Avocado is one of the most sought after fruits in the world due to its taste and nutritional benefits. Colombia is currently a very dynamic country, where the area under cultivation and the amount of fruits exported is increasing from year to year. This situation represents a challenge for the country, which has to produce fruits with excellent ripening standards of external and internal quality. The study used several elements related to the quality of the avocado and its use in tropical conditions, determined based on reports from the world scientific literature in journals, books, textbooks and conferences. In addition, information from commercial trials on plantations and the experience of packaging and trading companies in Colombia was used. The approach presented here is linked to a modern quality concept in the food industry and how it can be transferred across the avocado value chain; Pre-harvest quality-determining aspects, quality-enhancing management practices and crop parameters and their relationship to quality were also used. This study designed options for adding value to the avocado production system based on quality parameters and identified delays in the supply chain of this important agricultural industry in tropical conditions.
The global demand for avocado is increasing. Colombia is a relatively new sourcing area for Haas avocados. Experience with the quality of Colombian avocados is not as good as in other regions. Standardization of harvest and post-harvest processes can help in improving quality.
Haas’s avocado production system does not currently have a valid technical model for the Colombian tropics, a situation that increases production uncertainty. Fruit production should ensure that a product of excellent quality is put on the market that meets the international standards set by the importing countries, with agronomic aspects such as cultivation, harvest, post-harvest, logistics, storage and marketing. Keeping in mind. Therefore, Colombia’s goal as an avocado producer must be the production of the highest quality fruit in order to position the country and the Colombian avocado brand in markets around the world.
Commercialization through the development of a standard
The objective of this project is to better understand quality fluctuations and provide information for a better national quality standard for avocados. The standard should contain information on optimal conditions for optimizing the quality of avocados during transportation, ripening and shelf life in Europe.
It aims to help the Colombian private avocado sector professionalize and enhance the export of Hass avocados to all Colombian exporters (and their suppliers) that meet European quality standards.
Results through unparalleled collaboration
The project included an assessment of the local Colombian situation and interviews with the importers’ experiences. Different experiences with Colombian avocado quality may be due to different growing conditions and experiences, climatic challenges, but also due to lack of standard operating procedures and post-harvest infrastructure.