Whether debating if it’s a fruit or a vegetable or simply discussing a delicious recipe, avocados have undoubtedly become the new food fashion trend. Thanks to its health benefits and its versatility in the kitchen this fruit has become a staple in most households. With the avocado sector booming, with increased demand and production, so is the need for more sustainable and transparent supply chains. These will ensure that the success of the avocado business will not infringe upon safety and environmental standards. All things considered then, it’s only natural to ask: how will the future of avocado production look like?
While avocados currently have the lowest production rate in the tropical fruit sector, they are predicted to be the second-best selling tropical fruit by 2030 and the market is preparing for this. While Peru, Chile and Brazil all play major roles in the avocado production industry, Mexico is the undisputed leader. Indeed, it is currently responsible for 44.9% of the world production, with the Michoacan region contributing to 75.2% of its market, which translates to over a million tons of avocados. Given the rise in popularity of this fruit, the already high Mexican production is expected to increase by 5.2% annually.
Mexico is also the leader in avocado consumption, followed by the U.S. and Canada. Europe is slowly catching up, consuming about a third of North American amounts. However, since 2018 a steady rise has been registered, reaching its peak during the COVID pandemic and it is predicted that in the next eight years market maturity will be reached, putting Europe and the U.S. at the same level. As a reaction to this trend, many European countries are playing important roles in the avocado trade. The Netherlands is one of its protagonists; it’s responsible for half of Europe’s avocado imports, as well as being the largest non-producing exporter in the world. France is presently the largest destination for avocados, mainly due to its advanced market and higher annual consumption than other countries. Some markets are still developing while showing great potential, as is the case for Italy and Germany, both of which are predicted to increase their import demands.
This ever-growing momentum in the avocado business has invariably directed a lot of attention towards the production of this fruit, and not all of it is positive. Questions have been raised, mainly stemming from people’s concerns for environmental issues, as well as an interest in food being healthy and sustainable from farm to fork. Specifically, concerns regarding water resources, deforestation and supply chain transparency have become more prominent. To address these disputes, social and environmental standards and certifications, such as GlobalGAP, GRASP, SMETA and BSCI, have become the standard requirement for most producers. While these prerequisites have not yet had an impact on the general consumption, it will cause a shift in sourcing practices for many buyers, whether that is on wholesale or retail level.
By keeping track of the production practices of suppliers, especially the environmental, social and ethical aspects, it is easier to manage potential reputational risks. Doing so will additionally improve the quality of services and products, which will give businesses a competitive edge. Tools, such as Agriplace Chain, exist to ensure that producers are adhering to the required social and environmental standards. Chain helps collecting, managing and sharing information about the quality, the sustainability and the social information of suppliers, thus simplifying the process of achieving a fully transparent and sustainable supply chain.
Ensuring a sustainable and transparent supply chain will hold the key to guaranteed success in the ever-flourishing business of the avocado trade. Leading companies involved in the European avocado business, such as Westfalia Fruit GmbH, Halls, Special Fruit and Bratzler & Co. have already joined Agriplace Chain to increase insights within their supply chain.
If you want to learn more about how to automate compliance management of your supply chain, feel free to request your demo today.