Seville has hosted the first International Avocado Seminar, organized by AGQ Labs and attended by 350 professionals from the sector of 160 companies from Spain, Kenya, Portugal, Italy, Chile, Peru and Mexico. The event has served to analyze the fruit's current situation and the challenges it faces in the international markets.
The situation of avocados in the European market has been addressed by the CEO of the Malaga-based company Tropical Millenium, Javier Fernández, who said that "Europe has doubled its consumption of avocados in five years," having reached a total of 650,309 tons in 2018. In this market, Spain has gone from being the fifth to the fourth largest operator, with the supply of 56,345 tons of avocados to the European Union.
Spanish avocados are grown mainly in the region of La Axarquía, in Malaga, in an area of about 10,000 hectares. This acreage is expanding at a rate of 500 hectares per year, mostly thanks to the interest shown in the crop in new areas, such as Huelva, Seville, Valencia and surroundings. However, the consumption of avocados at a domestic level "is still low", as it does not even reach one kilo per inhabitant per year.
Keys aspects of the market
Regarding the marketing of avocados, the CEO of Tropical Millenium mentioned the "consumer, the product and its price, and the distribution channels" as the market's key factors. The European consumer cares about health, but also about taste. Moreover, it is a consumer that defends environmental protection, so they appreciate environmentally sustainable products.
There was also a bit of self-criticism when looking at the relationship between the product and the price, since, according to the expert, "the biggest problem, if we look at the number of consumer complaints, has to do with the product's correct maturation." In any case, despite the lack of regulations when it comes to quality requirements, "the volume consumed has continued to increase globally. However, if we want to prevent this trend from reversing, the quality of the product should be considered more important than the price," said the entrepreneur.