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New shipment of Colombian avocados to the US

On Saturday, President Juan Manuel Santos celebrated the departure of a new shipment of 22 tons of Hass avocados from Colombia to the United States. The fruit was cultivated in Villa Fatima, in the municipality of Guarne, Antioquia.

This is the second shipment made to this market since the opening of the US market in 2017. The first dispatch, of 34 tons, was sent on November 2, 2017, after 12 years of negotiations between the two nations.

The Colombian Agricultural Institute, ICA, stated that the North American market has been open to Colombian Hass avocados since last August when the Operative Work Plan, POT, was signed between APHIS and the ICA.

He also said that Colombia's sanitary and phytosanitary authority had given the fruit grown in Guarne Antioquia the Phytosanitary Export Certification that indicates that it fully complies with the requirements demanded by the APHIS to enter that market.

The 22 tons of Hass avocado from Antioquia were packed and dispatched by Westfalia Fruit Colombia SAS.

This second shipment of Hass avocado strengthens the participation of Colombian Hass avocado producers in the North American market, said the general manager of the ICA, Luis Humberto Martinez Lacouture.

"The US Hass avocado market has been open since last August. This second shipment of 22 tons strengthens this business, and we are incorporating more and more properties to the certification program, so that more Colombian producers can send their fruit to the North American market," said Martinez Lacouture.

Pedro Aguilar, the manager of the Westfalia Fruit Colombia SAS packing company, stated that he was very satisfied with this advance in Hass avocado exports to the United States.

"We are very happy with this second shipment, because it shows the work we do to meet the requirements of the Aphis and ICA, which are very strict. We have great expectations for this year, and we trust that more and more Colombian producers will be linked to the ICA monitoring programs so that the industry can have an important volume of certified fruit in the medium term. The US market has the highest Hass avocado annual per capita consumption growth and its admissibility is essential for the growth and strengthening of the industry in Colombia," assured Pedro Aguilar.

In turn, Jorge Enrique Restrepo, the CEO of Corpohass, said that "the doors of the world's biggest market for Hass avocado, which accounts for almost 30% of total consumption, are still open. Colombia joins Mexico, Peru, Chile, and the United States itself, as a supplier in this market. Large trading companies have expressed interest in the Colombian Hass avocado and some of them have already started importing into the United States."

"Corpohass, as representative entity of the Hass avocado producers and exporters in Colombia, continues making efforts to support producers who wish to enter the operational work plan, signed between the ICA and APHIS, to export avocado to the US," he said.

The United States is the largest importer of Hass avocado in the world, accounting for a third of the world's purchases with about US $ 2 billion.

During 2017, 57 Colombian companies exported 28,500 tons of Hass avocado worth nearly 53 million dollars in Hass avocado to different destinations in the world.

The European Union has been the main export market for the Colombian Hass avocado. The United Kingdom is the leading destination, as it accounts for 33.6% of all dispatches up to August. It is followed by the Netherlands (32.8%), Spain (16.4%), Belgium (6.7%), France (6.5%), Germany (2.2%), and Costa Rica (0.5%).


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