Six months ago, the end of the US veto on the export of Colombian Hass avocados became a reality, thus creating many business opportunities for the South American country. "The hard work carried out in phytosanitary management and control by the state phytosanitary authority of the ICA has managed to bring the presence of the Mediterranean fruit fly to a minimum, thereby achieving the cancellation of the US veto. Now we can work harder than ever in the harvest of products that were unfeasible for us to produce, like avocados," confirms Ricardo Campo Vives, spokesperson for the Colombian company Guineos S.A.S.
It is worth stressing that the lands intended for this fruit's cultivation are being expanded, and given that Colombian avocados are mainly produced in the mountainous areas, located between 1,800 and 2,500 metres above sea level, the fruit's transport is more expensive than that of our competitors. "It is necessary to put in motion replacement programs for illegal crops. The Government is working on an effective diplomatic offensive to try to promote the products that could be produced in this area, so political strategies have had a considerable weight, since there is a peace process with the guerrillas underway," reiterates Campo.
"In the particular case of avocados, Colombia has several producing areas and every geographical and climatic location can guarantee a steady production for most of the year. Given the fact that the pre-production period per tree lasts an average of 4 years, the projection we are doing is for the long term. For our company, this is the first time we have tried exporting avocados overseas. 99% of the Colombian exports of Hass avocados go to the EU; with this new reality, we'll manage to successfully reach the US markets," continues the representative of the Colombian company.
The peak harvest period for Colombian avocados lasts from May to August and from September to April, depending on the area, and they compete directly with Peru. Other competitors, such as Mexico, see their production volumes fall during rainy and summer periods. "The United States imports avocados from Mexico and Central America during the other months, leaving an almost free niche for us during the rest of the year. While we are still in a testing stage, we hope to be able to take advantage of the free trade agreements signed with the US and Europe in order to achieve a considerable development, and with the expansion of the crop, I think we should gradually gain a stronger position," concludes the spokesperson of Colombiana de Guineos S.A.S.
Ricardo Campo VivesColombiana de Guineos
Carretera 1 No. 22-58 Ed. Bahía Centro – Of. 905
T: +57 4210424