Camposol is anticipating a good development of this year’s season as its move towards year-round avocado production advances as planned thanks to it investments in Colombia.

By the end of the first quarter of 2019, the company had planted more than 500ha of new production in Colombia, where it bought 1,031ha of land in 2018 – and investments are ongoing. Future activities will include the planting of about 1,000ha per year until completion of the investment plan.

CEO Jorge Ramírez said: 'With the investments in Colombia we have taken another step towards our long-term goal of being a world leader in fresh and healthy foods, offering a year-round supply of certain key products.

“We expect to export the first Colombian avocados in 2021. From that moment on, we will be able to offer fresh avocados throughout the year, as the Colombian season is perfectly complemented by our production in Peru'.

In line with the CCFFTF concept (“Camposol Cares from Farm to Family”), the company is focused on sustainable production and a reduction of the environmental impact to a minimum.

This includes a state-of-the-art water management system, based on drip irrigation, that has enabled Camposol to reduce the water volumes needed. An innovative technology permits to reuse water from the avocado operations for the irrigation of green areas and forests.

The company also makes continuous efforts to reduce the use of pesticides and support the existing ecosystems by applying biological control mechanisms instead of pesticides wherever possible.

Further to its traditional markets in North America and Europe, Camposol supplies China with increasing volumes. Exports to the Asian country have more than quintupled in two years, rising from 639 tonnes in 2016 to 3,591 tonnes in 2018.

Camposol put the increase down to an in-depth knowledge of the Asian markets thanks to the experienced team in their local office in Shanghai, direct interaction through social media with consumers interested in a healthy lifestyle, and especially the close partnership with leading e-commerce platform Alibaba to whom Camposol is the only strategic supplier of avocados.

The company said it had also consolidated its direct relationships with Chinese retailers, as many supermarkets prefer vertically integrated suppliers that offer products from their own production.

Last year, the market introduction of avocados in China was accompanied by in-store tastings with the purpose of educating consumers, and further promotional activities are scheduled for 2019.

“In China, with a per capita consumption of 30- 35g per year, and possibly also in Japan and other Asian countries, we feel there is a huge potential for healthy, top quality produce which we strive to develop – without losing sight of our traditional markets in Europe and North America that offer good opportunities for direct sales”, Ramírez said.