agro-ecological conditions in the Sonsón region – which include rich soil with good drainage, warm temperatures, regular precipitation and optimal altitude – are ideal for growing Hass avocados. As a result, WFC is diversifying its markets and has become a major player in global destinations.

The Japanese government worked closely with WFC to ensure the country’s strict technical requirements were met for successful exportation. The avocados left Port Buenaventura, Colombia in mid-January, and the shipment arrived in Yokohama at the beginning of February after fulfilling strict pest control requirements. WFC successfully met the demand for intensive monitoring and surveillance of its high-quality fruit during the entire process.

“We made sure our shipment met strict controls,” says Gilma Orrego, WFC Technical Manager. “We ensured optimal harvesting and plant packaging processes, and the best cooling processes along the way. We also made sure that the fruits consisted of adequate dry matter to guarantee good flavour upon arrival at their destination.”

The Colombian Agricultural Institute also assisted with monitoring the process – from the Japanese government’s very first visit to WFC’s orchards, to the packing and shipment of the fruits.

“We were very careful to introduce our fruit at the right time, in a context where we could develop sustainable business in a long-term commercial relationship,” says Juliana Florez, WFC Commercial Manager. “We waited until we could introduce our high-quality fruit with the best taste – even if it meant waiting a few months after the market was open to us.”

This is yet another boost for the Colombian avocado trade after the World Avocado Congress 2019, sponsored by Westfalia Fruit and held in Colombia, brought much attention and success to the country’s avocado industry.

In another milestone for Colombian avocados, the newly formed Colombia Avocado Board (CAB) was this month certified as an official importer association under the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research and Information Order. CAB will now receive 85% of the assessments paid on Colombia Hass avocados to the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) for research, promotion and information on avocados from Colombia in the United States market.

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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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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.

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Avocado thieves strike Malaga’s producers

Avocado thieves strike Malaga’s producers, credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution
Credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution

 

 

The lucrative avocado sector is catching the eye of thieves in southern Spain. Two years ago, one farm had about 2,000 kilos of the fruit stolen during a weekend, reports El Pais. Other producers complain of 40 or 50 kilos being pinched on a daily basis. With avocados producers currently earning a record-high of about €3 per kilo, there is certainly a lot of money to be made illegally. The flourishing illegal trade is estimated to concern around 45,000 tons of annual production, worth about €120 million. Malaga is Europe’s main producer of avocado, with more than 6,500 hectares of cultivation. Its main competitor is the nearby ‘Costa Tropical’ of Granada, with another 4,000 hectares. Together with tourism, avocados constitute the lifeblood of the local economy.

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China’s retail sales of avocados up 72%

China’s retail sales of avocados up 72%

 

China looks set to become the world’s number-one consumer of avocados. This is the opinion of Pagoda’s general manager, Peter Zhu, speaking at the World Avocado Congress in Colombia. With retail sales of the fruit growing 72% each year, it is likely that China will surpass the US as the largest avocado market. There is however an issue with the inconsistent quality of the products arriving on Chinese shores. “Some people are shipping 17-18% dry matter to China, and that will never ripen,” said Zhu. There are still issues with a lack of a cool chain in some locations, where temperatures can reach very high levels. This is leading to a great deal of food waste. 

It is estimated that by 2021, China will be importing 70 containers of avocados each week. This level could reach 700 containers by 2034.

Photo: bestfreshglobal.blogspot

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Spanish avocado export volumes rise as prices tumble

 

Spanish avocado exports were up again this year, rising 6% from the previous campaign. However, the lower sale price meant the value of the exports was actually 1% lower than in 2017/18, at about €225 million. The EU is the main market for the avocados grown in Andalusia, receiving 94% of the total export volume. The main destinations are France (35%), the Netherlands (14%), Germany (13%) and the UK (10%).

Prices were lower than average this season. After a sustained increase in recent years, the price paid to producers fell 16% this campaign to an average of €2.15 / kg. Farmers received €2.44 / kg for Category One fruit, which represented 76% of the volume marketed. The Hass variety, which accounts for 85% of all avocados marketed, fell in price by 14% to €2.65 / kg. But the sharpest fall was seen for the Bacon variety (40%). The price of the Fuerte variety was also significantly down (-23%).