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Evy van Gastel, Special Fruit, Belgium

“Colombia may become interesting for avocados this year”

“Hass avocados are currently fetching rather high prices for this time of year,” says Evy van Gastel of Special Fruit In Belgium. “Chile is having an off-year with about 30 to 40% less volume compared to last season. Now that Chile also has a robust local market, there’s less available for export to Europe. However, we expect more pressure on prices in the coming months."

"That's due to volumes from Mexico and Colombia. Colombia could become particularly interesting. That's because that country's supply will continue to increase. Besides these production countries, we get avocados from Peru too. And the last avocados from South Africa. We buy them from Spain, Guatemala, Morocco, Kenya, and Zimbabwe as well. That’s so we can offer avocados on the market all year round."

Regarding packaging, Evy says, this year, there’s an increasing demand for packaged products. “That’s mainly due to the impact of the coronavirus. More people prefer packaged products, including mangos and avocados. For example, there’s been a rise in demand for our duo packaging for both exotic products."

"COVID-19 hasn’t had much of an effect on other importation aspects. There were a few delays in Peru in March-April. That was due to adjusted harvesting times. And in Spain, there was temporarily less transport available. But that didn’t last long, and therefore only affected our trade for a short time.”

“The coronavirus isn’t preventing us from further innovation. For instance, we want to bring more sustainable packaging on the market," continues Evy. "We’re still considering edible coatings that extend the products’ shelf life as well as recyclable packaging. In the field of sorting, too, technology’s not standing still either. We’re continually trying to find the perfect way to sort our fruit when it comes to internal and external defects.”

“These new ideas, the ‘Ready-to-eat’ segment, and developments in packaging show that mangos and avocados have much in common. They complement each other well on the market. They’re also both available year-round and are used differently in dishes. People are becoming more creative about the use of fruit and vegetables in meals. That has a positive influence on consumption."

"Mangos and avocados are eaten at different eating during the day. That shows their versatility, but also how these fruits complement each other," explains says Van Gastel. "It’s vital to continuously promote our ‘Ready-to-eat’ range, to keep these fruits at the top of people’s minds. For example, we’re ‘mango moment’ ambassadors. That’s together with the University of Leuven, and we often work with ‘theme labels’.”

“What’s unusual is that, in the first three months of Peru’s mango season, there are more mangos on the market. There’s also more demand for them. But avocados are often more expensive at that same time,” concludes Evy.

Voor meer informatie:
Evy van Gastel
Special Fruit
Europastraat 36
2321 Meer - Belgium
+32(0)3 330 1792
+32(0)3 315 0843 

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