Colombia Ramps up Avocado Exports to U.S.; Seeks to Become Alternative Supplier

Colombia Ramps up Avocado Exports to U.S.; Seeks to Become Alternative Supplier

Since gaining market access to the U.S. in August 2017, Colombian Hass avocado exports have increased significantly and industry stakeholders are optimistic about a bright future.

CorpoHass is a national industry organization which represents two of the worlds largest avocado companies, Westfalia and Mission Produce. These pair of companies have extensive operations and growth plans in Columbia.

CorpoHass reports exports have grown much faster rate than was expected.

While Colombia shipped only 29 metric tons (MT) of Hass avocados to the U.S. market in 2017, that number rose to 346MT in 2018, followed by 1404MT the following year.

In 2020 through November, 2943MT were exported. 

These numbers pale in comparison to the supplies Mexico and Peru ship to the U.S. – as well as volumes shipped by Colombia to the EU, its leading market. However, they indicate a strong upward trend is set to continue well into the future and eventually position Colombia as a reliable alternative avocado supplier to the U.S. 

CorpoHass is predicting an annual growth of at least 50 percent.

The company notes exports to new markets like the U.S. depend on compliance with the operational work plan. This includes the control and monitoring of quarantine pests both on the property and in the buffer zone for a determined minimum period.

In the middle of 2019, the phytosanitary protocol was relaxed. This has allowed exports not only to be greater in volume but also more frequent, especially during the slower part of the harvest.

As of December 23, 2020, the last update date, there were 94 licensed farms in six departments and 15 packing plants in five departments. This number is constantly increasing.