Kenyan agro-business firm Kakuzi makes pre-shipment preparation for an inaugural avocado consignment to be shipped out to China at the weekend following the signing of protocols to facilitate trade between the two countries in January.
NAIROBI, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's integrated agro-business firm Kakuzi said Friday it commenced the avocado field harvesting early in the day, making pre-shipment preparation for an inaugural Hass variety avocado consignment to be shipped out to China at the weekend.
Kakuzi Managing Director Chris Flowers said the firm is planning to ship out the test run consignment this weekend as the necessary pre-shipment approvals are secured from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS), the industry regulator, Friday afternoon.
"In this trial phase, we intend to test the entire system capacity and fix any challenges between ourselves, the phytosanitary protocols facility and KEPHIS ahead of the planned larger shipments before the end of the next quarter," he said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
Flowers said the field harvesting is part of the firm's systems trial following the confirmation by government regulatory agencies that China has now provided the greenlight for fresh avocado exports to the market. He said the firm has started the shipping management process as it seeks to explore and unlock the export opportunity of locally grown fresh avocados for their ever-increasing consumer demand for this superfood.
KEPHIS early this week confirmed that the Chinese National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) had approved 15 orchards, nine packhouses and one fumigation facility, including Kakuzi's orchards and packhouses to export fresh avocados to China. Subsequently, the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) has published a list of orchards, packing houses and the fumigation facility authorized to export the fruit to China.
Flowers said the test run involving field harvests, post-harvest packaging and phytosanitary management according to Chinese phytosanitary protocol will enable Kakuzi to fine-tune its internal processes in conjunction with the shipping and related agencies.
KEPHIS Managing Director Theophilus Mutui had earlier told stakeholders that the Chinese National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) had approved the commencement of fresh avocado fruits exports from Kenya to China following the completion of a recent audit process. He said the approved entities commence exports of fresh avocados to China under the supervision of KEPHIS.
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.