THE huge demand for avocados’ in the European Union (EU) market, which increased by 45 percent from US$760 million in 2011 to US$1,1 billion in 2014, presents an opportunity for Zimbabwean companies within the Fresh Fruit sector, ZimTrade has said.
The EU market accounts for a third of global imports of avocados, a market Zimbabwe is yet to fully explore. Currently, Peru accounts for 30 percent of Europe’s annual avocado imports.
Zimbabwe’s exports of avocado have increased by 400 percent from US$177 000 in 2012 to US$710 000 in 2014, driven mainly by large scale avocado producers from plantations in the Manicaland Province.
“Small scale avocado producers are encouraged to consolidate their orders if they are to penetrate markets in Europe,” said ZimTrade.
ZimTrade is a national trade development and promotion organisation which was established to spearhead the promotion of exports.
ZimTrade said avocado producers must meet the minimum EU technical requirements that protect consumers. These requirements are classified according to product safety, technical standardisation, packaging and labelling.
“ZimTrade is urging local companies to utilise the Zimbabwe-European Union Business Information Centre (Zim-EBIC) to obtain valuable information on the EU market,” they said.
The Zim-EBIC facility provides access to the EU Help Desk (http://exporthelp.europa.eu/), an online portal for technical requirements, potential buyers, import requirements, tariffs as well as non-tariff requirements such as packaging and labelling on the EU market.
Additionally, Zimbabwe is signatory to the interim Economic Partnership Agreement that confers duty free quota free access to the EU market to qualifying products including locally grown avocado.
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