Westfalia Fruit Colombia (WFC) has exported its first shipment of Colombian Hass avocados to Japan under the new protocol passed towards the end of 2019.
Pedro Aguilar, general manager of WFC and newly elected vice chair of the Colombian Avocado Board, said the container carrying 16 tonnes of avocadoes arrived successfully.
“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,” Aguilar said.
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.
Gilma Orrego, technical manager of WFC, said the company made sure the shipment met the strict protocols.
“We ensured optimal harvesting, plant packaging processes, and cooling processes along the way. We also made sure the fruits consisted of adequate dry matter to guarantee good flavour upon arrival at their destination,” said Orrego.
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.
It was then up WFC to choose the right time to send its first shipment said the company’s commercial manager, Juliana Florez.
“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 Florez.
“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.”