- NSE-listed agribusiness Kakuzi says it has secured pre-shipment approvals from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) for its second fresh avocado shipment to China
- Kakuzi said it would ship several 20-foot container loads to China by sea before the end of this week as demand for quality Kenyan avocado fresh fruits continues to grow
- Kenya is currently China’s only approved African source market for fresh Avocado fruits
Kakuzi Plc has secured pre-shipment approvals from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) for its second fresh avocado shipment to China.
On September 20, 2022, the Kenyan agribusiness firm said it would ship several 20-foot container loads to China by sea before the end of this week as demand for quality Kenyan avocado fresh fruits continues to grow.
Kenya is currently China’s only approved African source market for fresh Avocado fruits. Alongside Kenya, China counts several leading producers, including Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Chile, as the approved exporters, with Kenya enjoying a geographical advantage against its South American competitors.
Kakuzi PLC Managing Director Christopher Flowers said the containers were prepared and transferred to Mombasa over the weekend.
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.
“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.
He added, “In recent times, our order book with the Chinese buyers has been growing at an encouraging and steady pace. While we have a full order book from our existing customers, 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.”
Speaking from China, Kakuzi market agents HALLS Fresh Produce Representative Lifan Yu said the firm is sourcing its supplies from approved countries, including Chile, Peru, New Zealand and Mexico, using our Halls’ Responsibly Sourced Network’ of global partners who are carefully selected.
“This year, we started our supply programme with Kenya, who have finally received market access into China. We organised a first air-freight shipment straight from our partner Kakuzi, Kenya, to China in June. We have planned for sea-freight shipments for the rest of the year, which will arrive for October and November sales, in a period where we feel the market will have limited Chilean avocados,” Yu said.
The Chinese market, Yu said, clearly needs more supply of quality fruit and more options to enable consumers to purchase avocados 365 days a year at affordable prices. More consistent availability of quality fruit with the correct dry matter content is essential to ensure we encourage repeat purchases because they have a great taste experience.
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.
The development comes weeks after Kakuzi announced that its inaugural Hass Avocado export cargo to China had been sold-out in the quality-conscious market.
At the time, Flowers said the success of the inaugural export cargo to China had paved the way for the pre-export planning for a second load to be delivered in October.
The firm said it had also commenced plans to explore the Malaysian market as part of its market diversification strategy.
“The first Kakuzi Hass Avocado export load to China was sold-out some weeks ago, and we currently don’t have any stocks in the market. We, however, hope to deliver another quality load of Hass Avocados in October, and the necessary orchard preparations are currently underway as per the specific Chinese protocols,” Flowers said.
“Kenya has a very bright market future in China, which we believe will absorb larger volumes like other traditional European markets. However, to achieve this, we must strive to maintain quality standards and strict adherence to the specific Chinese protocols to market a competitive edge against other countries eyeing the lucrative market opportunity or already exporting to China.”
Under a tree-to-shelf marketing strategy, the firm, he assured, is strictly adhering to the Chinese protocols coupled with the renowned Kakuzi quality consistency.
Flowers noted that Chinese consumers and fruit marketing agents have proved to be highly discerning and quality conscious.
“The China fruit market is very advanced as far as consumption of agricultural commodities including superfoods such as Avocado is concerned. The regulatory entry process is stringent, and the consumers are extremely discerning and quality conscious. However, we are up to the task and commit to maintaining the Kakuzi quality consistency for all our exports to China, among other markets,” he assured.
In early September, Kenya-grown fresh avocado fruits sourced from Kakuzi were placed on sale at the largest fresh fruit wholesale market in East China. The premium quality fruits which had arrived in Shanghai, China, in late July were stocked at the Shanghai Huizhan Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market.