Opportunities for Mexican avocados in Asia
“The United States is a well-established market for Mexican exports. The fresh produce industry has been a traditional industry in Mexico, but it’s getting more advanced. People are thinking out of the box nowadays, and the Mexican ministry of agriculture (SAGARPA) has been very pro-active and serious in opening new markets for Mexican products, as I know from personal experience with their representatives in Beijing. That’s when our company Qiwo steps in, as we see big opportunities for Mexican produce to be exported into Asia, especially China. Starting with avocado, as this is an important product for Mexico. The state of Michaocan in Mexico, the largest avocado production area in the world, has market access to China”, states Daniel Wasserteil, managing director of Qiwo in Mexico.
Qiwo is a new company, which started operating since April this year. “We are part of an expansion strategy from a logistics group in Mexico. As a commercializer, we develop market channels in Asia and other less established markets for Mexican fresh produce. The idea is to source quality fruit from producers in Mexico and find buyers in China, Asia and other markets. We would like to set up programmes, as this results in a steady demand for the producers and secures the importer with a steady supply and quality. This is one of the issues at the moment, as China is out of the comfort zone for most Mexican exporters. Only spare volumes are exported to this market. We want to function as a bridge between the two continents, and take away some risk factors for both parties.”
The intention of Daniel was to have a first shipment of Mexican avocados into China by August, however, this was hindered due to the market situation in Mexico. Prices of avocados were extremely high. “Most producers and packers have commitments to companies in the US, as its their main market. This is a blessing, yet at the same time Mexico is strongly dependent on the US market. That’s why we would like to show that there are other possibilities. The logistics are there, so it’s only a matter of creating mutual trust and convincing the Chinese consumers of the superior quality of Mexican avocados.”
He explains that Peru has just finished its season when the Mexican season starts. “Peru is no direct competition. It’s a different scenario with the Chilean supply, as our seasons overlap. Inevitably there will be price differences between Mexican and Chilean avocado, but we should be able to sell Mexican avocados as premium fruits, while other origins sell at lower prices. The quality of Mexican avocados is well received and we have years of experience. Moreover, the Mexico-Chinese phytosanitary protocol that allows avocado from Michoacán into China requires avocados to have a minimum dry matter of 21%. This is an advantage, as it guarantees the importers that the avocados will ripen as they should. Therefore, e-commerce platforms are a good option for us, as critical information as this can be shared with customers, enabling a much better understanding of avocados.”
“Our corporate headquarters are in Mexico City, and we have a sourcing team that attends Michoacán and Jalisco. The state of Jalisco is not allowed yet to export avocado to China, however, the Mexican and Chinese governments are working to have a protocol in place soon. In addition to avocado, we are looking forward to starting a trial with berries from Jalisco. Berries have a shorter season and are a more delicate product. This is new for us, but we are excited about the challenge and prospects, concludes Daniel.
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Publication date: 10/4/2017
Author: Kelly den Herder
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