Kenya’s integrated agro-business firm Kakuzi confirmed Tuesday it has secured pre-shipment approval from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), the country’s plant health regulatory agency, for its second fresh avocado shipment to China.
Kakuzi Managing Director Christopher Flowers said the company will be shipping several 20-foot container loads to China by sea before the end of this week amid a surge in demand for fresh Kenyan avocado.
“We received the pre-shipment clearance by KEPHIS last week and proceeded to load and dispatch the container to Mombasa over the weekend. The container is expected to leave the port of Mombasa for a 30-day voyage to China,” Flowers said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
The East African nation is currently enjoying a market advantage as it is the only approved African source market for fresh avocado fruits in China.
Flowers said shipments to China are providing much-needed growth leverage for Kenyan produce and Kakuzi as it seeks to enhance its markets and product diversification strategy.
He said the order book with the Chinese buyers has been growing at an encouraging and steady pace in recent days.
“While we have a full order book from our existing customers, an additional crop this year has enabled us to keep shipping at least one container weekly to China for the next two months even as the avocado harvest season ends,” Flowers said.
The export of fresh avocados to China follows the early January signing of two protocols to facilitate bilateral trade, mainly the export of avocados and aquatic products from Kenya to China.
Kakuzi market agent in China, Halls Fresh Produce Representative Yu Lifan, said the firm is sourcing its supplies from approved countries, including Chile, Peru, New Zealand, and Mexico, using Halls’ Responsibly Sourced Network of global partners who are carefully selected.
He said the Chinese market needs more supply of quality fruit and more options to enable consumers to purchase avocados 365 days a year at affordable prices. Enditem