Avocados from Kenya are still fully available, but exporting company Keitt is already looking towards the future. Recently two farms were purchased and the focus is on reaching better quality and better yields.
Overall, last season went well for Kenyan avocado exporter Keitt, but the company felt the impact of Peru flooding the European market with many containers landing at once: “This had a negative impact on the prices, many fingers were burned, so to say,” says Dipesh Devraj, Operations & Commercial Director for Keitt Fresh Limited. “Another issue was the commotion surrounding Brexit, as it led to currencies losing their ground. We’ll probably have to face that same challenge again this year. But in the end we can’t complain too much about the last season.”
The avocados from Keitt mostly find their way to the Far East, Europe and the Middle-East, says Devraj: “We export both Keitt HASS avocados and Fuerte avocados to those areas, but when talking about specific countries I would say we export the most to Dubai and Bahrain. In the future we’re hoping to start exporting a lot more to China. The MoU between China and Kenya has been signed. There has been great progress behind it so far. We expect the Chinese food safety authorities to visit Kenyan farms, growers, nurseries and pack houses in March this year and we hope to have an update on the next steps. We’d also like to spread our wings a bit more in Europe to cover a larger area with our avocados.”
Keitt currently sends about 500 containers of avocados by sea, and a similar amount by air. The company hopes to increase it’s yield though: “We currently own three farms ourselves and have recently purchased another two farms with established nurseries. After Fruit Logistica we will also have an avocado specialist grower from Israel come over, who will stay a while with us and our growers. Our growers will receive special training from him, which hopefully will put us one step ahead of the game.” says Devraj.
“As we increase our growing base I am excited to inform you that Keitt has now started construction of its new additional pack house facilities in Thika: “We’ll be able to handle a minimum of 60 containers a week with top quality machinery and capex investment that will be on over five acres of our new site.”
Most importantly, Keitt is preparing for a trip to Berlin, as the company will have a stand during the Fruit Logistica exhibition: “We expect to have some good business reviews with all our customers in Europe , we will have some brainstorming sessions due to Brexit as we are looking for price inflations at the same time. This is always a challenge, but I’m sure we will reach a good conclusion. We look forward to getting projections and forecasts, growing programs from our customers etc. Being at Fruit Logistica as a visitor is helpful, but having a stand where potential customers come eye to eye with your fruit, there is no better business card than that. As when people return from the fair, they will remember you and your produce. This can lead to a great business relationship.” Devraj concludes.
Keitt will attend Fruit Logistica 2019 in Berlin. You can find their stand in Hall 26, stand number F24.