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“It will be our main focus to move to year-round availability”

“We are doing really well,” says David Bruggen, Camposol’s US General Manager. “For avocados we are developing approximately 4,000 hectares in Colombia, we have been expanding into Mexico with our blueberry operation this past year and we have really increased our hectares in Uruguay with our mandarins and we are also developing. We have expansion on a lot of different fronts.”

David observes that the turnover continues to grow every year and that all markets - the United States, Europe and Asia - are showing good results. “Especially on avocado’s and blueberries demand continues to grow in every market. Avocado consumption continues to grow in the US rapidly and Europe is not far behind. With the antioxidant health benefits, we see an exponential demand in blueberries everywhere.”

David Bruggen at Fruit Logistica 2022

David expects the growth to continue due to opportunities that continuous availability of avocado’s and blueberries can offer the consumer. “I still see consumption opportunities. The windows are getting to be somewhat similar to the domestic availability. It will be our main focus to move to year-round availability of our products whether that is from our own growing operations or from strategic alliances from other growing areas. We want to make sure that we can meet our clients’ needs on a year-round basis rather than in just windows.”

This focus includes attention to other production areas. Like the expansion that has already been realised in Colombia and Mexico. “We are now looking at strategic partnerships in the US and other places that may help us close our gap.”

Tighter belts
One of the biggest challenges for Camposol, and the whole fresh produce industry, are the logistical imbalances and rising costs caused by the recent disruptions. David observes that the influence is not so much felt in the demand - that is still growing - but much more in the ability to meet the demand.

“It makes it difficult when ships are late and logistic systems are not working or functioning at optimal efficiency. It has its impact on the timeliness and the availability of our products to the markets.” It also raises costs which requires adjustment throughout the chain, the general manager thinks. “Everybody is going to have to tighten a little bit their belts, whether it is the consumer or the grower or the logistics carriers. We have to figure out how to rationalise the logistics supply chain over the next few years.”

Planning in advance
Labour is starting to become another challenge. “Labour is getting tougher in Peru. It is difficult in Uruguay as well, but it is still manageable. It is a matter of getting the right focus and having the right estimates at the farms so that we hire the right labour during the week to make sure that it happens. You cannot get out there on the spur of the moment; it has to be planned very well in advance.” Although the supply of labour requires attention, it is not a reason yet to move towards robotisation.

Mechanical harvesting
“Mechanical harvesting is not something that we are looking into right now. At this moment too much damage is done to the product. Although I think it can be developed to a point where it can work.” For David harvesting machines are more suitable for the harvesting of products that will be frozen than for fresh products.

“A fresh product still needs hand care at harvest.” However he notices there are developments that, in the long run, can maybe down the road make it happen. “We keep our eyes on everything that happens, so that when the time is right we’ll invest in the right mechanization. At the moment we don’t see it having the right quality for fresh produce.”



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