Producer from the inside of São Paulo turns into avocado queen and earns R$ 50 million
Last year, the farm, in Bauru (SP), produced 5 thousand tons of the fruit, exported to 8 countries; producer shows family guacamole recipe and avocado production system
At the age of four, rural producer Ligia Carvalho was already helping her parents, Paulo Leite de Carvalho and Maria Cristina Falanghe Carvalho, to pack the fruit produced on the family’s farm, Jaguacy. At the time, the property, located in Bauru, in the interior of São Paulo, covered 20 hectares and produced tropical avocados.
Keeping an eye on market trends, the family started growing avocados in 1981. “My parents were visionaries,” says Ligia, who is now responsible for the marketing area and the company’s spokesperson. “At the time, there was already demand for avocados in Europe, although few Brazilian producers were aware of this”.
Aware of the potential of the international market, the family decided to send a letter to the French government, in the early 80’s, to try to open the doors of European retailers and importers to the avocados produced in the interior of São Paulo. With demand on the rise in Europe, the first orders for purchases of the fruit grown by the Carvalho did not take long to appear.
Today, the Jaguacy farm is considered the largest producer and exporter of avocados in Brazil. In 2021, it produced 5 thousand tons of fruit on more than 800 hectares in the interior of São Paulo and exported 110 containers — the company accounts for almost 80% of Brazilian avocado shipments. Jaguacy has also invested in the production of guacamole and olive oil extracted from avocado pulp. Together, these products represent more than 5% of the company’s sales.
The billing reaches 50 million reais per year today, five times more than the result achieved ten years ago. This year, the expectation is to reach 56.6 million reais in sales. Strategic planning provides for portfolio diversification and investments in products made from avocado.
Jaguacy intends to start exporting Guacamole to Europe from the end of this year. “It is a highly promising market that can pave the way for our international growth,” says Ligia. Currently, the company exports the fresh fruit to countries in the European Union, Canada and the Middle East, especially the United Arab Emirates, as well as Uruguay and Argentina.
The domestic market also continues to expand. “Consumption in Brazil has increased by about 20% in recent years and should continue to grow”, says Ligia. The area under cultivation has grown exponentially — from 1,000 hectares in 2016 to 9,000 hectares last year, according to Associação Avocados do Brasil. Today, production is almost 300 thousand tons per year. “Avocado became popular among Brazilians, including because of its nutritional properties”.