A new avocado partnership between the Fresca Group and Colombian producers will see a surge in Hass volumes for the UK and Europe.
Headed up by Paul Frowde, Cartama UK, is a joint venture between the leading Colombian Hass growers and Fresca, and is the result of an eight-year trading relationship.
He tells PBUK how the new enterprise creates a different and powerful proposition to suit the retail, wholesale and foodservice sectors, that will keep pace with UK and European demand for avocado.
“We’ve been working with Cartama in Colombia for some eight years now. Forming this joint venture links us in partnership more closely and formally, and gives both partners the continuing confidence that we’re working on long-term goals together,” he says.
“It’s a combination of a number of things that mean forming Cartama UK is the right move for both Fresca and Cartama. Cartama in Colombia has exceptional product quality along with enormous potential for growth in planted area and yield.
“They also have the continuity and very unusual ability to harvest for 11 months of the year which sets their production apart from other growing regions. Colombia is a country with a progressive and welcoming trade development policy, and with fast, reliable shipping options to the UK.”
Frowde says that avocados in Colombia grow naturally for the majority of the year close to rainforest regions so there is no need for artificial irrigation, and pest control is at a minimum because the trees grow at different altitudes which prolongs the season.
The specific Hass growing conditions in the country have led to strong demand for high quality, year-round Colombian avocados in global markets, he says, and there is no sign of demand slowing down. Kantar Worldpanel data shows a 30% growth rate per year in the UK.
“We believe the growth in consumer demand in the UK will continue. We also see an opportunity to service a wider European customer base and will have sufficient volumes to do so going forward,” Frowde adds.
“Cartama UK has significant growth plans and a long term strategy.
“The high fruit volumes from Cartama UK add to and complement our existing supply base for avocados.”
The product is shipped from Colombia and received via Portsmouth and London Gateway port with a typical transit time of 16 days. Frowde says Cartama is a well-known name in the industry and avocado volumes are often supplied in own-brand boxes to the UK and will be supplied to a mixture of retail, wholesale and foodservice customers.
“This union between our companies is formalising what has already been in place for some time. It’s a partnership between two companies who share the vision of providing the best quality Hass avocados to the UK and Europe,” adds Cartama general manager, Ricardo Uribe.