Agricultural giants such as Israel, Spain, South Africa, and Chile are interested in Colombia's agricultural potential to produce Hass avocados, as the country can have two harvests of this fruit a year and there is a worldwide market for this fruit.
In January of this year, the powerful Israeli agricultural company Managro acquired Pacific Fruits, a company from the Valle del Cauca that had established itself as one of the leaders in the production of Hass avocados and tropical fruits in Colombia. This is a clear sign of what the Israeli giant plans to do. Pacific Fruits was the first Colombian company to export avocados to Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Kuwait, and Japan and its exports in 2019 amounted to nearly 9 million dollars.
The arrival of Managro was preceded by the entry into Colombia of the Spanish company Eurofresh, which arrived in the country in 2015, specifically to Manizales, where it markets Hass avocado, and organic fruits and vegetables. Eurofresh also has crops and processing plants in Spain, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and a logistics and marketing center in the Netherlands.
The largest producer and exporter of Hass avocados in the country is the Colombian group Cartama, which is made up of a group of companies and small producers with crops mainly in Antioquia and the coffee region. With more than 1,000 hectares of crops, it has been exporting for almost two decades through Avofruit SAS, a marketer located in Pereira. Under the leadership of Ricardo Uribe, Cartama was the first company to open the Chinese market when it exported 24 tons of avocado from Guatica, Risaralda, to that market in May of this year.
In 2017, it partnered with the UK Fresca Group, which is mostly owned by the Mark family. Faced with the increase in demand for avocado, it organized The Avocado Company in 2017, through which Cartama Europe and Cartama UK were created.
And it continued to expand after signing a marketing and distribution agreement with the American Mission Produce, the largest avocado marketer in the world, which was created 35 years ago in California and offers avocado throughout the year. They are present in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, China, Europe, Kenya, Israel, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Another important company in the business is the marketer Westsole Fruit Colombia. Together with Grupo Cartama, they handle almost 50% of the country's Hass avocado exports. Westsole Fruit Colombia is the result of an alliance between Westfalia from South Africa and Subsole from Chile, which has been in the country for more than six years and has its production centers in Rionegro and Sonson, Antioquia.