Colombian Hass avocado exports are registering remarkable growth. In 2019, shipments increased by 49% in volume over 2018, and from January to August of this year, shipments have increased by 30%, despite the pandemic. In fact, this percentage is expected to remain the same by the end of the year.
The executive director of the Hass Avocado Producers and Exporters Corporation of Colombia (Corpohass), Jorge Enrique Restrepo, stated this during the 'Agroindustry 2021: projections and challenges in the sector' webinar organized by PageGroup. He also said that the export volume in 2021 could increase by up to 40% over 2020.
In addition, he stated that this Colombian sector had great opportunities to continue growing and that it should take advantage of the markets that have been opened in recent years, such as the United States, China, Japan, Argentina, and Peru, to reduce its dependence on the European Union, where Colombia ships 90% of the avocado it exports.
Restrepo also said that producers must be aware of the importance of certifications -especially environmental, good practices, economic, and social sustainability certifications- to position the Hass avocado in international markets.
Restrepo said that, in Colombia, the goods and services related to the development of exports do not grow at the same rate as the industry, i.e. they do not grow at 30% or 40%. Thus, he said, the actors in the value chain must understand this is a growing sector and they should see the current bottlenecks as opportunities to help facilitate trade development.
“We have to be very proactive, invest a lot in communications to make our entire interest group aware of the importance and dynamism of this sector. The avocado is now Colombia's fourth biggest agricultural export product. 10 years ago it did not appear in statistics,” he stated.
In that sense, he said, there's been a positive growth of investment in plantings and the construction of packing plants. The sector has had an accelerated development in recent years, but it's still young when compared to other countries, such as Chile, Peru, and South Africa, and has a lot of potential in the long term.