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China: Inaugural NZ avocado import season kicks off with large fruit

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A company in New Zealand has sent the country’s first ever commercial avocado shipment to China on Sept. 18. Closer to China than its Latin American Competitors, but with higher labor costs and far less volume, New Zealand’s challenge is to go upmarket.

China will probably only receive 5% of the company’s volume this year.

The company’s first commercial shipment to the country arrived on Sept. 18. The company’s marketing director said:
“At this stage we’re just looking to do one air freight shipment a week until such time as we get into sea-freight shipments,”.

They will continue to use air-freight afterwards, but to a lesser extent.

“The reason for doing the air freight is making sure we get all of our process systems, channels, quality, everything in the supply chain sorted out before we commit to a greater volume and therefore bigger commercial value and therefore greater risk, the company’s spokesman said.

“It’s not even three weeks by container into Shanghai from New Zealand so that’s obviously advantageous, but we are going up against other countries that have lower costs of production than we do that have economies of scale.”