NC Sweet Potato Shipping Update; Inaugural U.S. Arrival of Avocados from Colombia

NC Sweet Potato Shipping Update; Inaugural U.S. Arrival of Avocados from Colombia

ColumbiaAdequate supplies of sweet potatoes shipments to U.S. markets are seen in the coming weeks.  Meanwhile, the first ever avocados from Columbia have arrived in the U.S.

North Carolina, the nation’s leading producer and shipper of sweet potatoes should have good supplies the remainder the year, including the important Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The Tar Heel State has only 83,000 acres, which is 15,000 fewer acres than last season, which is significant considering the state produces over half of the sweet potatoes in the U.S. The loss of acreage is expected to be partially offset by a five percent increase in yields.  The harvest continues, but should be mostly completed by Thanksgiving.

Some of the major NC sweet potato shippers are:

Tull Hill Farms Inc., Kinston, N.C.,

Southern Produce Distributors Inc., Faison, N.C.,

Burch Farms, Faison, N.C

Nash Produce LLC, Nashville, N.C.,

Imported Columbian Avocados

The first containers of Colombian avocados destined for the United States were loaded onto vessels at the Port of Cartagena on Thursday, November 2, during a ceremony that included Colombian avocado growers and packers, and Colombian Secretary of Agriculture Juan Guillermo Zuluaga, Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA) officials.

This shipment, on a Hapag Lloyd service, sailed on Friday, November 3, and was delivered on Monday, November 6 to Port Everglades, Florida. Once the shipment clears inspections it will be moved directly to Mission’s Atlanta forward distribution center for further inspection before being delivered to the final customer.

Brent Scattini, Mission’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, indicated that there is strong interest in Colombian fruit from a retailer perspective. “Since the announcement about Colombia being allowed into the U.S., we’ve had customers asking about it, and several wanting to be the first to receive the fruit. We expect volume to build throughout the season, as well as in years to come. Having an additional source, another option, is good for our customer base.”

Cartama is the leading producer and distributor of Hass avocados in Colombia. The company produces avocados on nearly 1,000 hectares in Colombia, with a packing plant in Pereira.

Mission Produce  of Oxnard, CA operates state-of-the-art avocado packing facilities in California, Mexico, Peru and Chile.