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Avocado packing software guides employees to use best food handling practices, increases traceability, and reduces fruit waste during avocado packing.
The farmsoft team has released a suite of Avocado packing software solutions for processing, sorting, and grading of avocado and avocado value added manufacturing. The farmsoft Avocado Packing solution is designed for all sizes of pack-houses and pack sheds, and includes extensive quality control solutions based on avocado quality requirements.
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FarmSoft Avocado Packing Software delivers enhancements to the packing process, making packers more accountable, and reducing waste. Reporting features reduce the administration costs (eg: producing reports from spread-sheets and multiple data sources manually), and helps to enforce best practices and food handling standards throughout the avocado packing process. Additional to the FarmSoft Avocado Packing software, FarmSoft also offers the FarmSoft Avocado Farm Software, which delivers exceptional traceability for all sizes of avocado plantations. The FarmSoft Avocado Farming Software covers all aspects of farm management from planning, budgeting, through to activity management and chemical residue management. Talk to FarmSoft avocado farming expert today to discuss your options.
Optionally add our farm management solution: support multiple international standards for both avocado farming and avocado packing operations with FarmSoft. FarmSoft guides employees through processes, ensuring the correct tasks are performed at the correct time. This farm and traceability guidance results in higher quality, yield, and profit for both avocado farms and packhouses. Avocado packing software for better traceability, food safety, in the fresh produce packing, processing, and sales industries.
Implementing farmsoft Avocado Packing Software and FarmSoft Avocado Farm Software helps to increase business management across your entire enterprise. The FarmSoft solutions integrate with each other to form a seamless enterprise solution for farming, packing, sales, and fresh produce distribution. Talk to a FarmSoft solution expert today to discuss your options.
Guides for avocados for use across the supply chain, specifically in pack houses, the wholesale markets and in retail stores. Members of the Australian avocado supply chain can obtain free copies of the educational materials detailed below by completing Avocados Australia’s Education Material Order Form. Click on the document link below to complete the form, the details are enclosed. Retail Quality Survey results have shown that the biggest quality issues for avocados in Australia are bruising, followed by body rots and vascular browning. These results have been used to ensure that the educational material produced addresses these issues. How avocados must be handled to maintain quality is directly related to their level of ripeness therefore the first piece of material that has been produced is a general guide for all industry sectors illustrating the different levels of avocado ripeness and the colour stages that are most common at each level. Reproduced from Avocado.org.au
"The drop in the price of avocados has caused the demand to grow"
The Spanish mango campaign is about to start in the Axarquía of Malaga, where the harvest of the Osteen, the most common variety, is expected to kick off in early September.
"Imported mangoes have reached very high prices, so the European market is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spanish mangoes, given their proximity and quality," says Álvaro Martínez, manager of Axarfruit, which is currently marketing Palmer mangoes from Brazil. The company also produces and markets organic avocados and lemons.
“We will start marketing organic Osteen mangoes in week 36. The fruit is arriving somewhat late, but with optimal quality and sufficient volumes. The subtropical sector in Malaga is increasingly aware of the fact that the campaign cannot start before September, when the fruit isn't sufficiently ripe yet. The greatest asset that Spanish mangoes have in the European markets is their quality and we must protect it,” says Álvaro Martinez.
High demand for avocados due to lower prices
According to the Axarfruit manager, the summer avocado campaign has gone fairly well, as the demand has been quite high. “The truth is that, during the first months of the pandemic, the demand went crazy and we were overwhelmed with orders. Then, with the massive arrival of Peruvian avocados, prices dropped, as the Andean country shipped smaller volumes to the United States due to it being well supplied by California and Mexico. The drop in prices gave a boost to the demand, which has been higher than in the same period of previous years, so the fruit's consumption continues to increase every year. Now the volumes from Peru are gradually falling and prices are recovering. Colombia's production is low at the moment and it will start to increase again from September, coinciding with the start of Mexican exports to Europe."
"Of the products we work with, the demand and prices are the lowest in the case of lemons," says the exporter. "Italy closed the borders during the harshest months of the health crisis, which is why it brought this supply to the market later, overlapping with the fruit from Argentina and South Africa, which has notably increased its exports to Europe this year."
Chinese avocado imports plummet by 19%
The Chinese avocado market got off to a relatively late start. It was only in 2013 that avocados became part of that country's upper-middle-class' diet. The younger generation was also willing to try this new fruit. Initially, very few avocados were cultivated locally. Imports, therefore, increased substantially over the years. But, from 2019, this rise has started to flounder. The avocado market doesn't seem to be doing well this year, either. That's partly due to the coronavirus pandemic consequences. But market specialists do consider China a growth market for avocados.
Avocados have been grown in some areas in the south of China since before 2005. Despite this, they were still relatively unknown in that country. Mexican avocados gained entry to the Chinese market in 2005. Even then, it took until 2010 before avocados got any attention from Chinese consumers. Consequently, from 2013, avocado consumption exploded in China.
The growing number of middle-class consumers primarily drove the increasing demand for fresh avocados in China in recent years. They were prepared to pay higher prices for healthy, high-quality fruit. This was for them and their families. Millennials wanting to try new, international products also contributed. People's increasing demand was stimulated and supported by imports.
So, in recent years, Chinese avocado farmers have begun expanding their plots. These growers are in Yunnan and other areas in southern China. In 2017, the Yunnan avocado cultivation area was estimated at only 526 ha. By 2020, it has grown to about 3,318 ha. Growers in Guangxi are experimenting with avocado cultivation too.
In April 2017, China's first avocado ripening center was opened near Shanghai. It distributes ripe, imported avocados under the Mr. Avocado label. These are available online and in stores. This center was built by Mission Produce, Lantao International, and Pagoda.
Surplus in 2018
Avocado imports reached a record high of almost 44,000 tons in 2018. That's 37% up on 2017 and more than 1,369% higher than in 2011. Then, only 31,8 tons of this product was imported. However, this peak in supply surpassed demand. Several importers lost money because of surpluses. Those losses meant, in 2019, importers curbed imports to 2017 levels. In 2020 too, a lower import demand's expected. That's partly due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the year's first quarter, imports fell by 19% compared to the same period in 2019.
It could take some time before imports regain the avocado market's confidence. Despite this, there's growth potential for this product in China. The low per capita demand suggests that. But, prices must be competitive and marketing efforts made.
California gains access to the Chinese market
Peru, Chile, and Mexico currently dominate the Chinese imported avocado market. Before 2018, these were the only three countries that had access to the Chinese market. In January 2018, avocados from New Zealand gained access. In November 2019, Colombian and Phillipino avocados were also allowed in. On 26 April 2020, China announced market access for Californian Hass avocados. In California, avocado harvesting begins in March. It reaches its peak between April and July and has run its course by September/October.
Korean supermarket chain Lotte Mart bets on Peruvian Hass avocado
On August 13, the Korean supermarket chain Lotte Mart, one of the largest chains in Asia that has 136 stores in Korea and several dozen branches in other countries in the region, held a ceremony to launch their Peruvian Hass avocado offer.
The promotional event was attended by the ambassador of Peru in the Republic of Korea, the director of Korea's National Product Supply Division, the general manager of Seoul's Station Establishment, and the general director of the Il Commerce Inc. importing company.
The ambassador of Peru in the Republic of Korea thanked the chain for its trust in Peruvian agricultural products, as this company also offers Peruvian frozen mangoes.
With some effort, India could become an avocado power house
Though, according to a 2019 report,
there certainly is a demand for avocados in India, there was not a single functioning commercial avocado orchard in the country. That means the demand has been always fulfilled by importing the fruit from foreign countries.
As the variety is not indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, seeds are used to propagate plants. The problem with the production begins as the indigenous varieties are not able to survive in the country and researchers are still going on varieties that may be better suited to the India’s climate.
However, the problem has also been the disinterest shown by all the stakeholders like growers, traders, and research institutes in this regard. Some growers who have taken up the job complain that though they manage to grow avocado, they still have to import plants.
Recent data has suggested that India imports 1000 tons of avocados annually, a gap that can be easily filled by local produce if farmers take it on a large scale.
Avocado trees stolen in Bay of Plenty
A Tauranga family had their property ravaged by thieves. Chris Booth was devastated to find 33 newly planted avocado trees had been ripped out of the ground and taken from his family’s property.
"We had 52 planted right at the end of lockdown. We had to get resource consent and all the rest of it so they had only been in there for a little bit. I just couldn't believe it. I saw the first one and thought 'What's gone on here?'. Then I looked up and saw all of them and realised most of the trees were gone."
Booth said the culprits had to have been organised to not only rip that many trees out of the ground but to also remove them all from the property. Booth estimated the financial cost of the theft to be about $1500.
Colombian researcher finds a nematode that could be effective in the biological control of Hass avocado
Natalia Wilches-Ramirez, a researcher at the Javeriana University, has discovered a nematode that could be used in the biological control of some of the pests that affect Hass avocados, including Pandeleteius cinereus and Epitrix cucumeris insects.
“These pest insects affect the foliage and buds of young plants, causing defoliation and reducing the photosynthetic area of the leaves, inhibiting plant growth and its development. In adult plants, they can affect the fruit, since a part of their life cycle happens as an insect within them,” Wilches stated.
After collecting biological material in an organic Hass avocado crop that was affected by both insects in the municipality of Pasca, Cundinamarca, the samples were taken to controlled laboratory conditions and exposed to eight strains of entomopathogenic nematodes (Nep), a group of parasitic worms of these species.
These invertebrates, previously isolated and collected in areas with different heights, temperatures, humidity, and soils, proved to have a great capacity to kill the Pandeleteius cinereus and Epitrix cucumeris insects present in avocado plants.
“When they no longer find individuals to parasitize, they end their life cycle without impacting the fruits. Since it is an endemic nematode, introducing this species does not alter the ecosystem,” the researcher stated.
“The idea of biological control is to find the balance between crop production and the presence of insects-pests per plant. Agrochemicals eliminate everything, even organisms that benefit crops. This biological control based on entomopathogenic nematodes arises as an alternative or as a complement to the use of agrochemicals," Wilches-Ramirez concluded.
Peruvian avocado prices fall by 19%
According to Fresh Fruit, between January and July 2020, Peru exported 317,657 tons of fresh avocado exports for 615 million dollars, i.e. an 18% increase in volume and a 4% decrease in value over the same period in 2019. The average price of avocados in this period was $ 1.92 per kilo, which is 19% lower than last year.
The consulting firm highlighted the impact that the expansion of the pandemic has had on the avocado market. Consumers, who have less income because of the blow to the global economy, are prioritizing other fruits instead of avocados. However, the pandemic has also affected the countries that produce this fruit and that compete with Peru, limiting their ability to export or increasing their costs, which has benefited the Peruvian avocado. This scenario has had a strong effect on this fruit's price, as it has fallen below $ 2.00 per kilogram, one of the lowest prices to date.
As in previous years, Peruvian avocado exports concentrated in two markets: the Netherlands, with a 37% share, and the United States, with a 20% share.
During the analyzed period, Peruvian exports to the Netherlands totaled 114,756 tons (+ 22%) for 223 million dollars (+ 6%). The greater Peruvian supply in this market caused a 12% drop in prices, reaching an average value of $ 1.95 per kilo. In this destination, the demand for avocado increased by 2%.
Peru positioned itself as the Netherlands ' main avocado supplier with a 40% share. It was followed by South Africa with 11%, and Chile with 10%. The price of the Peruvian avocado in this country was 7% lower than the South African fruit and 18% lower than the Chilean avocado. The main buyer in this market was Nature's Pride BV, with a 16% share.
Peruvian exported a total of 67,158 tons (-14%) worth 134 million dollars (-37%) to the United States. Despite the lower Peruvian supply, the average price of avocados was $ 2.00 per kilogram, i.e. 26% lower than last year.
US avocado imports decreased by 10%. Peru positioned itself as this market's second-biggest supplier of avocado with an 11% share (similar to that of 2019), after Mexico, which had an 87% share. The price of Peruvian avocado in the US was 7% higher than that of Mexican avocado, and its main buyer was Mission Produce Inc., with a 28% share.
Australia opens its market to Chilean Hass avocado
Antonio Walker, the Chilean Minister of Agriculture, announced that the Australian phytosanitary authority had authorized the entry of fresh Hass avocados from Chile into their country.
This authorization will allow Chilean avocados to consider Australia among their destination countries starting this season, which represents a great opportunity since there was interest in making shipments. Despite the fact that Australia is an avocado-producing country that has a high per capita consumption that reaches 3.8 kilos per year, there would be a window in which the Chilean avocado would not overcome local production, so it could become an interesting destination for future shipments.
The national director of the Agricultural and Livestock Service, Horacio Borquez, said he was very satisfied. “This is the result of the work carried out in conjunction with the Australian phytosanitary authority, and after the exchange of technical information between both countries. This authorization for the entry of Chilean avocados to Australia is a recognition of our high phytosanitary standard. It also reflects the hard work achieved in conjunction with the producer-export sector; that's why complying with all the phytosanitary measures required by each destination country to continue achieving successes like this one is so important.”
The president of ASOEX, Ronald Bown, said: “The opening of the Australian market for Chilean Hass avocados is very good news, especially since we are about to start a new production and export season of this fruit. It allows us to expand markets and business options for the industry. Australia is a market with a high consumption of avocados, where there is a window for Chilean avocados to enter the market, as there is no local supply. We thank the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural and Livestock Service, as well as the authorities of the Chilean Embassy in Australia for helping us to get this new achievement for the national fruit growing sector.”
Source: lanacion.cl /agraria.pe
Strong demand for California avocados throughout spring and into summer
Much of the California avocado season falls in the period of summer holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day, making locally/domestically grown California avocados a great fit for summer promotions. California Avocado Commission customized programs are underway with retailers and foodservice operators, and more promotions are planned throughout the summer.
“Demand for California avocados has stayed strong throughout spring and into summer,” said CAC Vice President Marketing, Jan DeLyser. “Understandably, promotions needed to take a back seat to basic supply logistics during the early months of the pandemic, but leading into summer customer readiness and enthusiasm for program participation has been very encouraging.”
Credit: California Avocado Commission
In addition to its consumer advertising campaign, the Commission develops customized programs to support retailers who merchandise California avocados. This summer, promotion vehicles in use and planned include; digital advertising, feature ads and ad circulars, e-flyers, banner ads, savings rewards and booklets, in-store demos, social media programs, incentives for online shopping, videos including custom-produced recipe videos, retail dietitian programs, recipe promotions, inclusion in produce cross-marketing programs and participation in a retailer TV segment.
CAC also has resumed certain tactics that they deemed inappropriate during the early days of the pandemic, such as sales contests and display contests, because at the time retailers had their hands full just with replenishing shelves and keeping fresh produce in stock. But summer California avocado display programs are back, supported by display bins, in-store signage, stanchions and chalkboard signs, as works best for participating retailers. For some, including a profile of a California avocado grower in an ad or in-store material helps communicate locally grown and promote community pride.
The Commission’s foodservice promotions focus on operators with take-out and delivery service. Del Taco highlighted California avocado season and fresh California avocados by showcasing guacamole and fresh slices of the fruit with many of the dishes on their menu. In addition, the chain placed added emphasis on its Epic Grilled Chicken Fresh Avocado Burrito.
Other foodservice operator programs included celebrations of California Avocado Month in June. CAC continues promoting California avocado season with chains that specialize in sandwiches, tacos, rice bowls, burgers, grilling and more. Activities include “upsell promotions,” digital programs and signage.
“All this promotion activity supports California avocado growers and our loyal customers,” said DeLyser. “Based on current projections, the Commission expects a California avocado harvest of nearly 400 million pounds with supply continuing into September and possibly October.”
Rodrigo Compean, leader of the BlueDrop Nursery project:
"The first nursery for avocado plant clonal propagation in Mexico"
The exponential growth of the avocado market, whose production is expanding as the world demand increases, has led to clonal propagation becoming one of the most effective techniques to maintain the characteristics and quality of the multiplied varieties, ensuring the homogeneity of the plantations thanks to genetic replication.
Given the growing need for avocado plants in this industry, BlueDrop Nursery has chosen Jalisco to set up the first nursery specialized in this type of plant propagation in Mexico. "Although Mexico is the leader in the avocado market, the level of sophistication that has been achieved when it comes to the genetic quality of the plants is still very low," says Rodrigo Compean, director of the project. "Today, in other parts of the world, such as the US or South Africa, it is almost standard to sow clonally propagated plants, while here, in Mexico, no nursery had used this technique before we started."
BlueDrop Nursery, located in the vicinity of the Tequila volcano and inaugurated a year ago, has an annual propagation capacity of 250,000 avocado plants and produces both clonal and conventional plants. "For the 2021 planting season, a third of the production is going to be clonal and the other two thirds will be conventional plants," says Compean. “Although there is demand for this type of plants in Central American countries, we have a huge market here in Mexico. Since we are the world's leading avocado producer, we're also global leaders in the avocado tree market. For this reason, our efforts right now are focused on implementing the concept of clonal trees in Mexico before we start thinking about other countries.”
For BlueDrop, genetics is one of the main factors for success in a plantation. "Our objective is to get the most complete and advanced catalog of varieties available on the market," says Rodrigo. Consequently, in addition to the Hass (the most popular variety in the market), the Mexican nursery offers producers a number of different certified varieties selected for their characteristics.
BlueDrop has the license for the propagation in Mexico of the South African Maluma® variety. "This is a very early variety with flexible branches that tend to resist heavier loads, which leads to greater tree productivity. Moreover, they have a smaller seed and the fruit quality is outstanding."
The nursery is also licensed to propagate Carmen®, a Hass-type variety commonly known as Méndez, whose rights are owned by the Californian Brokaw nursery. "After requesting the license and negotiating the royalty, Brokaw Nursery provided us with the plant material directly, so that we can assure our customers that the plant is legitimately Mendez," says Compean.
Another of the varieties now in the process of being registered with breeder's rights is the Flor de María, a very early Hass-type cultivar that offers good adaptability to hot climates. “This variety comes from a region of Michoacán that is warmer than the rest of the state. It is a tree that yields fruit in areas where the Hass would be stressed by the heat.”
A growing industry
The world's avocado production is currently increasing and is expected to continue doing so in the coming years; therefore, BlueDrop has chances to become a major player in this industry in which varietal choice is the key to competing in the most demanding international markets.
“In Mexico, the fruit's production is expanding. The acreage has increased to 230,000 hectares, with a growth rate of 7% per year in recent years. In fact, Mexico has grown as much in three years as the entire Peruvian industry. The country is also growing in terms of productivity, since the orchards are reaching higher yields per hectare,” says Compean. “Our goal is to play a big part in varietal renewal. In this regard, clonal propagation, our wide range of varieties and the genetic guarantees are our advantages, as well as our full commitment to quality.”
Peru's Agricola Cerro Prieto expects it will increase avocado exports in 2020
The Agricola Cerro Prieto (ACP) company plans to increase its avocado exports by 9.4% this season, reaching a volume of 35,000 tons compared to the 32,000 tons shipped in the 2019 season, stated Alfredo Lira Chirif, ACP's general manager.
He also said that the current campaign was delayed by nearly five weeks, so it would conclude in the third week of August. Normally, the company ends the campaign in mid-July. "This delay is due to a climate issue (the fruit took time to acquire the percentage of dry matter required to be able to export) and to the market, as there was a lot of avocado from Peru, which is why the company decided to reduce its harvest curve," he stated.
He also said that the greater volume of fruit from Peru had generated pressure in Europe and - to a lesser extent - in the United States, so prices (which are still good) won't be as high as the ones achieved last year.
According to Lira, Agricola Cerro Prieto will send 60% of its export volume to Europe, 30% to the United States, and the remaining 10% to other markets, such as Asia and Chile.
ACP has 1,600 hectares of avocado in Peru (all in Chepen, La Libertad). 1,200 hectares are in production and the remaining 400 are still growing; 200 hectares of these hectares will go into production next year and the remaining 200 in the 2022 season. The company also has areas in Colombia, where they are planting avocados in order to supply its customers throughout as many weeks as they can a year.
“ACP currently has 200 hectares of avocados planted in Colombia and we are looking to plant many more. The project here is to set up avocado as the main crop, but we have an area dedicated to testing new crops and varieties,” Lira stated.
Creation of the first association of avocado producer organizations of the Canary Islands
On July 27, the first association of avocado producer organizations of the Canary Islands, Asguacan, was presented at the headquarters of the Council of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Government of the Canary Islands, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The event was chaired by the Councilor of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Alicia Vanoostende, who was accompanied by Wenceslao Martínez-Barona, manager of Agro-Rincón S.L. and president of the new association, and Miguel Bravo Castañeda, president of Cocampa and member of the association. Also present at the event were the Deputy Councillor of the Primary Sector, Álvaro de la Bárcena and the General Director of Agriculture, José Basilio Pérez, as well as representatives of various avocado producing organizations.
"This project is a good illustration of the objectives set for this legislature, which include the promotion of associationism, as it has an impact on the concentration of the supply and puts producers in a stronger position," said Vanoostende, for whom "this association will contribute to overseas marketing with the research and development of this emerging crop in the Canary Islands, and it will also act as an interlocutor of the sector with the administration.”
For his part, the president of Asguacan, Wenceslao Martínez-Barona, said that the "objective is to create an association based on the experience built in other sectors, anticipating and adapting to the changes that the avocado sector is going through, and seeking to strengthen and promote it," he said.
Miguel Bravo, member of the association, argued that "in view of the increase in the number of avocado plantations that have yet to become productive, it is necessary to have better planning for the fruit's sale."
Asguacan will work in all those activities that can contribute to improving the situation of the avocado sector in the islands, representing the Producers' Organizations before the administrations, promoting the incorporation of producers to the FVPO, obtaining and managing a guarantee mark or PGI, carrying out promotional actions for Canary avocados and obtaining collective insurance, as well as promoting research on the cultivation and management of this fruit in the archipelago.