The Hass avocado turns Colombia into an international investment scenario

The agricultural potential of Colombia in the production of Hass avocado, with two annual harvests, as well as the wide world market for this fruit, have made the country an interesting investment scenario for agricultural giants such as Israel, Spain, South Africa and Chile.

In January of this year, the powerful Israeli agricultural company Managro acquired Pacific Fruits, the Valle del Cauca company that had established itself as one of the leaders in the production of Hass avocados and tropical fruits. With this signal it is clear what the plan of the Israeli industry giant is. Pacific Fruits closed 2019 with exports close to 9 million dollars and has been the first Colombian company to export avocados to Argentina, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Kuwait and Japan.

The arrival of Managro was preceded by the entry into Colombia of the Spanish Eurofresh, which arrived in the country in 2015, specifically Manizales, where in addition to its standard product, the Hass avocado, it sells organic fruits and vegetables. In addition to Colombia, Eurofresh 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 avocado in the country is the Colombian group Cartama, made up of a set of companies with crops mainly in Antioquia and the coffee region, in which small producers such as José Alberto Vélez, former president of Grupo Argos, participate. With more than 1.000 hectares of crops, it has been exporting for almost two decades through Avofruit SAS, a marketer located in Pereira. Cartama, under the leadership of Ricardo Uribe, was the first company to open the Chinese market, with an export of 24 tons in May of this year from Guática, Risaralda.

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, he organized The Avocado Company in 2017, through which Cartama Europe and Cartama UK were created.

And it kept expanding. It signed a marketing and distribution agreement with the American Mission Produce, the largest avocado marketer in the world that was born 35 years ago in California and offers avocado throughout the year. They have a presence in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, China, Europe, Kenya, Israel, New Zealand and South Africa.

The Westsole Fruit Colombia marketer also weighs in on the business. 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 Sonsón, in Antioquia.

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