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Colombia joins World Avocado Organization

The World Avocado Organization, which is devoted to promoting the consumption and awareness of avocados at a global level, welcomed Colombia as its newest member country director. The announcement was made during the opening of Asia Fruit Logistica. WAO’s current members include the top avocado producing nations of Mexico, Peru, the United States, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Spain.avoc

“We are delighted that Colombia joins WAO and look forward to working together to supply the European avocado market, which has been soaring over the last few years. We are pleased to replicate the programs WAO has implemented in Europe during the fall and winter months together with the Colombian Hass avocado sector,” said Zac Bard, chairman of WAO.

Colombia is home to some of the top Hass avocado producers and exporters in the world, including Fruity Green, Cartama — Avofruit, S.A. & Westfalia Colombia, each of whom have also officially joined WAO. Colombia has only recently entered the Hass avocado market but is already one of the biggest producers and exporters worldwide. It currently produces over 15,000 hectares of Hass avocados and is growing at an unprecedented rate, as its agricultural outlook continues to flourish.

“Avocado production in Colombia has experienced rapid growth over the past few years where volumes have grown by 550 percent a year between 2012 and 2016," said Xavier Equihua, chief executive officer of WAO. "We are pleased to announce the inclusion of Colombia as a country director of WAO and we look forward to working with them on expanding avocado supply and consumption across the European market.”

“Hass avocado production is growing at a tremendous rate in Colombia," said Daniel Bustamante, vice chairman of WAO. "At the same time, the consumption of avocados in Europe is growing at an immense pace, where more than 510 million kilos of avocados were sold in 2017. Joining WAO will help Colombia to unlock their full potential and key opportunities across the European avocado market."

With the addition of Colombia and Spain this year, WAO now represents over 70 percent of the avocados commercialized in Europe. WAO will be holding its 2018 mid-season meeting in Madrid, Spain Oct. 22, one day before the start of Fruit Attraction, an international trade show for the fruit and vegetable industry.