As Colombia prepares for its second seasonal avocado harvest from October to March, packer and exporter Montana Fruits is ramping up production to meet rising global demand.
According to Natalia Moranth, co-owner of Montana Fruits: “New markets are opening their doors to Colombian avocados and other fruits thanks to increasing global demand. Our key market is Europe, and the US market is also growing. We see opportunities across Asia and South America.”
In addition to packing and exporting avocados, Montana Fruits produces year-round passion fruit and a new addition, Tahitian limes.
“We currently have the installed capacity to process 12 containers of Hass avocado per week. However, we are pleased to announce that our capacity will increase to 20 containers per week from November. The Hass avocado has two main seasons, from October to March and a second one from May to August. As for passion fruit and lime, we have year-round production. We can process two containers of passion fruit and four to five containers of lime per week. With this expansion we expect further growth with exports via the ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg and Algeciras in Spain.”
“The US market is also on the rise because we have a competitive advantage to serve the east coast as it is only three days to Miami and five days to Philadelphia. In our packing house we are qualified for export to Chile, Argentina, South Korea, Japan and China. We want to reach the Chilean market, which has great potential given its internal consumption. Our key market is Europe where the price of Hass avocado, passion fruit and lime depends on the spot market which changes with supply and demand. As I mentioned before, the US market is also very important, we really want to focus this season,” explains Moranth.
Montana Fruits holds a number of industry standards and certifications including Global GAP, Chain of Custody, SMETA, Rain Forest and BRC. They work in a three-tier system of Colombian producers supplying their packhouses.
“They are more than just suppliers, they are our allies. We have three types of producers, Gold, Silver and Bronze depending on their volume per season. Gold-level producers represent 59% of our volume and are producing at scale. The silver accounts for 36% of our export and the bronze level accounts for only 5%. We have chosen our breeders for their quality and because we are looking for a long term relationship that we can trust.”
This will mark the first year they will be attending the Global Produce Show in Orlando, Florida later next month. They also have their sights set on attending Fruit Attraction in Madrid early next month.
“We will attend both events; We consider it essential to be present at international trade fairs where we can talk to customers and competitors. It’s about maintaining a close relationship with our far-flung customers. This is our first visit to Global Produce Orlando; We are excited about all the opportunities the US market has for Hass avocado and lime.”
Moranth explains her reasons for attending the shows: “Firstly, to meet and close deals for our new campaigns, to see all the innovative processes in this area and to offer our packaging solutions to our customers. We hope to differentiate ourselves with all our investments in blockchain traceability and with our international certifications. Going to these events is much more than just meeting new people; We have scheduled many field visits to see US operations firsthand.”
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Phone: +57 310 415 5184
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