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Mexico: Climatological problems affect the production of organic avocados

Mexico produces organic avocados throughout the whole year, unless the weather conditions don't allow it. Which unfortunately was the case this year as difficult climatic conditions caused a two month loss of production and a 20-30% shortfall in produce compared to the previous year. 

Organic production is more complex
The production of organic avocados is more complicated than for conventional avocados, since only natural products are used to combat pests and diseases. "We use only natural products, such as products derived from garlic and onion. We make fertilizers out of perishable products," stated Alberto Zamudio, of Zavocado. Chemicals are used to make the plant grow faster in  conventional avocado cultivation. "However, organic farming has less effect on the environment and crop growth depends almost entirely on nature. So, if there is less rain, the sizes will be smaller, which is what is happening to us now," said Alberto.

Demand growth
The demand for Mexican products grows every year in the European market, and demand for organic products is increasing even more. "Increasingly, people care more about eating healthier. We export nutrition and quality. We sell 70% of our production in Europe, exporting up to 2,500 tons per year," said the exporter. The main importing countries in Europe are Spain and the Netherlands, which then distribute the avocados to other countries. "We have alliances with important local Spanish and Dutch companies, and we have been working with them for a long time," said Alberto. Prices for organic avocados are higher than those for conventional avocados, but there is a very particular market that is willing to pay said prices. "In addition, growing organic products is more complicated and depends more on the weather, which can reduce the production volume and cause prices to rise," Alberto stated. "However, demand is so good and strong in Europe that customers who buy organic products are willing to pay a little more for them." 

The goal for the rest of the year is to continue working on the European and Asian markets, where demand for avocado has increased a lot, especially in Japan, where the demand for ecological products is growing a lot. Regarding volumes, the exporter said: "We believe we have 15% more than the previous season, as there have not been strong natural disasters, which will allow us to offer more volume for this demand."

The Chinese market is a strong market with a very fast and strong growth, with good acceptance of the avocado. In addition, Michoacan is certified for exports to China. "We have our sights set on China and Japan. Also in Singapore and Malaysia, although their volumes are smaller," stated Alberto. 

For more information:
José Luis Santillán Esquivel
T: +52 1 354 12 50 500
E: joseluissanti@zavocado.com

Publication date: 7/14/2017
Author: Carlos P Poggio
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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