"We are very pleased to announce that our first shipment of Colombian avocados arrived on the Saudi Arabian market last Thursday. In addition to this shipment two more containers are on their way, one is expected to arrive next week and the second is expected for the week after”, starts Rodolfo Ahumada from Pacific Fruits, Colombia.
He explains that Saudi Arabia is one of the most important markets in the Middle East, with a population of around 35.000.000 people. “The most important and interesting aspect of this market is that all of them consume fruit on a daily basis. People eat fruit themselves or have a fruit basket at home to offer to their visitors. You see mostly apples, grapes, citrus and bananas in this market, however, people are starting to consume more mangoes, pineapples and papaya now, as well avocado.”
“Besides this great consumption and development of the fruit market, there are excellent logistical conditions, with two terminals - the Jeddah and Kind Abdullah Ports. At these ports you can easily unload containers and redistribute the volumes to other countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen and United Arab Emirates fast and easy”, continues the exporter.
According to Rodolfo, supply mostly comes from Asian countries like the Philippines. “In case of avocados there are different origins besides the Philippine supply, such as Mexico, Kenya and South Africa. From Colombia, we have a transit time of only 25 days to Jeddah and 21 days to the King Abdullah Port. These are good transit times, which will give us the advantage to develop this market and supply them with good quality fruit. Together with our customer in this market, we are planning to present the end consumer several presentations of avocados and show them the different ways to eat and try avocados.”
Opening new markets
The company is working hard and is in a leadership position when opening new markets for Colombian avocados. “Last year, our avocados arrived in Hong Kong and Dubai. This year we managed to open the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and now we focus on Argentina and Japan. Last week, the Japanese authorities visited Colombia and the results were good. Colombia is now waiting for the approval to start shipping avocados to Japan.”