In former times we knew it only as Westfalia Estates. Now, known as Westfalia Fruit, it has become fully international, with production virtually around the world and strong global marketing organisations.

Westfalia Fruit has just announced that it is expanding its now expanding its operations into India where it will supply local markets, retailers and wholesale markets with locally produced avocados and avocados from its global network of farms.

Fredo has visited Westfalia Estate, the iconic avocado farm established by Dr Hans Merensky, near Tzaneen in the north of South Africa. We spent time with such characters as Louis Vorster and Zach Bard in the rolling hills and Valleys near Magoebaskloof. We also visit the water streams and viewed the conservation efforts of Dr Merensky – even in the founding years of the Estate when the region was wild and untamed.

Now, says Westfalia Fruit, it is introducing Hass avocados in India and also other internationally accepted varieties that suit the Indian climate. It has partnered with Sam Agri to incorporated a Joint-Venture company – West In Avo India Limited.

Sam Agri is a well-known Indian company agri-business with more than 25 years of experience in integrated operations involving growing, processing and marketing of fresh produce.

Joint venture started

The Joint Venture partners have also roped in Dvori Or, an Israel based nursery that combines the best of Avocado nursery expertise.

“We are global avocado experts in a very specialised industry that requires deep knowledge and experience. We are excited to bring to India our expertise in every part of the value chain from nurseries and growing techniques to producing the best quality product to put on the supermarket shelves,” said Zac Bard, Executive Global Farming, growers, and commercial nurseries for Westfalia.

“The growing and marketing expertise of Westfalia coupled with the Nursery expertise of Dvori Or will help realize our vision to make Avocado available on every Indian table” added GVK Naidu, Managing Director, Sam Agri.

The deal will also benefit imported avocados from Tanzania. During Indian’s off-season months Westfalia will import avocados from their farms in Tanzania to maintain year-round availability for the developing market. “We believe that the short transit time with a regular supply of good quality avocados creates the right conditions to see rapid growth in the Indian market and compliment the developing local production in India,” says Zac Bard.

Africa – for that matter, Southern Africa, and as far as Kenya, are becoming well-known on the world avocado stage. Kenya is along with South Africa the leading producers on the continent. Tanzania and Mozambique are expanding and Tanzania now supplies its fruit to South Africa during the summer months when South Africa normally – in the past – would have imported avo’s from Spain and Israel. Kenya even got access to China, but our information indicate that it is a very tough deal in sterri with only one company being able to meet requirements.

Now African avocados – from Tanzania – will also grace the tables of Indian consumers in India – all thanks to the efforts of Westfalia Fruit – and our friends Zac Bard