Kakuzi farms 408 Hectares of avocado producing and exporting both Fuerte and Hass cultivars. The Hass season runs from June to mid-September with Fuerte starting a little earlier in March/April.
In 2011 Oxfarm exported 3,280 tons of Hass and 1,245 tons of Fuerte.
Kakuzi produces the Hass variety of avocado which is in high demand in European Union (EU) markets. This cultivar is termed a “dark skinned” avocado as it turns dark purple when ready to eat. The majority of our Hass exports (70%) are exported to France, while 15% goes to the UK with the balance distributed through other EU countries, Switzerland and Scandinavia. The temperate climate is perfectly suited to high quality avocado production and our Hass product is known for its good taste and eating quality.
Kakuzi is also continuously looking to expand and develop further Hass avocado out growers. Kakuzi currently has 1200 acres under this initiative and further growth in production is planned.
The other avocado cultivar in Kenya is Fuerte which is grown by Smallholders. This cultivar is termed a “green skin” as the skin remains green as it becomes ripe and ready for eating. Kakuzi buys and exports Fuerte from Smallholders purchasing 1,245 tonnes in 2011. We work closely with Smallholders to improve quality and reliability of supply.
All of our own production is Global Gap, Tesco’s Natures and Rain forest Alliance accredited while the Avocado Pack house is FSSC 22000 accredited.
AVOCADO PACK HOUSES
At Kakuzi’s Avocado Pack house all avocados are graded to eliminate fruit with physical quality defects such as insect and wind damage, bruising and sunburn and the fruit is also weight sized. Fruit is packed into cartons with net weights of either 4 kg or bulk packs of 8 kg. Packed fruit is then placed in cold rooms to cool in preparation for shipping in refrigerated 40ft containers to Europe. The time taken from picking and packing to reaching the European market is 30 days on average.