16 Aug 2021

PAGODA SUPERMARKET OPENS CHINESE MARKET TO BLUEBERRIES US

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After years of hard work and bilateral negotiations, Chinese consumers can finally enjoy blueberries fresh from the United States, the birthplace of modern blueberry cultivation blueberries. The US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has teamed up with Chinese retailer Pagoda to celebrate the arrival of fresh American blueberries in mainland China,

This follows 'years of hard work and bilateral negotiations, the USHBC noted, and marks the first ever promotion of fresh American blueberries in China'.

The ceremony was also attended by Lindsay Malecha, Deputy Director of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Guangzhou, China.

Years of patience

To gain access to the Chinese market, the US government and USHBC worked with Chinese customs authorities to develop phytosanitary export protocols for fresh blueberries , a process that took years of patient work.

The breakthrough came in May 2020, when US fresh blueberries received final approval for import into China from the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC).

"I am thrilled and honored to join the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, our great friends at Pagoda and consumers here in Shenzhen today to celebrate this inaugural promotion of blueberries USA in China," Malecha said. "It highlights the collaborative work between our countries that benefits U.S. blueberries growers and makes it possible for distinguished Chinese consumers here and throughout China to enjoy delicious U.S. blueberries for years to come.

"The opening of the Chinese market was an important milestone for the U.S. blueberries highbush industry last year, and we are excited to celebrate the successful arrival of fresh U.S. blueberries in China this season," said Alicia Adler, vice president for global business development at USHBC. "On behalf of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, I would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of the growers exporting to China this year, and express gratitude to importers and retailers in China for their commitment to growing demand for blueberries."

Fruit grown in Oregon

The blueberries inaugural shipment of Pagoda on three pallets were grown by Norris Farms in the Umpqua River Valley in Oregon, and shipped to China by air.

They were supplied by Superfresh Growers, a Washington State-based company with expertise in supplying fruit from the Northwest US to markets around the world.

"The microclimate of the Umpqua River Valley produces delicious, large, high-quality blueberries for a long season," said Jeff Webb, director of international business development for Superfresh Growers. As a fifth-generation family business, we are pleased that our blueberries program is provided by a family farm with a multi-generational heritage spanning nearly 50 years."

"We believe this shared depth of experience, along with our respective family values and business practices, will shine through to Chinese consumers when they taste our US blueberries ."

Speciallyselectedblueberries

With over 4,700 shops across China, Pagoda is the largest fruit shop chain in China and has been described as "well suited to market the inaugural shipment of fresh American blueberries to China".

The blueberries shipment was specially selected to meet Pagoda's customer demand for large, sweet berries, USHBC explained.

The blueberries will be sold in a limited number of Pagoda shops in the Pearl River and Yangtze River deltas as a premium product due to its size and level of sweetness.

"Thank you to the Agricultural Trade Office of the US Consulate General in Guangzhou, the US Highbush Blueberry Council and other partners for cooperating with Pagoda," said Zhang Wangbo, general manager of the Commodity Center of Pagoda Group. "Pagoda is very honoured to be the first company to promote fresh American blueberries to Chinese consumers."

"We will leverage Pagoda's strong brand and sales channels to promote these blueberries so that more Chinese consumers can understand, taste and fall in love with American blueberries ," he added. "Through our cooperation with hundreds of suppliers around the world, we have brought new delicious fruits to more and more consumers in China - a trend we hope to continue in the future through cooperation with new high-quality suppliers."

Source: Fruitnet

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