Green gold, perfectly ripened

Avocados – the berries full of good fats are conquering the shelves of food stores across the world. And making all this possible are transports in refrigerated containers and the experience of our reefer experts.

The avocado is regarded as a superfood and nutrient bomb. When it reaches its ideal ripeness, it has a pudding-like smoothness and slightly sweet taste. Fueled by the growing nutritional awareness of Americans and Europeans, demand for imported avocados grew by an average of 14 percent per year between 2009 and 2018, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The vast majority of avocados are transported in so-called Controlled Atmosphere (CA) containers. “In this case, a change in the composition of the air can give added assistance to the already fresh-keeping effect in the refrigerated container,” explains Michaela Steineker, Head of Reefer Competence at Hamburg Süd. “The oxygen content is intentionally reduced, the carbon-dioxide content is increased, and the ripening gas emitted from the avocados is removed – all of which slows down the ripening and aging process of the fruits more than cooling does by itself.”

The lion’s share of these fruits is harvested in Latin America and the Caribbean. In fact, the roughly 3 million metric tons of avocados that come from the region every year make up approximately 70 percent of global production. More than half of them are exported – at a combined annual value of USD 3.5 billion Dollar. But the avocado boom has also put producers in other parts of the world in a gold-digger mood. South Africa, Australia, Spain and Israel are avidly producing for the global market.

All these suppliers are currently benefiting from the boom in demand in Asia. China’s growing middle class, in particular, has discovered this trendy fruit, and the prospects for exporters are good. “The Chinese have just now acquired a taste for it,” says Rafael Del Solar, Hamburg Süd’s Sales Manager in the Peruvian city of Lima.


Are you also looking to import or export temperature-sensitive fresh produce? If so, we invite you to contact our Global Reefer Competence Team . Our experts will provide you with personalized service tailored to your needs. You can also find a lot of valuable information in our reefer brochure .

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March 2, 2020