Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Omar Díaz, from Westfalia Fruit Peru:

"The Asian market is important for smaller-sized avocados"

"While last year we ranked second among Peruvian avocado exporters, this year we are on track to leading overseas shipments," says Omar Díaz Marchena, General Manager of Westfalia Fruit Peru. The achievement of this Peruvian subsidiary of the multinational Westfalia Fruit Group, a company with a 75-year legacy and globally recognized as avocado specialists, is significant, as with 583,214 tons of avocados exported, Peru was the world's second-largest exporter of this fruit in 2022, only behind Mexico (1,041,786 tons) and far surpassing Spain (149,917 tons), Chile (109,121 tons), Kenya (103,239 tons), Colombia (98,595 tons), and South Africa (62,983 tons), according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Gustavo García, Commercial Executive; Esther Sánchez Hernández, Commercial Manager; Omar Díaz Marchena, General Manager of Westfalia Fruit Peru.

Last year, Westfalia Fruit Peru exported 45,000 tons of avocados, 40% of which was intended for Asia, 39% for Europe, 16% for the U.S. and 5% for LATAM. Europe was the first market to open up for Peruvian avocados, followed about 15 years ago by the U.S., where the Andean country competes against Mexico, which has the advantage of being just two or three days away from its main market. Nine years ago, Westfalia Fruit Group opened an office in the U.S. that imports avocados from Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

Packing plant of Westfalia Fruit Peru in Cañete, Lima.

Sales strategy is based on diversifying the target markets
"All destinations for Peruvian avocados continue to grow in terms of volume, hand in hand with the expansion of the acreage," says Omar Díaz. According to FAO data, the area planted with avocados in Peru has almost tripled over the last decade, increasing from 25,753 hectares in 2013 to 70,545 hectares in 2022. "At Westfalia Peru, we try to diversify our target markets. In fact, this year, unlike in the previous season, we may ship more volumes to Europe than to Asia, where Peruvian avocados have access to markets in China, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia."

Hass avocados waiting for the truck that will take them to the packing warehouse.

In addition to Peru, Chile and Colombia, Westfalia Fruit Group manages avocado orchards in Portugal and has a solid leading position in several African countries. "In South Africa, we produce Hass avocados and greenskin varieties. In Peru, we grow mainly Hass for now. The South African subsidiary focuses on the European market in a period in which our focus is on Asia and the US," says the General Manager.

Peru and Colombia, complementary sources
Peru's commercial window lasts from February to September. "At this time, low prices are being paid for small and medium calibers in the European market, where substantial volumes of these sizes are arriving from countries like Kenya, Tanzania or Mozambique, among others. Therefore, Asia is important of us, since the smaller sizes are highly demanded there," says Omar Díaz.

Young avocado plants at the Westfalia Fruit Peru nursery in Chicla, in the Cañete province.

The vast majority of Peruvian avocados are grown in the coastal area, which has an arid climate, and the crops are irrigated with water from the mountains using high-precision irrigation. The second main origin of Peruvian avocados is the highlands, where the production keeps growing every year, and another small part is produced in the jungle. "This is another type of avocado, the tropical one, which is also grown in Colombia. Colombia's main season, which lasts from September to March, complements Peru's. The tropical fruit requires a different kind of field management, since the trees require copper applications due to the high humidity, but Westfalia Fruit Group is also achieving good qualitative results in Colombia." In the US market, Colombian avocados have the advantage of a shorter transit time, while Peruvian fruit is more in demand in Europe and Asia.

GEM® and Lamb Hass offer possibilities to extend the commercial window
With the aim of extending the commercial window for Peruvian avocados, mainly for the Hass variety, Westfalia Fruit Peru is trying other varieties, mainly the GEM® and Lamb Hass. "With the assistance of our technical team, some of our associated producers are already conducting trials. With the GEM® variety, which arrives slightly later than the Hass, and the Lamb Hass, which is the last of the season and generally grows to larger sizes, we could extend our international shipments until mid-October. In September and October, there's usually a lower supply of avocados in the market compared to the previous months," says commercial manager Esther Sánchez Hernández, adding that in addition to extending the sales season, the GEM® variety offers producers an average of 20% more productivity than Hass avocados.

Handling warehouses throughout the geography
Westfalia Fruit Peru has its own handling warehouse in Cañete, in the Lima region, where it processes and packs 40% of the avocados shipped abroad. The rest is processed in five warehouses spread out across all of Peru, owned by other companies with which the exporter has signed collaboration agreements. Avocados are cultivated in 14 different regions, from north to south of the country.

Avocados are packed in 4-kilo cardboard boxes.

Shipments to Europe are usually made in 4-kilo cardboard boxes, in which the fruit ripens at destination and where the fruit is displayed at the point of sale. Thanks to thorough controls of the dry matter content in the field before harvesting, careful sorting in the warehouse, both by size and by external quality, and transportation in a controlled atmosphere, fruit wastage at destination is kept below 1%, according to Esther Sánchez Hernández.

For the customers looking for organic avocados, Westfalia Fruit Peru has a range that currently accounts for about 5% of its shipments to the US and the EU. "Although the market share of organic fruit is not high, we continue to grow annually by 3% in this segment. We work with producers who implement good cultivation practices and who receive assistance from our technical team. Analyses are carried out by an independent quality control company, so we can guarantee that the products will meet all the requirements established in the organic certifications," says the General Manager.

For more information:
Westfalia Fruit Peru
Av. Alfredo Benavides 768 – 6th Floor
Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Omar Díaz Marchena (General Manager)
[email protected]
Esther Sánchez Hernández (Commercial Manager)
[email protected]
Tel.: + 51 (1) 243 7840

Publication date: