The main destination for Agua Hass is Europe

Colombian avocado exports grow strongly

"According to official data from Analdex (National Association of Foreign Trade - Colombia), Colombian avocado export have increased considerably compared to the year 2015. In fact, there has been a 241% variation, going from 10.2 million FOB dollars to 35.04 million FOB dollars. The Agua Hass company has also had a good year in terms of prices and production increases (64%)," stated Juliana Florez, from Agua Hass, a company located in the department of Quindio in Colombia.

 

Agua Hass has a total of 250 hectares of production, where it also grows bananas, coffee and green skinned avocados. Florez said: "This year, we are producing Hass avocado in 80 hectares, and have 180 hectares in development. We still have many things to improve, but we will be correcting them little by little, hopefully next season we can apply new practices and the weather is on our side so we have excellent results. We continue to learn, and every day we see the opportunity to enrich our processes. Thanks to direct exports in 2016, we continue to grow and export in 2017."

Agua Hass exports mainly to Europe and has forged good relations in this market. Last year, the most important destinations were Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and this year the company ventured into France. "In 2013 we started delivering fruit to marketers, but in 2016 we started exporting directly. We participated in Fruit Logistica in Colombia's stand in 2016 and 2017; we saw the potential of the market and that is why we are growing," Florez continued. At this time, Colombia does not have a phytosanitary permit to export avocados to the United States. However, the country is negotiating it with the APHIS-USA. "At the end of March 2017, the public comments stage was completed. Now comes the review and answer part of the process. In addition, they made a visit to some farms and there was evidence of good management in technical and scientific issues regarding pest control and mitigation."



According to Florez, the Hass avocado season goes from August to November. "We also have a small harvest that goes from February to April. The key is to be clear about the beginning of flowering; we follow the phenological stages of the crop and identify the most advanced fruit in the tree. We perform curves of dry matter and maturation tests." Nevertheless, she said, one of the challenges of producing avocados in Colombia is the high risk of pests and diseases due to the tropical climate. "We monitor pests constantly, identify sources of infection and our team of collaborators is alert to any eventuality."

Florez said that the costs of land transport affected their competitiveness, and that their product took less time to arrive by sea to Europe than the product from Chile and Peru. "Despite this, the industry is convinced that Colombia is one of the countries that has the best conditions to produce export quality Hass avocado. Research is underway to develop this product and to improve productivity per hectare, giving the fruit more suitable management for export. We give and receive feedback from the control entities on the importance of respecting the cold chain, and how to manipulate the fruit for inspections. In addition, producers have become aware of the importance of meeting international standards and continue to improve their production processes."



Agua Hass currently implements an innovation management system, as it is immersed in a dynamic environment due to constant changes and trends. "We work to improve our fertilization plan, integrated pest management, environmental management, agricultural sustainability, and corporate responsibility. The company's slogan is 'From the heart of Colombia to the world'. It refers to its geographical location, the benefits of the product to prevent cardiovascular risks and our deep love of avocado cultivation, "concluded Juliana Florez. 


For more information:
Juliana Flórez
Agua Hass 
Colombia
T: + 57 3005934081

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