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Westfalia: Leading sustainable growth in Asia’s new avocado markets

Source: Release Date:2024-02-15 168
Food & BeverageFood & Beverage Ingredients Industry Updates
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Westfalia, leading multinational supplier of avocados and a range of fresh vegetables reports on its success in India, China, and Japan.

Westfalia Fruit, a leading multinational supplier of avocados and a range of fresh vegetables has capped off an exciting year of growth in Asia – in India and China, two of the fastest growing avocado markets in the world, as well as Japan. The company is also forecasting continued market growth across the region into the latter half of the decade.

 

 

Asia is the future for avocados from Africa

 

Leading the market in India

Westfalia entered the Indian market in 2022, working with local partners quickly establishing itself, investing in local production, nurseries and securing its position as the market leader. The market has grown tenfold in the last few years with consumption increasing from 200 to 4,000 tonnes.

 

2023 marked the first year of commercial harvest of Indian grown Hass avocados and in the coming years more than 500 acres of Westfalia’s existing Hass plantations in Southern India will come into production. Globally, with the most diverse growing footprint Westfalia has the benefit of being able to source from two production areas at any one time, including Tanzania, Kenya, Peru, Chile, and Australia enabling consistent year-round availability for Indian consumers.

 

In December last year Westfalia Fruit India imported the first commercial shipment of avocados from Australia after market access for Australian avocados was granted. Fruit from Western Australia fits well into the Indian avocado imports calendar with availability between November to March, complementing African import programs from April to November.

 

“We’re excited about Indian access for Australian avocados as well as being very close to securing Indian market access for our South African produced fruit. We believe that the demand for both Hass avocados and our exclusive and premium GEM® variety will continue to grow on the back of strong per capita income growth and a rise in discretionary spending to 36% in 2020. Over the last year we have seen a younger demographic embrace avocados into their diet with a focus on the more densely populated cities. With our investment in local farms, ripening rooms and logistics we anticipate the next few years to be pivotal in the developing Indian market as the appeal and use of avocados widens”. says Zac Bard, Business Development Executive at Westfalia Fruit.

 

Growth returns to China

In China, the avocado market saw a downturn during pandemic lockdowns but in 2023 this turned around and the market there is now looking more optimistic. In August 2023, South Africa celebrated after its avocados were granted access to the Chinese market. As the leading exporter of avocados in South Africa, Westfalia Fruit represents half of all avocado exports, and believes this significant development will shape the future of agriculture in the country.

 

“It’s a triumph for the avocado industry in South Africa and it gives us the opportunity to now grow the market and the local production in South Africa, particularly in the early and late season production areas. This is an opportunity for us, as an industry to invest and develop avocado production in South Africa which will directly benefit rural communities, providing jobs, improving infrastructure and overall investment in communities. As with India, Africa is very well geographically placed to supply China and as a globally integrated company we are approaching the opportunities there in a sustainable and responsible way,” continued Bard.

 

Westfalia Avocados winning in Japan

Japan’s love for avocados began almost two decades ago when a Japanese chef working in California began adding the fruit to sushi. This trend filtered back to the country which has had a stable avocado market ever since.

 

In 2023, Westfalia in Peru successfully increased imports to Japan by 58% establishing Westfalia as a leading supplier to the market. Marketing initiatives sponsored by trade bodies have supported the awareness and consumption of avocados as part of Japanese cuisine. In addition, South Africa was recently granted avocado market access to Japan, as a globally integrated business Westfalia’s teams are working together to supply the market 12 months of the year from complimentary growing areas.

 

“Africa in particular, has been waiting for this opportunity to grow and expand and I think in three to five years, across Asia we are going to start seeing fantastic results. Avocados grown in Africa have a hugely positive social footprint in local communities; Asia is the future for Africa and it’s going to be a fantastic story to watch how these markets help the continent improve the livelihood in its remote and rural economies. Avocados grown in Africa and sold in Asia are going to change many people’s lives for the better,” Bard concluded.

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