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Peruvian Hass avocados to Japan mid-2015

The procedures carried out by Peru to be able to export Hass avocado to Japan, which started over five years ago, could be completed in the next four months, as announced by the head of the National Agricultural Health Service (SENASA), Jorge Barrenechea.

“We are about to finish the work plan with Japan, which will conclude in a public hearing; thus, we expect the issue to be resolved by April (2015). That entails that by mid-2015, in the worst case scenario, the Japanese market will be open to our Hass avocados,” he said.

Other destinations

He reported that, by 2015, the procedures with China for the entry of the same avocado variety will also be completed.

To this we must add that SENASA is already about to open the Korean market for mangoes.

Likewise, for next year, it is expected that Brazil will grant access to Peruvian citrus and flowers, to which end SENASA is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Brazilian Embassy in Lima.

Barrenechea pointed out that, in 2015, it is also expected that the United States will improve access for mangoes and citrus from Peru.

“In this case, we want the U.S. to authorise the entry of large mangoes, of over 650 grams, as this country currently imposes restrictions on mangoes lighter than 650 grams,” he stated.

In the case of citrus, SENASA seeks to increase the number of areas in Peru authorised to export to the U.S. market.

Citrus are only exported from Piura, Lambayeque, Lima, Ica and Junín. The goal is for Arequipa, La Libertad and Ancash to also be authorised.

SENASA to OCEX

Furthermore, to strengthen the promotion for the access of more Peruvian products to international markets, the head of SENASA announced that the Government will finish a project in January intended to ensure the presence of agricultural agents in Peru’s business offices overseas (OCEX).

SENASA will designate staff specialised in resolving sanitary and phytosanitary issues with the goal of speeding up the procedures for access to the country’s products.

FreshPlaza.com

HAB invests millions of dollars to promote health benefits of Hass avocados

The conversation about healthy food choices is “pervasive among most Americans” who generally recognize that “fruits and vegetables are building blocks for a healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA. Yet “despite what we all know,” studies show that most Americans are still not yet consuming as many fruits and vegetables as suggested by dietary guidelines and continue over-consuming sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States, one-third of adults in our society are categorized as obese and another one-third as overweight,” Escobedo told The Produce News.05-MexAvos-HAB-Emiliano-EscEmiliano Escobedo “That is a serious issue because obesity is related to conditions like stroke and heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

Because of the exceptional health benefits of Hass avocados, “we see this as an opportunity,” he said.

There is “clearly a need to educate Americans on the link between diet and disease,” he said. “There is room for growth in the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” including avocados, and “we think that avocados have nutritional properties that can help Americans live a better life, so we want to leverage that.”

Avocado consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically in the last few years, but there is still much room for growth.

HAB studies have shown that consumers buy avocados for two principal reasons: they like the taste and they recognize the health benefits. “Those are the two main drivers,” Escobedo said.

HAB focuses most of its efforts and most of its funding on  additional scientific research into the health benefits of avocados and on promotional programs to increase consumer awareness of those benefits.

“We have invested nearly $ 5 million in nutrition research in the areas of heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living” and developed a promotional program called Love One Today, backed by a multi-million dollar budget, to promote the research findings and increase consumer awareness of the benefits of including Hass avocados in the diet on a regular basis can bring.

Recently published clinical trials by University of California at Los Angeles and Loma Linda University found that adding avocados to a meal helps reduce inflation markers and that adding avocados to lunch “reduces hunger for a longer period of time,” leading to less snacking and, therefore, reduced total calorie intake, he said.

The most recently published study, by Ohio State University, “found that avocados boost the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in products that are consumed with avocados.” Eating avocados with tomatoes, for example, boosts the body’s consumption of the antioxidants in tomatoes by a factor of 10. “So avocados are definitely a nutrient booster,” Escobedo said.

Current studies, one at Penn State and one at Tufts University, are looking at such things as the potential of avocados in the diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and to improve cognitive function among older population, he said.

The research “is generating a lot of media attention,” both consumer media and publications targeted to dieticians and other health professionals. Through the efforts of HAB, “we have obtained hundreds of millions of impressions” in various health and fitness publications in the United States as well as on radio and television, Escobedo said, emphasizing that this is editorial coverage, not paid advertisement. Studies to track the influence of those impressions on consumer attitudes demonstrates that “they are becoming more aware of the benefits of avocados, and as a result, we are seeing demand increase.”

It is not HAB alone that is leveraging the health message for Hass avocados, he said. Other stakeholders are doing so as well, including Avocados from Mexico and other industry organizations representing all other major sources of Hass avocados marketed in the United States.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

HAB spends millions of dollars to promote health benefits of Hass avocados

The conversation about healthy food choices is “pervasive among most Americans” who generally recognize that “fruits and vegetables are building blocks for a healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA. Yet “despite what we all know,” studies show that most Americans are still not yet consuming as many fruits and vegetables as suggested by dietary guidelines and continue over-consuming sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States, one-third of adults in our society are categorized as obese and another one-third as overweight,” Escobedo told The Produce News.05-MexAvos-HAB-Emiliano-EscEmiliano Escobedo “That is a serious issue because obesity is related to conditions like stroke and heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

Because of the exceptional health benefits of Hass avocados, “we see this as an opportunity,” he said.

There is “clearly a need to educate Americans on the link between diet and disease,” he said. “There is room for growth in the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” including avocados, and “we think that avocados have nutritional properties that can help Americans live a better life, so we want to leverage that.”

Avocado consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically in the last few years, but there is still much room for growth.

HAB studies have shown that consumers buy avocados for two principal reasons: they like the taste and they recognize the health benefits. “Those are the two main drivers,” Escobedo said.

HAB focuses most of its efforts and most of its funding on  additional scientific research into the health benefits of avocados and on promotional programs to increase consumer awareness of those benefits.

“We have invested nearly $ 5 million in nutrition research in the areas of heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living” and developed a promotional program called Love One Today, backed by a multi-million dollar budget, to promote the research findings and increase consumer awareness of the benefits of including Hass avocados in the diet on a regular basis can bring.

Recently published clinical trials by University of California at Los Angeles and Loma Linda University found that adding avocados to a meal helps reduce inflation markers and that adding avocados to lunch “reduces hunger for a longer period of time,” leading to less snacking and, therefore, reduced total calorie intake, he said.

The most recently published study, by Ohio State University, “found that avocados boost the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in products that are consumed with avocados.” Eating avocados with tomatoes, for example, boosts the body’s consumption of the antioxidants in tomatoes by a factor of 10. “So avocados are definitely a nutrient booster,” Escobedo said.

Current studies, one at Penn State and one at Tufts University, are looking at such things as the potential of avocados in the diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and to improve cognitive function among older population, he said.

The research “is generating a lot of media attention,” both consumer media and publications targeted to dieticians and other health professionals. Through the efforts of HAB, “we have obtained hundreds of millions of impressions” in various health and fitness publications in the United States as well as on radio and television, Escobedo said, emphasizing that this is editorial coverage, not paid advertisement. Studies to track the influence of those impressions on consumer attitudes demonstrates that “they are becoming more aware of the benefits of avocados, and as a result, we are seeing demand increase.”

It is not HAB alone that is leveraging the health message for Hass avocados, he said. Other stakeholders are doing so as well, including Avocados from Mexico and other industry organizations representing all other major sources of Hass avocados marketed in the United States.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

HAB spends millions of dollars to promote health benefits of Hass avocados

The conversation about healthy food choices is “pervasive among most Americans” who generally recognize that “fruits and vegetables are building blocks for a healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA. Yet “despite what we all know,” studies show that most Americans are still not yet consuming as many fruits and vegetables as suggested by dietary guidelines and continue over-consuming sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States, one-third of adults in our society are categorized as obese and another one-third as overweight,” Escobedo told The Produce News.05-MexAvos-HAB-Emiliano-EscEmiliano Escobedo “That is a serious issue because obesity is related to conditions like stroke and heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

Because of the exceptional health benefits of Hass avocados, “we see this as an opportunity,” he said.

There is “clearly a need to educate Americans on the link between diet and disease,” he said. “There is room for growth in the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” including avocados, and “we think that avocados have nutritional properties that can help Americans live a better life, so we want to leverage that.”

Avocado consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically in the last few years, but there is still much room for growth.

HAB studies have shown that consumers buy avocados for two principal reasons: they like the taste and they recognize the health benefits. “Those are the two main drivers,” Escobedo said.

HAB focuses most of its efforts and most of its funding on  additional scientific research into the health benefits of avocados and on promotional programs to increase consumer awareness of those benefits.

“We have invested nearly $ 5 million in nutrition research in the areas of heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living” and developed a promotional program called Love One Today, backed by a multi-million dollar budget, to promote the research findings and increase consumer awareness of the benefits of including Hass avocados in the diet on a regular basis can bring.

Recently published clinical trials by University of California at Los Angeles and Loma Linda University found that adding avocados to a meal helps reduce inflation markers and that adding avocados to lunch “reduces hunger for a longer period of time,” leading to less snacking and, therefore, reduced total calorie intake, he said.

The most recently published study, by Ohio State University, “found that avocados boost the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in products that are consumed with avocados.” Eating avocados with tomatoes, for example, boosts the body’s consumption of the antioxidants in tomatoes by a factor of 10. “So avocados are definitely a nutrient booster,” Escobedo said.

Current studies, one at Penn State and one at Tufts University, are looking at such things as the potential of avocados in the diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and to improve cognitive function among older population, he said.

The research “is generating a lot of media attention,” both consumer media and publications targeted to dieticians and other health professionals. Through the efforts of HAB, “we have obtained hundreds of millions of impressions” in various health and fitness publications in the United States as well as on radio and television, Escobedo said, emphasizing that this is editorial coverage, not paid advertisement. Studies to track the influence of those impressions on consumer attitudes demonstrates that “they are becoming more aware of the benefits of avocados, and as a result, we are seeing demand increase.”

It is not HAB alone that is leveraging the health message for Hass avocados, he said. Other stakeholders are doing so as well, including Avocados from Mexico and other industry organizations representing all other major sources of Hass avocados marketed in the United States.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

HAB spends millions of dollars to promote health benefits of Hass avocados

The conversation about healthy food choices is “pervasive among most Americans” who generally recognize that “fruits and vegetables are building blocks for a healthy diet,” said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA. Yet “despite what we all know,” studies show that most Americans are still not yet consuming as many fruits and vegetables as suggested by dietary guidelines and continue over-consuming sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States, one-third of adults in our society are categorized as obese and another one-third as overweight,” Escobedo told The Produce News.05-MexAvos-HAB-Emiliano-EscEmiliano Escobedo “That is a serious issue because obesity is related to conditions like stroke and heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

Because of the exceptional health benefits of Hass avocados, “we see this as an opportunity,” he said.

There is “clearly a need to educate Americans on the link between diet and disease,” he said. “There is room for growth in the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” including avocados, and “we think that avocados have nutritional properties that can help Americans live a better life, so we want to leverage that.”

Avocado consumption in the United States has been rising dramatically in the last few years, but there is still much room for growth.

HAB studies have shown that consumers buy avocados for two principal reasons: they like the taste and they recognize the health benefits. “Those are the two main drivers,” Escobedo said.

HAB focuses most of its efforts and most of its funding on  additional scientific research into the health benefits of avocados and on promotional programs to increase consumer awareness of those benefits.

“We have invested nearly $ 5 million in nutrition research in the areas of heart health, weight management, diabetes and healthy living” and developed a promotional program called Love One Today, backed by a multi-million dollar budget, to promote the research findings and increase consumer awareness of the benefits of including Hass avocados in the diet on a regular basis can bring.

Recently published clinical trials by University of California at Los Angeles and Loma Linda University found that adding avocados to a meal helps reduce inflation markers and that adding avocados to lunch “reduces hunger for a longer period of time,” leading to less snacking and, therefore, reduced total calorie intake, he said.

The most recently published study, by Ohio State University, “found that avocados boost the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants that are found in products that are consumed with avocados.” Eating avocados with tomatoes, for example, boosts the body’s consumption of the antioxidants in tomatoes by a factor of 10. “So avocados are definitely a nutrient booster,” Escobedo said.

Current studies, one at Penn State and one at Tufts University, are looking at such things as the potential of avocados in the diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body and to improve cognitive function among older population, he said.

The research “is generating a lot of media attention,” both consumer media and publications targeted to dieticians and other health professionals. Through the efforts of HAB, “we have obtained hundreds of millions of impressions” in various health and fitness publications in the United States as well as on radio and television, Escobedo said, emphasizing that this is editorial coverage, not paid advertisement. Studies to track the influence of those impressions on consumer attitudes demonstrates that “they are becoming more aware of the benefits of avocados, and as a result, we are seeing demand increase.”

It is not HAB alone that is leveraging the health message for Hass avocados, he said. Other stakeholders are doing so as well, including Avocados from Mexico and other industry organizations representing all other major sources of Hass avocados marketed in the United States.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

HAB promotes health benefits of Hass avocados as category continues to grow

The Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA, which represents growers and importers of Hass avocados in the U.S. market, continues, as it has for about the past two and a half years, to focus primarily on nutrition research and nutrition marketing “in a way that supports the category as a whole,” according to Emiliano Escobedo, executive director.

This year alone, “we are budgeting close to half a million dollars in new research,” Escobedo told The Produce News. New findings are expected to continue the wave of “not only good news” about avocados “but good news based on facts,” which allows the board and the industry as a whole “to engage in evidence-based marketing.”

For the past 10 years or so, the board has engaged in consumer tracking studies that have shown there are three key reasons consumers buy avocados. “They care about taste. They care about the variety of uses,” he said. But they also care about “the nutrition message.” People are “very interested in the nutritional benefits and nutritional properties of avocados.”

Recent studies have revealed avocados to be nutrient boosters. When eaten with other foods such as tomatoes or carrots, for example, the avocados enhance the body’s absorption of essential nutrients such as vitamin A.

“The Buzz keeps getting louder” in social media and in traditional media about the health and nutritional benefits of avocados, and that is believed to be a major factor in the continuing dramatic growth of avocado consumption in the U.S. market, according to Escobedo.

During the first six months of 2014, “the industry shipped slightly over 950 million pounds” of Hass avocados, a 22 percent increase from two years prior. “Definitely, this will be a record-breaking year,” he said. The original estimate was 1.7 billion pounds, similar to the prior year. But “right now, the way it is looking, we are going to be closer to 1.8 billion pounds, so it is a very good year in terms of volume.”

The majority of that volume comes from Mexico, which will account for roughly two-thirds of the market this year.

The other major players are California, which had a lighter crop this year than last year; Peru, the newest player in the U.S. avocado market, which will double its volume this year over 2013; and Chile.

Mexico exports year-round, with lighter volumes during the summer. Chile  comes in primarily during the fall and  winter months. The length of the California season is largely determined by the size of the crop but typically is spring and summer and can continue well into fall on a large crop year. This year, the California crop will wane in the latter part of August and be mostly finished by September. Peru’s season is similar to that of California.

Shipping much smaller volumes to the United States are New Zealand and Dominican Republic.

Because the United States is “a very large market that is also growing very rapidly, it is attractive” to other producing countries as well, who are hoping to gain access. Columbia and South Africa are currently working their way through that process with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, although that is likely to take some time, Escobedo said. “Those certifications don’t happen overnight.”

A HAB tracking study of 4,400 grocery shoppers over the age of 25, over a period of 10 years or so, shows that two-thirds of U.S. consumers “have purchased avocados for home use,” Escobedo said. “Heavy and super-heavy avocado users represent 60 percent of all avocado users” but they consume about 92 percent of the avocados, “so these users are critical to driving the business. They are familiar with the product and know how to use it,” but they also “want to know more about how to use it and the variety of uses to which avocados can be put.”

HAB is continuing with its “Love One Today” marketing nutrition program designed both to raise consumption of avocados in the United States and to serve as “a uniform platform” for the organizations representing various points of origin that are promoting avocados in the U.S. market.

“We try to emphasize the points that are most relevant to consumers so the message is clear and consistent” across all marketing campaigns, regardless of origin, Escobedo said.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Lighter California Hass avocado crop will mean more compressed shipping season

Hass avocado trees tend to be alternate bearing, so after a 505 million-pound crop in 2013, one of the larger harvests on record, it is no surprise that the 2014 California avocado crop is expected to be significantly smaller. What is, perhaps, surprising is that last year’s California crop was not lighter, inasmuch as the prior year’s crop was also extremely large, making two big crop years in a row.

The 2014 crop, while “on the lighter side, is within the range of what would be considered a normal or average size crop,” said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission in Irvine, CA.20-CalAvos-CropThe 2014 California avocado crop is lighter by 40 percent than the previous two years, and volume will be concentrated over a shorter shipping season. (Photo by Rand Green)

The commission’s pre-season estimate for this year’s crop was 325 million pounds. That figure was adjusted downward somewhat as the early harvest got under way. “The number we have agreed to use is about 300 million pounds,” although some think it may be a little shorter than that, DeLyser said March 14.

With an aggregate volume of around 1.7 billion pounds of Hass avocados expected in the United States from all sources over the course of the year, “from what the handlers are telling me, it sounds like the western regions will be the focus of their sales efforts with California fruit this year,” DeLyser said.

In contrast to last year, when the shipping season for California fruit started early and ran late, the season this year is expected to be much more condensed, with the preponderance of the crop will come off during the months of May through August. Due to the shorter marketing window, the weekly flow of California fruit to core western markets during that condensed shipping period is not expected to be significantly less than it was the prior year when the larger crop was spread out over a much longer period.

Most handlers of California fruit will supplement their California crops with fruit from one or more other sources, most notably Mexico and Peru, during the California season, with much of that fruit going to customers in the eastern part of the United States. They will assure customers of year-round supplies by offering fruit mainly from Mexico and Peru during other seven months.

For most of the year, aggregate weekly volume is expected to be similar to last year, but as demand continues to rise, most marketers expect prices to remain strong.

Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA, which represents fruit from all producing countries, told The Produce News March 24 that the month of May could “get a little tricky,” in that aggregate volume that month could be down compared to last year, but he expected that situation to “recover a little bit” in June and July.

Several factors other than market considerations will affect the timing of the harvest for some growers this year. One of those is routine cultural practices such as early size picking to reduce the load on the tree in order to give a boost to next year’s crop. As of mid-May, many California avocado groves were already in bloom with the blossoms that will produce the 2015 crop.

The biggest concern for the current season, however, is water availability, and the high cost of what water is available, as avocado growing areas are increasingly affected by a severe drought now going into its third year in California.

“We are seeing some harvesting taking place now … in a light way,” said DeLyser. Some of that is from growers who are “looking to conserve water.”

“We are very concerned with the current drought emergency,” said Ken Melban, director of issues management for the California Avocado Commission. In Riverside and San Diego counties, some avocado growers “find themselves in a situation where they are able to get water, but it just remains very costly,” at “upwards of $ 1,200 an acre-foot.” Normally, seasonal rains would have greatly reduced the necessity of buying water, but throughout the winter and spring this season there has only been one rain event with any significant amount of precipitation.

Further north, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, “they have their own challenges,” he said. Some growers are entirely reliant on wells with water tables that have dropped during the years of drought, and in some cases the wells have dried up. In some instances, growers have harvested early and stumped back their trees hoping there will be enough water next year for the trees to re-grow. Other growers expect to harvest early before they run out of water, or just to reduce water costs for the season.

Overall, however, “we are still expecting a good supply of California-grown avocados,” although the window will be shortened for some, he said.

If the drought continues another year, “it becomes very concerning” he said.

In general, however, most growers this year “are not in any hurry” to pick their fruit, said Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales at Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA, March 18. Waiting longer to harvest will allow the smaller fruit to size. Also, growers are hoping to realize better prizes by being patient.

Last year’s shipping season for Calavo’s California avocados was March through October, Wedin said. This year, the company is looking at shipping most of its California fruit from the latter part of April through August and expects to have “very good supplies” during that time.

Green Earth Produce Trading Inc. in Los Angeles expects a “pretty solid supply” May through August,” with “some volume available come mid-April,” according to Gahl Crane, director of avocado operations. “We will have some very good size fruit, which is going to be important for the demand that is right around the corner,” he said March 25.

Small-sized fruit, resulting from the heavy load on the trees, was a concern last year. This year, “there appears to be bigger fruit on the trees because there is less fruit per tree,” said Bob Lucy, president of Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. in Fallbrook, CA, March 19. The drought has negatively affected size, however, “If we had had a wet winter, you would have seen a lot more big fruit. Rain water really sizes up fruit,” he said.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Lighter California Hass avocado crop will mean more compressed shipping season

Hass avocado trees tend to be alternate bearing, so after a 505 million-pound crop in 2013, one of the larger harvests on record, it is no surprise that the 2014 California avocado crop is expected to be significantly smaller. What is, perhaps, surprising is that last year’s California crop was not lighter, inasmuch as the prior year’s crop was also extremely large, making two big crop years in a row.

The 2014 crop, while “on the lighter side, is within the range of what would be considered a normal or average size crop,” said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission in Irvine, CA.20-CalAvos-CropThe 2014 California avocado crop is lighter by 40 percent than the previous two years, and volume will be concentrated over a shorter shipping season. (Photo by Rand Green)

The commission’s pre-season estimate for this year’s crop was 325 million pounds. That figure was adjusted downward somewhat as the early harvest got under way. “The number we have agreed to use is about 300 million pounds,” although some think it may be a little shorter than that, DeLyser said March 14.

With an aggregate volume of around 1.7 billion pounds of Hass avocados expected in the United States from all sources over the course of the year, “from what the handlers are telling me, it sounds like the western regions will be the focus of their sales efforts with California fruit this year,” DeLyser said.

In contrast to last year, when the shipping season for California fruit started early and ran late, the season this year is expected to be much more condensed, with the preponderance of the crop will come off during the months of May through August. Due to the shorter marketing window, the weekly flow of California fruit to core western markets during that condensed shipping period is not expected to be significantly less than it was the prior year when the larger crop was spread out over a much longer period.

Most handlers of California fruit will supplement their California crops with fruit from one or more other sources, most notably Mexico and Peru, during the California season, with much of that fruit going to customers in the eastern part of the United States. They will assure customers of year-round supplies by offering fruit mainly from Mexico and Peru during other seven months.

For most of the year, aggregate weekly volume is expected to be similar to last year, but as demand continues to rise, most marketers expect prices to remain strong.

Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board in Irvine, CA, which represents fruit from all producing countries, told The Produce News March 24 that the month of May could “get a little tricky,” in that aggregate volume that month could be down compared to last year, but he expected that situation to “recover a little bit” in June and July.

Several factors other than market considerations will affect the timing of the harvest for some growers this year. One of those is routine cultural practices such as early size picking to reduce the load on the tree in order to give a boost to next year’s crop. As of mid-May, many California avocado groves were already in bloom with the blossoms that will produce the 2015 crop.

The biggest concern for the current season, however, is water availability, and the high cost of what water is available, as avocado growing areas are increasingly affected by a severe drought now going into its third year in California.

“We are seeing some harvesting taking place now … in a light way,” said DeLyser. Some of that is from growers who are “looking to conserve water.”

“We are very concerned with the current drought emergency,” said Ken Melban, director of issues management for the California Avocado Commission. In Riverside and San Diego counties, some avocado growers “find themselves in a situation where they are able to get water, but it just remains very costly,” at “upwards of $ 1,200 an acre-foot.” Normally, seasonal rains would have greatly reduced the necessity of buying water, but throughout the winter and spring this season there has only been one rain event with any significant amount of precipitation.

Further north, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, “they have their own challenges,” he said. Some growers are entirely reliant on wells with water tables that have dropped during the years of drought, and in some cases the wells have dried up. In some instances, growers have harvested early and stumped back their trees hoping there will be enough water next year for the trees to re-grow. Other growers expect to harvest early before they run out of water, or just to reduce water costs for the season.

Overall, however, “we are still expecting a good supply of California-grown avocados,” although the window will be shortened for some, he said.

If the drought continues another year, “it becomes very concerning” he said.

In general, however, most growers this year “are not in any hurry” to pick their fruit, said Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales at Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA, March 18. Waiting longer to harvest will allow the smaller fruit to size. Also, growers are hoping to realize better prizes by being patient.

Last year’s shipping season for Calavo’s California avocados was March through October, Wedin said. This year, the company is looking at shipping most of its California fruit from the latter part of April through August and expects to have “very good supplies” during that time.

Green Earth Produce Trading Inc. in Los Angeles expects a “pretty solid supply” May through August,” with “some volume available come mid-April,” according to Gahl Crane, director of avocado operations. “We will have some very good size fruit, which is going to be important for the demand that is right around the corner,” he said March 25.

Small-sized fruit, resulting from the heavy load on the trees, was a concern last year. This year, “there appears to be bigger fruit on the trees because there is less fruit per tree,” said Bob Lucy, president of Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. in Fallbrook, CA, March 19. The drought has negatively affected size, however, “If we had had a wet winter, you would have seen a lot more big fruit. Rain water really sizes up fruit,” he said.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Hass Avocado Board schedules elections

The Hass Avocado Board, the Irvine, CA-based organization that promotes the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States, is scheduling its annual board elections for vacant domestic Hass avocado grower and Hass avocado importer members as well as alternate seats.

In mid-March, an announcement of open seats will be mailed to all eligible producers and importers of Hass avocados, with a deadline for receipt of nomination forms on April 16, 2014. HAB expects to mail ballots to producers and importers by May 5 with a May 30 deadline. New members and alternates appointed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary will be seated at the board meeting in November.

HAB also has reaffirmed its proactive policy of seeking board members who reflect the demographics of the avocado industry while supporting the board’s membership diversity goals.

“HAB has a history of making considerable efforts to emphasize the participation of qualified persons for board and positions without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status, or other basis protected by law,” Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the HAB, said in a press release. “Like many institutions, HAB benefits by having a broad and diverse membership, so we encourage women, minorities and persons with disabilities to seek nomination to the board and actively participate.”

In addition to regular monitoring of board composition, HAB will encourage diversity by publishing information about the policy prior to board elections, ensuring notification in internal and trade publications.

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Hass Avocado Board launches Spanish-language mark and website

The Hass Avocado Board announced Saborea Uno Hoy, its new Spanish-language mark and website to offer information to Hispanic consumers in the United States and encourage them to include fresh Hass avocados in their everyday meals.saborea prim tag

The new mark visually invites consumers to enjoy the avocado’s unique and satisfying flavor by including the words “aguacates frescos,” and highlights some of the Hass avocado’s nutritional benefits — “naturalmente grasas buenas + sin colesterol.”

The HAB’s first Spanish website, www.SaboreaUnoHoy.com, features nutritional and research information, tips and a great variety of recipes, all of which make it the new avocado information and recipe hub for Spanish-speaking health professionals and consumers.

Additionally, HAB enlisted renowned nutritionist Malena Perdomo as spokesperson of Saborea Uno Hoy in order to provide Hispanic consumers with expert advice and more ideas on how to use and enjoy fresh Hass Avocados.

Malena developed original recipes for the whole family, like chicken, black beans and avocado arepas with avocado dressing and pear baby puree; each recipe includes fresh Hass avocados.

“I’m delighted to be partnering with HAB in their effort to provide information to the Hispanic community in our own language,” Perdomo said in a press release. “The recipes I developed truly celebrate the richness of, and the culture behind, the avocado. For many Latinos, myself included, this rich ingredient reminds us of home, so it seemed only natural to create recipes that reflect our traditional foods.

“The taste of the avocado is one like no other, and for many Hispanics it’s a kitchen staple,” Perdomo added in the press release. “However, avocados also contribute naturally good fats to one’s diet and are cholesterol free. One-fifth of a medium avocado has 50 calories and contains nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, making it a good choice to help meet nutrient needs. And avocados are not just to be enjoyed by adults. The avocado’s smooth, creamy consistency makes it one of the first fresh foods a baby can enjoy.”

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Chile green lights the import of Peruvian Hass avocado without cold treatment

Chile green lights the import of Peruvian Hass avocado without cold treatment

Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture has approved the free access of Peruvian Hass avocados without cold treatment as had been requested by the Peru’s Hass Avocado Committee, the Financial Times reported.

Luis Mayol, Chile’s minister of agriculture, explained that they taken this decision because they hadn’t had any virus events since the SAG begun preventive control.

“Chile has to respect its phytosanitary patrimony, but keeping in mind that it’s an open country and that it has to be respectful of international market rules,” he said.

“We have earned a huge reputation for being a serious country, which protects its health whilst meeting WTO international standards,” he said and, in turn, justified the measure as the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) will continue taking action to prevent the spread of this pest.

“We have to be consistent and respectful of international trade rules,” he said. “The United States has been exporting to Chile for the past 14 years and we’ve never had events. We mustn’t expose ourselves to a WTO panel,” he added.

SAG ‘s decision was taken after a meeting between Mayol and the president of the Hass Avocado Committee, Aldolfo Ochagavía. The alternative proposed by the Hass Avocado Committee to submit a certification for 4% of the surface of avocados from Peru was also ruled out during the meeting.

The decision had already been taken as it wasn’t being applied to the imports from other countries, such as Mexico and the United States, which wouldn’t be willing to agree with this, he said.

The Committee’s view

In turn, Adolfo Ochagavia, President of the Avocado Committee regretted the decision to allow imports of Peruvian avocados and expressed concern for the country’s producers’ orchard’s integrity.

“We’re very concerned. We were informed that they had already made a decision,” said Ochagavía, justifying the measure against the entry of Peruvian products as a defence of the country’s phytosanitary patrimony.”

“We favour trade and we need foreign supply in low season,” he said.

Source: Agraria.pe

Publication date: 9/30/2013


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