Exporter plans to airlift 150 tonnes of avocado to Europe


IT is all smiles for Tanzania’s avocado growers following plans by the Taha Fresh Handling Ltd (TFHL) to airlifting the fruits to Europe starting November, this year.

TFHL General Manager, Mr Amani Temu said yesterday that his company will commence air lifting avocado fruits from Tanzania through Royal Dutch airline (KLM) and that avocado growers are set to benefit from the business.

Mr Temu said the first consignment is expected to be 20 tonnes and that the idea is to airlift all the 150 tonnes of Tanzania’s avocado fruit production at the short season of November December.

“We normally produce avocado in two seasons per year. Peak season is from MarchSeptember, when TFHL exports 4,400 tonnes through sea. During this season the demand for the avocado is rather modest. However, in NovemberDecember short season it’s an opportune moment for Tanzania’s growers because the European market is usually hungry for avocado,” said Mr Temu.

He added that the airfreight model will save Tanzania’s avocado growers freight time as it will reduce from 40 days when using sea freight from farm to European markets to just three days.

“We want to make sure that our avocado reach the market at the most apt time when the market is extremely hungry for the fruit to maximize profits for our farmers,” TFHL boss explains.

Since 2009, the number of avocado growers has increased. The export is expected to reach more than 2,000 tons by 2019. Imports of fresh avocados to the European market have increased from 186,000 tonnes in 2011 to 343,000 tonnes in 2015.

This upward trend is driven by consumer demand for convenience and health food. It creates opportunities for new producers and exporters, especially for the Hass avocado variety.

The best opportunities are in large consumer markets such as France, Germany, Spain and the UK, which are often supplied through the Netherlands.

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