Mexico leads the world avocado production with an annual export of 2,184,000 tons. However, in recent years Mexican businessmen have set their sights on the advantages that Colombia offers to produce and export this product to the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Colombia formally started its avocado exports with constant growth since 2013. Year after year, the export volume has grown by approximately 50%. In 2019, Colombian avocado exports reached $90 million, according to an analysis by ProColombia.
According to Tony Bucio, CEO of the Mexican-American firm Green Fruit Avocado's, operating in Colombia is very attractive: “From my point of view, Colombia has the most important natural elements compared to other fruit-producing markets, particularly for the avocado.”
Green Fruit Avocado's made an exploratory mission in Colombia in 2016, which included a tour of the Valle del Cauca department and Antioquia, which are located in the west of the country. The visit resulted in great interest from its managers in investing and establishing a direct operation in Colombia for the production and export of avocado of the Hass variety and that complements their operation in Mexico.
Likewise, the Colomich company, with 95% Mexican capital but that makes its technical decisions in Colombia, has nearly 1,000 hectares devoted to producing avocado in Quindio, Valle del Cauca, and Risaralda.
Certifications and good practices
More than 1,000 hectares of Colombia's avocado production are certified internationally in terms of good environmental and social practices. This is a relevant issue because Mexico only has 11 Rainforest Alliance-certified avocado-producing farms (all in Jalisco and none in Michoacan), while the certification of Colombian crops increased by 315% in just one year.
Long term initiative
Hass avocado producers that have established in Colombia, many of them with Mexican capital, are betting on increasing their exports to the US and other markets. Complying with phytosanitary and quality regulations allows them to enter markets such as Japan and to consolidate their entry into China, where they have already been admitted.