In Tanzania, all District Councils growing avocado are to establish nurseries for the production of seedlings to be distributed to farmers freely, the country’s Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, has directed
This is as Westfalia Colombia, part of the global Westfalia Fruit Group known as AvoExperts, has successfully exported Colombian Hass avocados to South Korea for the first time.
General Manager of Westfalia Colombia, Pedro Aguilar, says “we are very proud to be the first Colombian avocados to be available in South Korea. As a team, we have worked closely with the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) and the Korean Government to ensure that the specific protocols were met and I am very happy to say that 18 tonnes of best quality Colombian avocados can now be enjoyed by Korean consumers.
“As part of the Westfalia Group with production in established origins such as Peru, Mexico, Chile, USA and South Africa we work with many government authorities and regulators to open markets by driving processes and phytosanitary protocols between countries for the benefit of the whole supply chain”.
Globally, the Westfalia agronomy and technical teams, according to him, are working closely with many local growers to help them achieve international accreditations including Global Gap and GRASP as well as meeting the specific criteria for new and exciting markets.
“It is our expertise in this area that differentiated Westfalia Colombia from other local producers and ensures that we are the supplier of choice to many emerging markets, including Korea. It is good to know we are helping to create a long-term benefit for many rural communities as well as providing employment at our packhouses in Antioquia”, he says.
Avocado consumption throughout Asia and specifically Korea continues to grow. Consumption per capita in Korea is currently estimated at just 260g, compared to the more developed markets such as the UK at 1.5kg per capita or the USA at 3.5kg per capita.
Westfalia Colombia exported over 10,000 tons last year from selected growers and is well equipped to meet the growing demand for avocados. The operations of state-of-the-art packhouses and storage facilities mean consistent supply throughout the Colombian season from May to September with product quality uncompromised.
Continuous development of agronomy and growing techniques, ensure that resources are used responsibly and productivity for growers optimized in line with global accreditations. Regular audits and monitoring ensure policies are up to date to continue protecting and preserving natural resources such as soil, forests and water.
Historically, Westfalia Fruit Colombia has exported to the developed avocado European market including the Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany and the UK.
More recently Westfalia Fruit Colombia has been working closely with the ICA to successfully achieve efficient phytosanitary applications and monitoring to meet the robust requirements of new markets including the USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Argentina, Japan, UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Westfalia Fruit Colombia was the first to export homegrown avocados to the USA, Costa Rica and Japan, and continues to be the largest Colombian exporter of Hass Avocado to both markets as well as Argentina.
“Across the world, consumers love of avocados continues to grow, continues Pedro, to ensure Colombian Hass avocados can access the international market, as an industry we need to continue working closely with growers in partnership with the ICA, regulators and accreditors to ensure ethical and sustainable practices are evidenced throughout the supply chain and naturally part of our daily operations to benefit us all.
“Westfalia is the first company to invest significantly in the developing avocado market in Colombia, from agronomy to plantings, logistics, training and education. Our packhouses and storage facilities are world-class and ensure all fruit is kept at optimal quality.
“As part of the Group, our local Colombian growers benefit from the efficiencies of the Group’s integrated supply chain and can achieve ongoing commercial advantage by accessing both established and previously inhibited markets”, Aguilar says.
Adding, CEO of the Westfalia Fruit Group, Alk Brand, said “delivering the first Colombian avocados to Korea is a great example of Westfalia teamwork and I congratulate the Westfalia Colombia team on their significant achievement. It is another great example of how working together locally and as a global Group can benefit all stakeholders, including local growers and our international customers.”
However, in Tanzania, the premier said the distribution of free avocado seedlings is aimed at inspiring and motivating farmers to grow the crop and improve their incomes.
Majaliwa issued the directive when he made a tour at Kuza Africa and Moravian Farming PVT avocado farm and factory in Ilolo Village, Rungwe District: “Avocado is one of the crops with high return and has less production cost in comparison to others… people should be inspired to expand their farms taking into account that the government will support its production from the preparation of farms to searching for the market.”
He equally urged people in the avocado-rich areas to embark on mass production to transform themselves economically. On the other hand, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe, commended the investors for helping farmers to tackle the market challenges for their avocado production.
The news comes amid reports that Tanzania is on the cusp of gaining access to the South African avocado market. The leading African export countries are however, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon