The Westfalia Group of South Africa and Agricom of Chile inaugurated a modern Hass avocado plant in the municipality of Sonson (Antioquia). This is one of the most modern plants and has the largest production capacity in the country.
Pedro Aguilar-Niño, the general manager of Westfalia Fruit Colombia, said "this inauguration reflects the increase in investor confidence in Colombia and it is a true bet for the development of the region. Sonson is a municipality that today constitutes a true Hass avocado production and export cluster. For Westfalia, the work developed with the community has been fundamental to increase their current investment," he said.
The plant's machinery is from the New Zealand company Compac, part of Tomra Food, which offers state-of-the-art technology for the selection of fruit. It can process more than 20 tons per hour and in 2019 it is expected to achieve a capacity of 3 to 4 million kilos, initially intended for the European market. In addition, with the packing plant of Guarne, Antioquia, the company could export 9 million kilos altogether.
The Minister of Agriculture, Andres Valencia, said that small producers would supply this plant that will export fresh fruit to the European market: "This is a company that believed in Colombia, making us a world-class exporter of Hass avocados. It will undoubtedly be an important source of job generation and it will contribute to the diversification of agricultural exports," he said.
The country produces more than 400,000 tons of different varieties of avocado, which puts it in the top five production hubs worldwide. The country only exports Hass avocados and, according to expectations, in less than two years, the country will export about 100 million dollars in this product.