Peru surged this year as an exporter of avocados, validating its national plan to seek non-traditional exports. It ranked as the second largest exporter in the world of this fruit called aguacate in Mexico and palta in South America.
A perfect combination of circumstances allowed the Andean country to rise several rankings. Its Hass avocados come on at the same time as those of California, the northern hemisphere’s summer, allowing it to be positioned to supplement the market of the US. This last summer, California’s production was unusually low due to drouth and to annual changes in how heavily its trees fruit. At the same time, production flagged in the giant of avocado consumption, Mexico.
As a result, the United State’s East Coast needed avocados and Peru’s fruit was available. The country has been expanding its plantings of Hass avocados and those trees came into production just as demand rose. Had it not been for Peru, the US east would have suffered a summer without much guacamole and other avocado products.
For its internal market, Peru raises Fuerte avocados, although Hass are starting to appear in supermarkets around the country and in local public markets. Peru also has other varieties of avocados available in Lima and different ones in its regions because the fruit varies widely as one of Peru’s indigenous products.
Nevertheless, both the Hass and the fuerte result from agronomic research and improvements to more traditional avocados. They are a product of agro industry and not of the small family farmer who produces other non-traditional exports such as cacao and coffee.