In 2020, Hass avocados were consolidated as Colombia's second most important agricultural export product, after achieving sales abroad for 144 million dollars and accounting for 4.9% of the country's total non-traditional exports. In 2021, these numbers continue to rise.
Between January and March, this product grew by more than 90% over the same period in 2020, with sales reaching 64.2 million dollars.
Colombia has 34,030 hectares planted with avocado, 26,045 hectares of which correspond to the Hass variety, a fruit that has positioned the country globally and that, after reaching markets as demanding as China or Japan, has opened the way to a new destination: South Korea.
Cartama, a Colombian company exported 1,600 kilos of Hass avocado to South Korea this month. The avocados exported were produced in Risaralda by growers such as Oscar Castañeda, from Guatica, who had already participated in the first shipments of Hass avocado to China and Japan.
Today, amidst the blockades caused by the National Strike and a historic agreement between Colombia and South Korea, Oscar once again exported his avocados to Asia.
The crops are the workers' greatest pride. “I wake up happy. It's like it was my cultivation. We've had many opportunities that we didn't have before. I've worked in coffee, onion, and even banana crops, but I've only been able to grow working with avocado. I started harvesting it, then I was head of sowing, and now I monitor all the crops.”
Cartama managed to avoid the hundreds of blockades there are in Risaralda because of the strike and took the product to Bogota in a truck that is three times smaller than the containers that are usually used to transport the fruit. The 1.6 tons of Hass avocado were shipped from Bogota on a plane to South Korea, where the first cargo of fruit produced in Guatica arrived. “It was an odyssey, but we hope it will be the first of many avocado shipments,” stated Luis Carlos Maya, Cartama's marketing manager.