Peru's growing Hass avocado production, a crop that was established in the country in the 1990s, has allowed it to become the third main global exporter of this sought-after fruit.
One of the last markets to be opened to the Peruvian avocado has been South Korea, a country in which this fruit has been present for many years but still has great potential, stated Juan David Jacome and Brian Mesia, the owners of the Ceviche210 and Sabor Peruano restaurants in South Korea, who have noticed a greater presence of this fruit in stores in recent months. Both believe that this change is due to the good work that the Peruvian authorities have done in promoting this fruit, as well as the entry of the Peruvian Hass avocado to the South Korean supermarket Lotte Mart. “Lotte Mart is to South Korea like Plaza Vea or Metro is to Peru,” Jacome said.
According to data from Promperu, South Korea's main suppliers are the United States, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Daniel Bustamante, president of Prohass, estimated that the country would export 362,000 tons of avocado worldwide this campaign. 4,280 tons of which will be shipped to South Korea.
“It should be noted that little more than 4,000 tons were shipped to South Korea in the first year of exports to this destination and that one of its main supermarket chains has already accepted the Peruvian Hass avocado. It's a very good sign,” Bustamante stated.
Lionel Arce, the general manager of the Beta Agroindustrial Complex, said that the Asian market was growing and had great potential. According to Arce, the Asian market is just learning how to eat avocado, unlike the North American or European market, which are the main buyers of this Peruvian product.
In this test year, Beta, Camposol, and Agropecuaria San Ramon exported 5, 12, and 2 containers to Korea, respectively.
Jorge Ramirez, the CEO of Camposol, said that it was still too early to project how much will be exported in 2021. "The idea is to advance in an orderly and sustained growth that allows customers to get to know the fruit, handle it, and consume it so that the demand increases progressively over time," Ramirez stated.