Avocados are among the fresh products that are not impacted by the current sanitary crisis. “The demand is rather normal. The same goes for bananas and oranges. Avocados continue to be consumed despite the crisis. It is indeed a product to which we attribute health benefits, and this currently plays in its favor,” explains Sébastien Postifferi, manager of AZ France.
Avocados remain popular, but “their consumption has changed. Some lines existing before the crisis have been set aside. The central calibers are especially popular, while the ones that are slightly more on the periphery, pre-packaged in nets for example, are not selling as well,” explains Sébastien. “This was even more the case during the first weeks of the lockdown when large calibers typically intended for wholesalers were not selling well at all.”
As an importer, exporter and marketer, AZ France has faced difficulties in terms of labor. “We therefore had to find solutions to sell our products usually destined to be pre-packaged. It is indeed difficult to find labor sometimes. A difficulty which is all too real these days.”
At the crossroad of origins
Regarding production, right now is the period when origins intersect. “We are really in transition between two seasons. At the end of winter and beginning of spring, we end the Chilean, Mexican and Mediterranean (Israel, Morocco, Spain) origins and switch to Peru, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania,” explains Sébastien. “We are very satisfied with the quality of the merchandise we receive.”
A supply problem linked to various factors
Despite this intersection of origins, the difficulty in the offer concerns supply more than production. “This problem is caused by ships being delayed and the logistical difficulties we are facing, not only for the harvest, but also with all the containers stuck at the delivery points which cannot be brought back to be reloaded.
Many containers are stuck in Asia, especially China, and could not be reloaded on the ships to return to some destinations like South Africa. Therefore, the difficulty to obtain products is mainly due to issues regarding logistics, harvests and staff. Additionally, ships must respect a slower speed due to new restrictions on sea freight. All these factors together are disrupting the offer.”
The situation causes prices to be relatively higher, but still reasonable, according to Sébastien. “Regarding the sales prices we propose to our clients, there is no exaggeration despite this context where the offer can be disrupted. We do not want an increase in prices to block the sales.”