The world’s largest avocado crop has become the first to have been certified organic and has been given the green light to sell its products in supermarkets and other retail outlets.
The avocado is the second crop of its kind in the UK and is one of the world’s most widely grown fruits, making it the first avocado grown under the EU Organic label.
“It’s a major breakthrough for the UK, because it is the first UK crop to have an organic certification,” said Professor Mark Glynn, the director of the National Centre for Agricultural Research at the University of Liverpool.
“That’s a huge achievement, especially because it’s not just one crop.”
The UK’s avocado crop is estimated to be worth £12.5bn, according to the UK’s Food Standards Agency, and about half of that is exported to other countries.
“Avocados are the number one food for people in Africa and Asia,” said Mark Glynne, the British researcher who led the study.
“They are the most popular food in South East Asia, they are the best-tasting fruit and they are one of Europe’s best-selling vegetables.”
The EU Organic certification was launched in 2018.
It requires that all avocado products contain no more than 70% organic ingredients.
“In the UK there is no organic certification for avocados, but there are a few that have organic certification, like avocado and avocado oil,” said Glynn.
“We have been looking at the organic certification process for some time, but until now we had not seen an avocado crop that had it.”
The first UK avocado crop was planted in 2006, and was certified organic by the UK Food Standards Authority in 2012.
The EU certified the UK avocado, which is now being sold as a “certified fruit” at some supermarkets.
The UK is the only EU country where the EU has a single certification system for avaccinoids.
Glynn said the UK had already seen the benefits of organic certification.
“The benefits are there, the benefits are real, and it is making a big difference for people who have asthma and allergies,” he said.
“There is a huge reduction in the number of children being diagnosed with asthma and there is a reduction in children having food intolerances.”
The results of the EU study are published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The EU’s certification system is voluntary, so the EU does not require that companies pay fees for organic certification to gain access to the EU market.
“One of the big issues is that we don’t know how long this certification will last.
It may last 10 or 20 years or it may not last at all, but it is very important that it is sustainable for consumers,” said Gillian Glynnes, director of policy and research at the British Avocado Council.”
People need to make decisions for themselves and make sure they are buying products that are grown and produced in a way that is safe and sustainable for them.”
The certification system has proved very popular with consumers.
A total of 11 million tonnes of avocado produce were certified organic in the first six months of 2017, up from 3.5 million tonnes in the same period a year earlier.
The UK has now made it easier for consumers to purchase avocadas.
The British Avocados Council estimates that about one-third of UK consumers will now be buying avocadis and the number will increase to two-thirds by 2020.