“We can count on Colombian avocados soon to be year-round”

From Fresh Plaza | 27 March 2023

Overview of avocados from Colombia in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on March 23, 2023. 

The avocado market is pretty steady. “Through the 3rd quarter of this year, we are expecting to see continued stability in terms of pricing and volume,” says Brian Gomez with GreenFruit Avocados. That stability is the result of production in different countries of origin coming together. Mexico, California, Peru, and Colombia are expected to have good supplies. Within Mexico, the state of Jalisco was granted access to the US market last year and every quarter, more orchards get certified to ship to the US market.

“As a result, Jalisco is expected to ship 25 to 30 percent more avocado volume to the US this year compared to 2022.” Prior to Jalisco opening up to the US market, GreenFruit was actively operating in the state. “We have a packing house there that has been shipping avocados to Canada and Asia. With the US market opening up, our packing house has been able to move more volume.”

avocado volumes by histo 18

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Colombia offers alternatives

While Mexico is an important growing region for GreenFruit, the company has also been active in Colombia for the past four years. “We were on board early and started shipping Colombian fruit when nobody else wanted to,” said Gomez. Four years into business, a few national retailers are participating, and production is available 48 weeks out of the year. “Our harvest stops for one month only which is in April and will start up again in May. Starting in May, we will ship avocados to North America every week until the end of the year,” said Gomez. With GreenFruit’s Colombian avocados being strictly shipped to the North American market, this program is a great opportunity for food retail customers in the US and Canada. “With demand continuing to grow, it is crucial to offer options as it will bring more stability in the market.”

Last year was the first year Colombia shipped avocados to the US market and nobody was prepared for so much volume to be shipped. Combined with logistics issues and port delays, quality didn’t always meet the expectations. “With the experience from last year, Colombia has a much better program in place this year, resulting in better arrivals and higher quality fruit,” Gomez mentioned. This year, the country will have an opportunity to gain a better reputation in the US and Canada.

“Our Colombia program started during the holidays, and we are looking back on a very successful 1st quarter. The feedback we’ve received from consumers is that Colombian avocados ripen just like a Mexican or California avocado; nice and dark. This makes us excited for Q2 and Q3.”

Full shelves

While avocado supplies can be volatile, this year’s supplies are expected to result in full shelves. What will steady volumes mean for pricing? “With global avocado consumption continuing to increase, I don’t think prices will be extremely low,” said Gomez. “I expect good pricing and fair returns for growers, retailers as well as consumers this year and I believe both conventional and organic avocados will be very promotable.”

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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