Kenya’s inaugural avocado export cargo to China sold out

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  • Kakuzi Plc’s inaugural Hass Avocado export cargo to China has been sold-out, paving the way for the pre-export planning for a second load to be delivered in October
  • The firm’s Managing Director Christopher Flowers revealed Kenya has a bright market future in China, which they believe will absorb larger volumes like other traditional European markets
  • Kakuzi also revealed that it is currently exploring the Malaysian market as part of its market diversification strategy

Kakuzi Plc’s inaugural Hass Avocado export cargo to China has been sold out, paving the way for the pre-export planning for a second load to be delivered in October.

The firm’s Managing Director Christopher Flowers revealed Kenya has a bright market future in China, which they believe will absorb larger volumes like other traditional European markets.

Kakuzi also revealed that it had begun 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.

“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.

While commenting on the firm’s China market experience, 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 August 2022, Early this month, 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.

With the stocking in a Chinese retail outlet, Kakuzi became the first African firm to undertake commercial sales of Avocados on Chinese soil officially. The stocking followed a stringent phytosanitary check by the Chinese National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) at the Shanghai International Airport and customs clearance by the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC).

Kakuzi avocado exports in China market. Photo: Kakuzi.

The export of fresh Avocados to China from Kenya follows the early January (2022) signing of two commercial protocols to facilitate bilateral trade, mainly the export of avocados and aquatic products from Kenya to China. Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Peter Munya and the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Zhou Pingjian, signed the protocols in the Indian Ocean island city of Mombasa, Kenya.

Since January this year, Kakuzi PLC has been undertaking the necessary preparatory frameworks ahead of its China market entry.

The firm has undergone essential audits by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) and NPPO, who have approved fifteen (15) orchards, nine (9) packhouses and one (1) fumigation facility, including Kakuzi’s orchards and packhouses to export fresh Avocado to China.

Following the stringent audits, the GACC recently published a list of Orchards, Packing Houses and the fumigation facility authorized to export fruit to China.

In a related story, Kakuzi recently posted a KSh 494.7 million pretax profit in its half-year results, buoyed by increased sales, particularly against the firm’s strategic Avocado and Macadamia crops and steadily growing revenues from its market and product diversification efforts.

Commenting on the results, Flowers said the firm’s pretax profit has grown to KSh 494.7 million, up from KSh 276.7 million posted within the same period last year. The firm’s after-tax profit closed at KSh 341.3 million, up from KSh 194.6 million posted in the same period last year, representing a 75 per cent growth.

The performance as of the June 30th, 2022 trading period was driven by increased sales which topped the KSh  1.02 billion mark up from KSh 888.95 million booked within the same period last year.

Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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