Produce supplier Fresca Group has signed a joint venture with Colombian Hass avocado grower Cartama.
The new company, Cartama UK, will market Cartama avocado production in the UK and formalises an eight-year trading relationship between the two companies. The new venture will be headed up by Paul Frowde, commercial director at Mack and former commercial manager at Thanet Earth Marketing.
The JV is partly in response to continuing “explosive growth” in the UK’s avocado consumption, which is still at around 30 per cent year on year, a trend that is mirrored in Europe and other global markets, Fresca said.
It will also give Cartama, a leading avocado grower in Colombia, a broad market access and expertise along with further investment opportunities to help expand.
Frowde, general manager of Cartama UK, said: “Cartama have proved themselves time and again to be a world-class grower. We have developed a very special respect and relationship between our companies, which I know will make this venture a great success.
“The high fruit volumes from Cartama UK add to and complement our existing supply base for avocados. I have every confidence that we have created a very different and very powerful proposition to suit the retail, wholesale and food service sectors.”
General Manager of Cartama, Ricardo Uribe, said he is looking forward to working more closely within the UK market. “This union between our companies is formalising what has already been in place for some time. It’s a partnership between two companies who share the vision of providing the best quality Hass avocados to the UK and Europe,” he said.
Avocados in Colombia grow for over 11 months of the year without artificial irrigation as production is surrounded by rainforests with abundant rainfall.
The trees also require very little in terms of pest control and are grown at varying altitudes to elongate the season. These conditions counter seasonal quality challenges often experienced at the beginning and end of avocado supply windows, and have helped to generate strong demand for Colombian fruit, a company statement said.