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First Ever Shipment of Californian Avocados Reaches China by Air

March 23, 2021

On March 15, Mission Produce announced that it had joined hands with its Chinese partner Mr. Avocado to bring the first ever shipment of Californian avocados to China. A total of 3,000 boxes of avocados from this shipment arrived in Shanghai and were scheduled to start reaching various retail outlets on March 20 after completion of the ripening process.

To get a first-hand account of this delivery, Produce Report interviewed Mr. Avocado and learned that California stands out in terms of avocado quality among the various avocado-producing regions in the United States. According to the company, the avocados in this shipment have clean skin, high oil content, strong fragrance and excellent taste. To ensure food safety for consumers, the avocados were first subjected to the strengthened inspection and quarantine measures that the Chinese government has implemented since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The distribution channels will include the giant fresh fruit retail chain Pagoda, Guangzhou’s Jiangnan Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market, and Shanghai’s Huizhan Fruit and Vegetable Market.

Mission Produce, the exporter of this shipment, is a U.S.-listed avocado company headquartered in Oxnard, California. The company’s founder Steve Barnard said that Mission Produce had taken the lead in delivering avocados from Peru, Chile and Colombia to China in the past and now it had also successfully set the stage for the debut of Californian avocados in China. In 2017, the company also established the first ever avocado-specific ripening center in China.

Mr. Avocado, a brand established in 2016, is a joint venture between dominant global avocado supplier Mission Produce, China’s biggest avocado importer Lantao International, and Pagoda, the world’s largest fruit specialty chain store. John Wang, the brand’s CEO, remarked that Californian avocados, which reach their peak in terms of fruit quality in early spring, are a very good choice for those Chinese consumers who demand year-round access to premium avocados.

U.S. avocados gained official market access to China in late April 2020. According to the phytosanitary requirements set by China’s General Administration of Customs, these avocados must be of the Hass variety, commercial grade and grown in California. Exports to China can be conducted by either air or sea. Among all of the avocado suppliers granted export approval to China, California enjoys the shortest transit time — only one day via air and 14–16 days via sea.

To date, avocados from nine countries, namely, Mexico, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, Kenya, Colombia, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and the United States, have been granted market access to China. However, China’s imported avocado market shows a trend of fierce competition between Peru, Chile and Mexico. Avocados from Peru, Chile, New Zealand and the Philippines enjoy the advantage of duty-free exports to China, whereas the tariff rate imposed on Mexican and Colombian avocados is 7%. Chinese imports of U.S. avocados are currently subject to various retaliatory tariffs, with the total tariff rate as high as 52%. After obtaining tariff exclusions, the total tariff applied to Californian avocados is 25%.

Image: Mr. Avocado

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.


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