ORLANDO, FLA. – A US-based trade group has been created to help market the sale of a produce commodity recently approved for export to the United States: Colombia avocados.

The Colombia Avocado Board is led by industry veteran William Watson, former executive director of the National Watermelon Promotion Board and the National Mango Board. Colombian avocado production gives US importers an additional unique and diverse source of hass avocados, Watson said. The board is funded by grower volume assessments and industry support. The Medellin, Colombia-based Corpohass trade group represents Colombia’s hass growers and exporters.

“As Colombian Hass avocados are new to the US, the Colombia Avocado Board will play an important role in bringing growers, exporters and importers together in a cohesive marketing effort which will benefit everyone throughout the distribution channel from growers all the way through to retailers, foodservice professionals and consumers,” Watson said.

Colombia growers harvest avocados through two harvesting seasons: October to March is the main season, with a secondary season of May through August.

As Colombian avocados become available for US consumers, the board is positioning itself to be the source of Colombia avocado information and promotional support, said Jim Donovan, board chairman and senior vice president of global Industry affairs for Mission Produce, Inc., Oxnard, Calif.

“Hass avocado growers and exporters in Colombia are smart to create the CAB to help the US trade and consumers better understand their crop and its role in the marketplace,” Donovan said. “As volume of hass avocados from Colombia will increase the diversity of crop options for retailers and foodservice operators in the U.S., the CAB will grow to be meet the needs of avocado marketers as they educate consumers of the benefits of Hass avocados.”