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Colombian avocados on a 32-day trip to Hong Kong
This week, the first containers of avocados will leave for Hong Kong. This could be a definitive trip for a product that seeks to conquer Asian palates in the coming years.
After the great news of the Hass avocado's entrance to the American market, these nations could consolidate the prestige of this local fruit internationally.
"They will ship in CMA-CGM line's StarCare technology containers with a 32-day transit to Hong Kong container terminal," said Rodolfo Ahumada, partner of Pacific Fruits, the Valle del Cauca company that aims to gain a market share not only in China, but also in Singapore, Dubai, Qatar, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
According to Ahumada, in total there will be 12 containers that will take the Buenaventura-Hong Kong route by the end of the year. He also described how there are 24 tons of net fruit per container, and that the objective is to dispatch one per week. Also, each container is valued at US $ 50,000 FOB from Buenaventura.
"We're proud that the first shipment of fresh Hass avocados from Colombia to Asia is from our company, and of course this test will serve to show that, if other countries can do it, we can also do it the same or better. This shipment to Hong Kong will be our company's letter of presentation to the Asian market, as several Chinese companies with whom we have been in contact want to know more about the results of these shipments in order to know and understand more of our product, " said Ahumada, who has made several trips to the Far East to fine tune the details of this first shipment.
On the other hand, the partner emphasized that "our location gives us the privilege of having Buenaventura as an ideal export terminal and we do not rule out the use of other terminals; but I must say with honesty that this port city is our natural area of influence port, as it is located just three and a half hours from the company's plant, and we hope that, when the infrastructure work on the road finishes, we will be less than three hours from the port. "
This small sample of avocados, by way of a taste test, aims to accelerate the entry authorization process of the fruit into China. "This shipment is made with the view of being prepared when the entry of our product into that market has been approved by the Government of China, a work entrusted to the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), and we know that they will achieve it with dedication and effort, said the Pacific Fruits partner. Even Ahumada revealed that parallel to this first export, Chinese authorities will come to Colombia to review the fields and plants with a view towards opening the protocol for the following year.
And why is the national avocado so popular? Because of its similarity to the Mexican one. "Ours is high in fat and flavor and behaves similarly to the one that comes from Mexico. I met with 85% of the Chinese importers of this product and everyone was interested in knowing more about it," Ahumada said.
He said that the firm works in more than 12 departments in Colombia and represent more than 250 hass avocado growers' properties. According to company figures, during this year, of the 1,500 avocado exporting containers that Colombia gets out to the world, they will have an estimated 22% share of these with 320 containers exported by the end of this year.
Exporting step by step
The avocado's journey to Asia first begins with requesting a shipping line for a container, which is then brought to the company's facilities.
Secondly, the presence and accompaniment of the Antinarcotics Police has to be obtained when filling the container.
Thirdly, ICA is requested to accompany and participate in the phytosanitary inspection.
And finally, the operation is completed and the container is dispatched to the port where the controlled atmosphere will be activated in the terminal and a scanning process will be carried out by the Police's Port Control division.
At last, the final seals are put in place, and the container is left in the hands of the port to be shipped out.
Publication date: 9/13/2017
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