Industry is confident of achieving long-time goal of access to China following assessment of export facilities

Hass avocados

The South African avocado industry completed some of the final steps required to export avocados to China and industry sources believe access is on the horizon.

The industry welcomed the virtual assessment of avocado packing facilities and systems conducted by Chinese and South African officials the week starting 17 April.

Derek Donkin – chief executive of Subtrop, the South African subtropical growers’ association – said official access is expected to follow soon.

“We are delighted with progress and hope that the final signatures will now be added quickly to implement what will be a major breakthrough for South Africa,” said Donkin.

Donkin said gaining access to China would help with the efforts to diversify avocado supply around the world’s markets. Once the China hurdle is completed the South African industry is expected to focus on gaining access to India next, a process Donkin said has been slow going so far. 

“We are ready and have submitted all the documentation required,” he said. 

The experiences of the South African pear industry will remind the avocado industry that the time between final inspections and putting pen to paper on the final protocol can face delays.

However, it seems that there is now much urgency in the matter as the governments of both countries are keen to develop trade under the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) trade block, which will hold its annual summit in South Africa later this year.