Kenya’s fresh produce is now very welcome in China. On November 4th Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta met his Chinese counterpart president Xi Jinping in Shanghai and a trade deal was signed. It is a very encouraging time to sell fruit and vegetables to the Chinese market.
As a consequence of the new opportunities, the first goods to be exported were avocados. Kenya is Africa’s second-largest producer of avocados, after South Africa, and with the increasing demand for avocados in China there are substantial benefits for both Kenya and China.
According to Steve Barnard, president of Oxnard, California-based Mission Produce, the world’s largest distributor of avocados, sales have doubled in China every year for the last 5 years. This is supported by Data from China Customs. In 2017 China imported 32,100 tons of avocado increasing more than 1,000 times from just 31.8 tons in 2011. This progress has been supported by the Chinese government in reducing import tariffs on avocados from 10% to 7% as of last December.
David Joseph, founder of the well-established market research company Hub of China confirms these findings. His company recently conducted a number of interviews and surveys on middle class consumers in China. The majority of participants responded that they now ate avocados on a frequent basis having never even heard of them a few years ago. Reasons cited for this were a new awareness of avocados when living abroad, becoming increasingly health-conscious and an openness to try new fruit/vegetables. Lucy Wong, one of the participants said ‘"I think people are paying more attention to health and food, not like a few years ago when everyone was still competing to wear the best brands’
"Hub of China specializes in providing western companies with insights into the Chinese market. It provides up-to-date research so it ensures that it is able to advise companies on how to flourish in the Chinese market. Its wide network of expertise, extensive tools and expansive knowledge of the Chinese market have helped numerous companies conduct business very successfully in this part of the world," said David.
"There is a growing health-conscious middle-class Chinese consumer. Now that fresh foreign produce is welcome, a very lucrative market is emerging."
Hub of China are happy to assist or provide consultancy services for potential fresh produce producers.