Five months ago, Dave Sijogo started as sales manager for Mission Europe in Breda, the Netherlands. He’s no stranger to the avocado sector; in his previous position in frozen avocados and guacamole, he sold to retail and food service in Europe and Asia, among other places, for seven years. The processed avocados have now been traded in for the fresh product.
“The switch from frozen to fresh isn’t that big, we serve the same customers, more or less, but volumes are now much larger and lead times are more dynamic. A major benefit of Mission Produce (head office in Oxnard, USA) is that we’re a vertically integrated company. With our own production, a large concentration of that in Peru, we have our own high quality and certified fruit at our disposal. Besides, we have our own, advanced ripening chambers in Breda,” Dave says.
That product availability comes in handy this year, because the avocado market has been hot for weeks now. “The summer holidays are definitely not quiet this year. Last year, the market was glutted and prices were under a lot of pressure, but prices have been now stable at high levels for weeks,” Dave explains.
“There’s a run on Mexican avocados in the US in particular, and that has a considerable effect on European volumes, which were lower to begin with. Prices vary between 14 and 17 euro on the European free market, and I expect these high prices for medium and smaller sizes in particular to last for a while longer. The Peruvian season is now ending, but we’re trying to seamlessly connect the season to the avocados from Mexico, Chile, Guatemala and Colombia, although this could be a challenge considering the high demand,” Dave concludes.