Approximately 7,000 hectares and an expected yield of almost
100,000 tons of fruit.
Growing areas: Along the Coastal Plain from Rosh Hanikra in the North down to the Gaza belt district. In addition, orchards may be seen in Israel’s hinterland such as the Jordan Valley and the Upper Galilee (Eastern Valleys). The percentage of avocado growing along the coast is 70% while the remaining 30% grows in the Eastern Valleys; most of the avocados are grown on kibbutzim (collective settlements) while a much smaller proportion are grown by Moshavim (cooperative villages).
Varieties by season: The avocado season opens with the Galil variety and is soon followed by Ettinger, Hass and Fuerte and Pinkerton, while Reed is picked last.
Produce ripening seasons: The Galil variety ripens in September, while Ettinger is picked from September to January, Hass from November to March, the Pinkerton variety from December to February, the Fuerte variety from November to March and finally the Reed variety from March to May. The ripening seasons vary according to the orchard’s age and its geographic location.
Description of avocado types: Hass is a black-colored avocado type and the highest in demand globally. The green varieties include Ettinger, Pinkerton, Fuerte and Reed. All avocado varieties are eaten in Israel; the Galil variety is sold in the markets already in August, while Ettinger appears on the market a month later.
Harvest size: This year’s harvest is expected to reach almost 100,000 tons, most of which is earmarked for export – 70% – while the rest – 30% – is put on sale in the local market.
Export destinations and competitors: The main export destinations are France, UK, Germany, theNetherlands and the Scandinavian countries. Furthermore, the fruit is exported to almost all the European countries and quite a large quantity goes to Russia. There is considerable global competition especially from Peru and Chile.
The industry’s standards: Existing European standards are maintained and these are a prerequisite for exports (Global G.A.P.). All the fruit for export must be packed at packing houses which meet the European standards.
Avocado exporting companies: The leading exporters are Galillee Export and Mehadrin Tnuport Exports Ltd. Galilee Export runs a packing house known as Milopri (Western Galilee) whereas Mehadrin Tnuport Exports Ltd. markets the avocado packed by the Granot packing house.
Global market share: Israeli avocado has an important share of the European market and the country’s geographic proximity constitutes an important advantage. The fruit can be transported by sea cargo in refrigerated containers. It takes 4-5 days for the fruit sent by ship in refrigerated containers to reach the market in Europe, whereas it takes between 10 days and two weeks for the competitors’ produce to reach the same markets.
Projects in the industry: The Ministry of Agriculture and the Volcani Institute are managing a joint project to upgrade avocado varieties and come up with varieties similar to Hass that are in greater demand globally, in contrast to the green types, for which demand is lower. Developments in pest control have led to the application of Integrated Pest Management in Israeli avocado orchards and the consequent elimination of all chemical spraying.
Source: Reuven Dor, Coordinator for the Avocado section at the Fruit department
of the Plants Production and Marketing Board