Esperanza Rodríguez, of Tropical millenium:
"In recent years, Spanish avocados have become essential in Europe"
The greatest growth in avocado demand in Europe has been recorded over the last 6 years, with double-digit increases every year. "It is true that the product used to be more affordable, but the increase in the demand motivated by good marketing, and the increasingly limited supply in Spain, have given a boost to the product's prices," explains Esperanza Rodríguez, of the commercial department of the Malaga-based company Tropical millenium.
Producers have started harvesting avocados earlier this year, and furthermore, yields have been lower, which together with a very strong demand, will cause the campaign to finish early, in March, when the product usually remains available until May.
"Prices remain high, with Spanish avocados as the most expensive in Europe, and although some buyers complain about prices, they continue to purchase the product. Mexico offers a good quality, as well, although prices are slightly lower than those of Spanish avocados, and Mexican exporters are beginning to see Europe as a strategic market," says Esperanza. In fact, in the period between the (early) end of the Spanish season and the beginning of the Peruvian one, there could be a small gap in the market that will likely be filled by Mexico," she added.
According to the producer and exporter, there has been an upward trend in the demand for Spanish products by European retailers over the last three years. "Spain is like an a la carte orchard for European retailers, since they can request specific volumes with a given degree of ripening and specific sizes without having to buy an entire container with irregular qualities. The freshness of Spanish avocados is obviously higher due to their proximity, which also reduces the carbon footprint, and for reasons like this, retailers are betting more and more on local products and Spain is an increasingly essential supplier in Europe."
"Supermarket chains are price-oriented above all, but at the same time, they are looking for a product that provides more than just the required quality. In any case, the consumers will demand a higher quality if they have to pay high prices, and they are the ones who decide whether they'll buy the product or not. European retailers know that avocados imported from overseas can be a gamble, while Spanish avocados are safe, even they are more expensive. Those European chains whose purchasing policies go beyond the normal quality parameters can no longer do without Spain."
Publication date: 2/27/2018
Author: Joel Pitarch Diago
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