Quality standard for Colombian avocado

Global demand for avocado's is increasing. Colombia is a relatively new sourcing area of Hass avocados. The experiences with quality of Colombian avocados are not yet as good as from other regions. Standardization of harvest and post-harvest procedures could help to improve quality.

Professionalizing by developing a standard

The objective of this project is to get a better understanding on the variability in quality and to provide input for a better national quality standard for avocado’s. The standard should include input on optimal conditions for optimising avocado quality during transport, ripening and shelf-life in Europe.

The goal is to help the Colombian private avocado sector to professionalize and to increase the exports of all Colombian exporters (and their suppliers) of Hass avocados that meet European quality standards.

Results through unique cooperation

The project consisted of an assessment of local Colombian situation and interviews with experiences from importers. The varying experiences with quality of Colombian avocados could be due to differences in growing conditions and expertise, climatic challenges, but also due to lack of standard operating procedures and post-harvest infrastructure.

Based on the insights of the local assessment, 2 pilot shipments to the Netherlands of avocados from different growers, harvest seasons, and with post-harvest treatments were performed. Because of a unique cooperation, it was possible to assess quality of these avocados already after harvest and follow them during transport and after arrival and shelf life. Results were presented via a successful webinar to Colombian producers, traders, consultants and researcher all over the country.