BIBLIOTECA HORTICULTURA

BIBLIOTECA HORTICULTURA

Tropical Fruit Congress, the avocado boom

Tropical Fruit Congress, the avocado boom

During the third edition of the European congress dedicated to exotic fruit, held on the last day of Macfrut, experts and producers from all over the world gathered to talk about avocados

Avocados are still the most popular exotic fruit among Italian and European consumers: this emerged from the third edition of the Tropical Fruit Congress, an event organised by Ncx Drahorad, held on the final day of MACFRUT (6 May), during which experts and producers from all over the world gathered to talk about avocados.

The event was opened by Renzo Piraccini, President of Macfrut: ‘The Tropical Fruit Congress is a good way to bring a very interesting production alternative to the attention of Italian producers, that is, avocado: this fruit is widely available on the market and its consumption has increased tremendously over the last few years.’

When it comes to avocado consumption, Italy’s position is a classic example of this growing trend. Daria Lodi, who is an analyst at the observatory of CSO (Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli – the Italian Fresh Produce Service Centre), said: ‘Between 2020 and 2021, avocado consumption among Italian households went up by 400 g, which, out of a total of 2.5 kg consumed, equates to a growth rate of 18%.

With regard to the avocado trade, Ernst J. Woltering, a professor and scholar at Wageningen University & Research, commented: ‘At present, the Netherlands is the main trading hub for avocados in Europe, with the Hass variety accounting for 90 per cent. Colombia is one of the largest producers and exporters of avocados: Jorge Enrique Restrepo Girón, from the Colombian Hass Avocado Producers and Exporters Corporation, said: ‘Today, the most accessible market is the US one, while the Chinese market is the hardest to access. Italy has huge potential, but still accounts for 1% of total exports from Colombia. We are now actively engaged in educating U.S. consumers and aim to increase exports to these countries.’

However, there are multiple challenges involved in storing and transporting avocados due to the fact that it is a delicate fruit and is sensitive to low temperatures. This is the reason why an increasingly technological and innovative approach is required. According to Paz García Roque, Head of the Food Market Segment at Ziehl-Abegg, ‘technologies for monitoring air quality in warehouses and during transport are of crucial importance, since they ensure that avocados reach their destination before they are fully ripe.