Avocado Company received the first Hass avocados from Chile mid-September, but hadn’t been seeing anything close to the volume they would have expected in the last month. In most cases Chilean farms started harvesting around 4 weeks later than last season – with a number of reasons behind the delay. For some it was rainfall and roadblocks getting to the ports, dry matter maturity has come later and the particularly low market prices during the summer because of greater Peruvian product availability meant that many were waiting for price recovery before coming back into supply.
Larger volumes are now arriving in Europe from Chile.
"So far the fruit quality we have received has been very impressive and with good dry matter. We’ve had excellent results in both ripening and in our taste panel tests so we are confident of a great season for Chilean quality, said Kenny Moran, Buying Manager at The Avocado Company. "In terms of sizing, the overall view is that there will be a little less of the larger calibres and more in the mid sizes after lower levels of rain in 2019, but this is farm-dependent and quite variable."
The Chilean export crop is anticipated to reduce in volume compared to 2019. The Avocado Company predicts between 20% - 25% less. With high demand in the Chilean domestic market the average prices are looking a little more expensive as a result.
"The first arrivals from the new season principal crop from Colombia arrived at The Avocado Company in the first week of September. So far the quality has been fantastic! We’re very pleased to have our longstanding relationship with Cartama; it means we’ve got a particularly strong source that helps us smooth some of the more volatile market influences. Colombian Hass is ripening very well and we are excited for the volumes to increase further in the coming weeks.
"Typically we receive Colombian Hass for around 10/11 months of the year with two small gaps in production due to the two flowerings. We have the principal crop arriving between September and March and then the traviesa crop between April and July/August.
According to Kenny the supply from Colombia is a stable base of good quality fruit for almost the full year. The consistency is an ideal core for the company's supply calendar. Cartama have a great spread of farms in different regions at varying altitudes which means the Colombian fruit provides them with the longest supply windows compared to any other avocado source which they are working with.
Whilst the food service sector was undoubtedly hit hard by the sales slump at the outset of coronavirus and lockdown, The Avocado Company saw massive increases in supermarket sales. Overall it’s been a strong period for the avocado category, with people spending more time at home and seeking more health and creativity in their diets. Normally sales would fall away during August as people go on holiday, but this year demand has stayed consistent.
"New plantings in Colombia have matured rapidly and we’re seeing increasing availability from Cartama. To help both partners achieve a key ambition of broader reach across the European market, we’ve launched a new business together, Cartama Europe. Managed out of Holland by Joel Pascual, this trading business is now receiving weekly arrivals of premium Hass from Colombia for onward distribution. Early feedback is showing that we offer a genuine point of difference in how lean, direct and responsive this operation is, with full traceability on every box delivered for retail and wholesale customers.
There’s more about this business online at www.cartamaeurope.com
For more information:
Tel: +44 1892 831222