Kenyan avocados have recently received market access to the Chinese market. Before this development, the country had been shipping its fresh avocado crop to countries globally.
Jack Njoroge is Business Development Manager at Avodemia Limited. The country has entered the final months of its avocado peak season. Jack comments on the recent market: “We are reaching the end of our harvest. We are expecting some crops at the end of September until October and November. Next year our season starts again in February.”
The company works with contract growers that are contracted in January for the full year. Prices are offered based on expectations of what the market will bring. “We work closely with our growers and they have our support. Part of our cooperation agreement is that we harvest the fruits at our cost, and we also take care of the logistics and cold storage in our central pack houses, from which we export the crop. We have a team of agronomists that know the farms we contract. Before the harvest starts, we travel around to check and verify if the fruits are mature. We know exactly in which week of which month the harvest should start”.
Out of the 47 counties in Kenya, Avodemia source their Avocados from eight counties with an aim of recruiting more farmers from other counties. 90% of their contracted growers grow Hass avocados with 10% growing the Fuerte Variety.
Jack comments on this year’s avocado harvest: “We market and represent Kenyan avocados. We are strict in quality control and selection; we only pack mature fruits which have attained the right maturity level and as per our customers dry matter specifications. Otherwise if the fruits are immature will postpone or extend the harvest. This year’s harvest is good. We did notice however that the market demand is less high than in previous seasons.”
Kenya is very well located to supply the Asian market and Avodemia is actively looking for partner companies in China. Jack explains: “We are looking for importers in China. At the moment we are open to new importers who want to work with our products. We export under our own brand, Avodemia, but we can also pack under private label or other brands. This year we can still take orders from September until the end of October.”
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