Westfalia Fruit Farms Sends Colombian Avocados to Japan
COLOMBIA - While I was living in Japan, I got to experience a world of new flavors. I will admit, though, that I witnessed the avocado toast craze from afar and didn’t get to try it until I got back to the States. Westfalia Fruit Farms in Colombia (WFC) must have felt my anguish because it is now seeking to help other consumers in Japan by exporting its Colombian avocados to Yokohama, Japan, a first for WFC.
“Colombia’s avocados are in such good condition that WFC is confident shipping avocados to markets that require longer transit times, including Japan, Russia, and the Middle East,” said WFC General Manager, and newly elected Vice-Chairperson of the Colombian Avocado Board, Pedro Aguilar.
According to a press release, WFC has successfully developed its orchards in Sonsón, Colombia, over the past four years with a constant vision to export its quality fruits to new, diverse markets. The excellent agro-ecological conditions in the Sonsón region—which include rich soil with good drainage, warm temperatures, regular precipitation, and optimal altitude—are ideal for growing Hass avocados. As a result, WFC is diversifying its markets and has become a major player in global destinations.
“We made sure our shipment met strict controls,” added Gilma Orrego, WFC Technical Manager. “We ensured optimal harvesting and plant packaging processes, and the best cooling processes along the way. We also made sure that the fruits consisted of adequate dry matter to guarantee good flavor upon arrival at their destination.”
The Japanese government worked closely with WFC to ensure the country’s strict technical requirements were met for successful exportation. The avocados left Port Buenaventura, Colombia, in mid-January, and the shipment arrived in Yokohama at the beginning of February after fulfilling strict pest control requirements. WFC successfully met the demand for intensive monitoring and surveillance of its high-quality fruit during the entire process. The Colombian Agricultural Institute also assisted with monitoring the process—from the Japanese government’s very first visit to WFC’s orchards, to the packing and shipment of the fruits.
“We were very careful to introduce our fruit at the right time, in a context where we could develop sustainable business in a long-term commercial relationship,” said Juliana Florez, WFC Commercial Manager. “We waited until we could introduce our high-quality fruit with the best taste—even if it meant waiting a few months after the market was open to us.”
In another milestone for Colombian avocados, the newly formed Colombia Avocado Board (CAB) was this month certified as an official importer association under the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research and Information Order. CAB will now receive 85 percent of the assessments paid on Colombia Hass avocados to the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) for research, promotion, and information on avocados from Colombia in the United States market.
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