Zimbabwe’s exports of avocados to the European Union (EU) has been on the increase, with 2018 figures showing that the country exported avocados worth EUR5,7 million to the bloc.
According to the statistics provided by Zimbabwe’s trade development and promotion body — ZimTrade — 53 percent of the total exports were destined for the Netherlands.
As at December 31, 2018, the global import of avocados almost doubled in the period 2014 to 2018 from US$3,4 billion to US$6,1 billion.
The European market is progressively appreciating this fruit and the upward trend is motivated by consumer demand for ready-to-eat and healthy food. Mexico is the major supplier of avocados and the best opportunities are in large markets such as France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, which are often supplied by the Netherlands.
ZimTrade has urged Zimbabwean avocado growers to take advantage of the duty-free market access under the interim economic partnership agreement ratiﬁed under the Eastern and Southern Africa countries and the European Union.
“Zimbabwe has potential to increase exports of avocados to the EU considering the favourable climatic conditions suitable to organically grow avocados,” said ZimTrade.
“The European market is expected to grow further in the coming years and will remain competitive since importers prefer larger producers because of supply certainty. Global supply of avocados is highest from February to September, when prices are lower than during the rest of the year.
“In periods of low global supplies, especially in October and November, prices of small volumes of ready-to-eat avocados tend to increase their prices to approximately US$15 per 4kg box.”
The Hass avocado, in particular, is popular in vegetarian cuisines and substitute other fatty foods. Other potential beneﬁts of these fruits are, improving digestion, decreasing risk of depression and protection against cancer.
“Avocados are a crop that most easily lends itself to organic practices because of the relatively low pest pressure, low nutrient demand and low weed pressure when mature,” said ZimTrade.