California-grown avocados have been shipped directly to China for the first time.
The initial consignment was coordinated by Oxnard-based Mission Produce and its partner Mr Avocado, one of China’s leading avocado brands.
“Mission was the first to send avocados to China from Peru, Chile and Colombia – and now we’re the first to send from California,” said Steve Barnard, chief executive and founder of Mission Produce.
John Wang, chief executive of Mr Avocado, said market access for California avocados in China was the result of years of coordination, negotiation and planning between the California Avocado Commission, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the government of China.
The move is set to grow the market for premium avocados in China.
"Sourcing from the premium source of California will open more opportunity for Chinese retailers to capitalize on the lucrative and healthy avocado,” said Wang. “California avocados are high quality in late winter to early spring, which hits the market in perfect time to allow consumers the ability to enjoy a great tasting piece of fruit year-round.”
Transit time from California to China is 14-16 days by sea and one day by air.
California avocados will be available at Ole, Rainbow Supermarket, Aldi China, JD.com, Seven Fresh and Pagoda stores throughout China.
The fruit will also be distributed to China wholesale markets through the Jiangnan Fruit Market in Guangzhou and the Huizhan Fruit Market in Shanghai.
Mission and Mr Avocado – who have been in partnership since 2017 – are the only shippers and receivers in China with one avocado brand from multiple growing countries.
“We were the first to see the opportunity in China and to pioneer avocado consumption in the market,” said Thomas Padilla, senior director of export sales of Mission Produce. “Increasing our presence in China increases our access to one of the most booming importers of US agriculture in the world.”