We are pleased to announce that our next webinar on “Best post-harvest treatment for key crops. A deep dive with world known experts on Berries, avocados and other high value tropical fruits” will be taking place in May.
Horticultural exports are booming, with an increasing participation of Southern countries. Avocados, berries, apples, apricots, and bananas are in the top 5 positions of world horticulture exports (FAO stat 2019). The need for year-round availability and the interest in new exotic produce maintain northern regions, such as Europe, with a continuous dependence on external suppliers. Most of the opportunities for African countries are around specific market windows and in the landed cost lower than Latin American as well as-and in the growing demand for avocados, blueberries, mangoes, and sweet potatoes, among others.
For instance, avocado and blueberries have a fast growth in demand and prices, with the largest returns, becoming now the top preferred crops to be traded for many African countries. Demand is predicted to keep growing as they are considered “superfruits,” highly demanded by millennials and the far east. These fruits are no longer limited to the food industry, but also increasing demand in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors, creating new business avenues.
Many avocado producers and exporters see blueberries as an opportunity for expansion and diversification and securing faster growth and profits.
However, the competition is often fierce for these products, with more strict requirements from Northern countries therefore, putting pressure on exporters to deliver at its optimum quality level and with a shelf life at last mile that is hard to obtain without a properly designed and dimensioned farm post-harvest infrastructure. Prices are particularly sensitive according to availability and market demand, season, origin and quality.
Avocado and blueberries are retail products that require scale, professional cultivation and large investments in post-harvest management applying the importance of pre-cooling and cold chain infrastructure. They must be cooled directly after harvest and a perfect cold chain must maintain fruit quality and successfully reach export quality grade. A few hours of delay in precooling might result in losing a double digit of the harvested value.
Both quantitative and qualitative losses occur at all stages in the post-harvest handling system of the distribution chain (from harvesting, through handling, packing, storage, and transportation). Post-harvest losses are mostly attributed to improper temperature management and humidity control, unsuitable handling methods and storage time, among others.
The focus of this webinar is to identify the most common challenges around post-harvest management of high value export crops, while presenting good practices and the adoption of appropriate and novel post-harvest technologies that assures the most favorable conditions to extend storage life, retain quality and nutritional attributes of the fruit.
Date: 13th May 2021, 4.00-5.30pm CET, 5.00-6.30pm EAT