In Colombia, according to figures through September 2022 published by the National Foreign Trade Association (Analdex), Hass avocado exports reached $178.2 million.
The main destinations are the Netherlands with 42.7 percent of the total exported, followed by the U.S. with 26.2 percent, and the UK with 9.6 percent.
Carlos Sepúlveda, Trade Marketing Manager of Agricultural Solutions at BASF, told news agency, El Nuevo Siglo, that, “Colombia managed to consolidate itself as the third country in the world in production and harvested area of Hass Avocado. This achievement is very important for Colombian agriculture. This responds to a continuous work process, based on innovative methods and environmentally friendly solutions, which have allowed consumers around the world to expand their interest in avocados.”
One of the major problems that the country faces for the development and effective growth of Hass avocado production are the diseases and pests that affect the crop. For this reason, the industry offers innovative, sustainable and natural solutions that do not affect the quality of the harvest and guarantee the safety of the products that are exported.
“At BASF we have developed a product, called QL Agri, made from the extract of a native tree in Chile and through an industrial process substances called acaricides and nematicides are obtained. Being organic, it can be applied to avocado cultivation at any stage, even during harvest, without leaving unwanted residues for consumers or crop rejection. The benefit for the farmer is to harvest exportable fruits of higher value,” says Sepúlveda.
Another of the challenges that the country has focused on to promote this variety of avocado is to achieve technical and industrial production that allows the production of a high-quality, homogeneous fruit that lasts longer in perfect condition, as required by international markets.
This requires a high investment and extreme attention to detail in all phases of its development. If the avocado that is exported arrives with a residue of a product not allowed by the destination market, not only the affected product, but the entire container that is in said batch is rejected.
“Taking care of the high quality of the Hass avocado is today one of the most important objectives that the country has for the coming years. This means strictly monitoring the entire plant development process and controlling pests and diseases. For this, the farmer must have tools for good phytosanitary work on the crop and in this way guarantee the international standards of a product that has been considered in recent years as one of the most desired fruits worldwide,” he stated.
Furthermore, exports of this fruit have put the country’s companies on the global radar. In 2020, even with the pandemic, a sales record of $146.4 million was achieved, for 2021 $203.7 million and for 2022 they sold $178.2 million. For this year they foresee an increase of 25 percent in sales volume.
Without a doubt, avocado has become Colombia’s “green gold,” since its exports already have a presence in countries such as the Netherlands with nearly 50 percent, the U.S. (21 percent), the UK (10 percent), Spain (9 percent), and Belgium (5 percent).