This year, our avocado production will be smaller than usual,” reports José Balaguer, manager of Alcoaxarquia France. “It was hot during blooming, and as it is for citrus fruits, this reduced the volumes. Besides, we will have quite a lot of avocados of small caliber.”
Alcoaxarquia produces organic exotic and citrus fruits in Spain and Peru.
Two weeks ago, there was a big storm in Spain and many avocados fell from the trees. According to José, this hampered the market a little. “Many people sell avocados, and a parallel market was created.”
Alcoaxarquia is expecting a total volume of 9,000 tons of avocados for this year, 4,000 tons are grown in Spain and the remaining 5,000 tons in Peru. The two origins allow the company to offer avocados all year round.
The company also offers other exotic fruits. “We are starting with the first containers of mangos from Peru at the moment. This year, we will be the first to offer mangos from Peru in France, one week before the Dutch.” Alcoaxarquia also sells 5,000 tons of citrus fruits. “There is a big shortage of products. Compared to a normal year, we are one month ahead.”
Offices in Perpignan
This summer, Alcoaxarquia opened a sales and logistics office in Perpignan. “From Perpignan, we will develop the trade of our products all over Europe. Today, the first pallet left for Lithuania,” reports José. The company’s headquarters are located in Malaga.
José adds that the market has evolved with the growing number of requirements the company is adapting to. In 2020, Alcoaxarquia will remove plastics completely. “We have developed alternatives in order to meet the demand from consumers of organic products. For example, we designed bags for oranges that are completely biodegradable.”
Besides the reduction of plastic, the company is working on certifications such as Bio Suisse, Demeter and Spring. The latter is a Global GAP certification which addresses the management of groundwater for irrigation. “Avocado production is known to require high water consumption, and we are trying to reduce it.”
Alcoaxarquia is also working on the Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certifications for the avocados from Peru. “We will be the only ones to have this certification for avocados.”
According to José, France is already very demanding in terms of certifications, but the Germans, Austrians and Scandinavian countries are even more ahead, especially when it comes to the reduction of plastic.