Value of the import and export of avocados in the Netherlands 2008-2021
Domestic consumption and re-export
The significant rise in the trade value of avocados in the Netherlands illustrates two developments. Firstly, the high import value shows an increase in the domestic consumption of avocados. To put the import value figure into perspective: the import value of bananas in 2021 was lower, measured at approximately 700 million euros. Secondly, the high export value underscores the crucial role of the port of Rotterdam as a gateway for overseas goods to the rest of Europe. In this regard, the ‘export value’ should be approached as a re-export value, meaning that the avocados were first imported from overseas and then exported to other markets. The actual avocado production in the Netherlands was minimal, most of them were originally exported from Mexico.
The avocado is popular around the world, not only in Europe. The American Culinary Federation named avocado toast as one of the leading trends in brunch items on restaurant menus in the US. However, these is a downside to the large-scale production of avocados in countries such as Mexico and Brazil: avocados are known to use a lot of water. In fact, the Dutch food center estimates that a kilo of avocados can need up to 2,000 liters of water, which is around 50 times as much water as a kilo of oranges would need.