The Spanish avocado season is ending in the south, while it is starting in the Region of Valencia, a later area with more limited quantities. The first containers of fruit from Peru are also arriving.
"We are marketing the last batches of avocados of the Spanish season, although we still have the Valencian campaign, which this year is gaining relevance at this time," says Óscar Ramírez, manager of the Malaga-based company TrÓpico Spain.
Óscar Ramírez, manager of TrÓpico Spain.
"The season will end earlier this year due to the significant drop in the production. The abundance of small sizes and the high prices at origin due to the limited supply have marked the campaign. Given the lower Spanish supply, there has been more room for avocados from Colombia and Israel. There has been enough domestic fruit to cover the programs of those customers who always prefer it, and there has been no additional fruit for sale on the open market," he says.
TrÓpico Spain markets around 23 million kilos of subtropical fruits throughout the year, mostly in Europe. 15 million of those correspond to avocados and 8 million to mangoes. Domestic avocados account for about 40% of all avocado sales. These are complemented by imports from other origins, such as Peru, Chile or Kenya. As for mangoes, in addition to the Spanish production in summer, the fruit is imported from Brazil, Peru, Senegal, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire to be able to supply it all year round.
TrÓpico Spain has just started market the first avocados from Peru, whose harvest is estimated to have increased by 10-15% compared to last year.
"In the last few months, avocado prices have been quite high, so the demand has slowed down. We expect, therefore, a smooth transition to the Peruvian season, hoping that, as temperatures rise, consumption will pick up again in the run-up to Easter," says Óscar Ramírez.
"We have had to deal with some logistical problems with the shipments from Peru due to the heavy rains, but we hope that the issues will be resolved soon, and that once the access roads to the ports can be used again, there will be no overlap between early and mid-season plantings, bearing in mind that a higher production is expected this year," he says.
The Malaga-based company has its own factory for the production of sauces made with fresh avocado, including mild and spicy guacamole, avocado pulp and avonnaise, which it markets under the PALTAVO brand for both retailers and food service providers. PALTAVO pioneered the production of the first egg-free avocado mayonnaise on the market, with a 72-day shelf life.
"Last year we marketed 500,000 kilos of these products, and this year we expect to reach more than one million kilos. There's a growing number of producers of fresh avocado sauces, which makes it harder to compete. It is a key complement for the companies that ripen good volumes of fruit and justifies making considerable investments in high pressurization equipment like ours, to make sure a first class product can be delivered. However, I believe that, despite the strong competition, there is still potential for growth in Europe, as supermarkets are devoting more and more shelf space to these products."
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