California avocado growers optimistic of exporting to China soon


Tom Bellamore, president of the Industry Affairs for the California’s Avocado Commission (CAGC), has stated that for Californian avocado growers, China holds a lot of appeal as an export destination due to the strength of its economy and the size of its population,


Foodwise, the meaty green California avocado has become as iconic a symbol of the fresh quality of California’s homegrown products as the state’s fine wines and wrinkled raisins. About 3,000 growers, many of whom are multi-generational families who have farmed avocados for over 100 years, work the land themselves and take tremendous pride in their harvest.


The California Avocado Commission first raised the idea of introducing their premium avocados to China back in 2005 and have been steadily working toward an agreement that would allow them to obtain the required Chinese certifications.


“We’re still finalizing the correct protocol and these things take time. That’s just part of the process,” Ken Melban, CAGC vice president, said. “We see tremendous opportunity in the Chinese market,” Melban said, adding that “the level of avocado imports going in from other parts of the world has increased exponentially year after year.”


“In anticipation of access approval, we did a market assessment in three Chinese cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou … Our premium avocados are a very nice fit for consumers in those three cities,” Melban added.


“The quality of California’s crop year-to-year is consistently good. And another important quality is it ships well,” said Bellamore. And that makes all the difference to Chinese consumers eyeing for California’s avocados from afar. We greatly appreciate the efforts of the Chinese officials on our market access request and are hopeful it will be completed soon so we can share our premium California avocados with Chinese consumers as soon as next year.”