For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Thursday 7th August 2008, 19:05 Hong Kong

'Historic' moment for Californian berries

The authorities in China have allowed the first ever shipment of Californian strawberries to enter the Olympic Village

'Historic' moment for Californian berries

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Californian strawberries have landed on Chinese shores for the first time this week following their approval by the Chinese authorities for use in the Olympic village.

The California Strawberry Commission (CSC) revealed that the fruit, which was harvested at the weekend in preparation, has been inspected by the China General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) to ensure it meets food safety standards.

Mary DeGroat of the CSC told the press that inspectors analysed 50 trays of berries, a process that took nearly 12 hours, before allowing them to proceed to the Olympic Village. "It is a historic moment for us", she said.

"After an initial review and quality checks in Beijing, California strawberries will continue to enter the country and will be available throughout the entire Olympics," said Mark Murai, president of the CSC.

The fruit will be served at Beijing Olympic Village eateries, the USA House and the US High Performance Centre.

"I commend China for providing the world's greatest athletes with healthy diet options, and I look forward to a continued dialogue on gaining permanent market access for California grown strawberries," said California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "As governor of this great state, I am committed to promoting and will continue to campaign for our world-renowned products and services."

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