Global avocado marketer, Index Fresh, has announced its partnership with growers in Colombia to bring their Hass variety to the U.S. market. Colombia is expected to be a year-round producer of Hass avocado in the next few years.
“The Colombian avocados allow Index Fresh to build on the success that we’ve been developing for over a century. The Hass industry in Colombia is young and vibrant. There are very few trees in the country that are over ten years old. Over the next five years, I believe the exports will grow considerably as more trees come into production,” said Giovanni Cavaletto, Vice President of Sourcing at Index Fresh.
Index Fresh first visited Colombia in 2012-13. The country said it has a rich avocado heritage being a large producer and consumer of West Indian avocado varieties. More recently, the growers have started planting the Hass variety at higher elevations to access export markets.
The rule to allow Colombian Hass avocados into the United States was approved in August of 2017, as the avocado demand continues to increase around the world. “Working with growers in Colombia allows Index Fresh to fulfill our mission of supplying high quality avocados to valued customers, while building our network of grower partnerships,” said Cavaletto.
Colombia’s location near the equator allows for the avocados trees to go through multiple blooms throughout the year. Additionally, the orchards being developed at different altitudes contributes to the year-round supply of high-quality fruit, the company said. The grower-owned avocado marketer is focusing its early shipments from Colombia in two blocks — June-August (traviesa bloom) and November-February (normal bloom). Aside from the ability to produce nearly year-round fruit in the future, Colombia proximity to the market (4-11 days depending on the port of entry) is also a distinct and advantageous factor.
“Index Fresh has been working on these relationships since 2012. Our focus has been on learning the needs, challenges, and objectives of the growers and work to match these with those of the market,” said Cavaletto.