Westfalia Fruit Iberia is a partnership between GRANFER and the multinational Westfalia Fruit, based in South Africa. Both companies have joined forces to create an agricultural project located on the Alentejo coast, about 10 km from Alcácer do Sal, a region with a characteristically subtropical climate, in line with the protected area of the Natura network that surrounds it.
Avocados are the product produced on the 150 hectares planted on the farm. This little known fruit in Portugal comes from the Americas, more specifically from Mexico, where it is king both in production and in per capita consumption. This unusual fruit is essentially made up of fat, proteins, fibre and practically devoid of carbohydrates.
Due to its nutritional value, the avocado is considered a superfood, due to its high content in Omega 3, potassium and low levels of sugar (suitable for diabetics).
The dominant variety in the project is the Hass. Considered the variety par excellence in the global market, it is characterized by its rough skin and dark colouring only when ripe.
The flesh is green next to the skin, progressively yellowing towards the single seed in the centre of the fruit. The texture of the pulp at the correct point of ripeness is creamy and the flavour is intense (pine nut).
The avocado tree is a deciduous tree, meaning that it keeps its foliage even during the cold season. As such, it is sensitive to climatic phenomena such as frost that can damage the trees and/or production. Therefore, the WHTN project has installed a sprinkler system to protect the orchard from these events. Irrigation is carried out by low flow drip fertigation and monitored by soil moisture sensorstogether they allow efficient and sustainable irrigation of the orchard without wasting water or fertiliser. As the avocado is a fruit that only begins the ripening process after being harvested, it can have long harvesting periods, from November to April. Although it has little Portuguese tradition, the avocado is a fruit that is expanding globally, with more and more fans. The avocado is also promoted by social networks, being the most photographed fruit on them, with a special focus on a more active and healthy lifestyle.
According to the American Heart Association, two servings of avocado a week can reduce the risk of heart attack by up to 21%.
Have you had yours?”