Are you in Europe, Asia, or the United States but need help buying and exporting avocados in bulk from Kenya? Well, this article is meant to break down the process for you.
The process is easy on paper. And that statement is in no way meant to water you down. The whole point of mentioning that is to offer you an easy, hassle-free solution.
What’s that? We can hear you asking.
You should partner with a local supplier such as FrutPlanet. A local supplier can help ease the process since they have an already existing framework for sourcing, quality control, and exporting. In addition, partnering with a supplier helps you build trust, negotiate for better prices, and more.
Said and done, here is how you buy and export avocados in bulk from Kenya.
#Number 1: Find a reliable grower
The first and most important step buy and export avocados is finding reliable suppliers or avocado farmers. You need a supplier you can rely upon to provide quality avocados. Unfortunately, finding a reliable grower can be tiresome, especially because most growers are small-scale.
One of the best ways to buy and export avocados is to find suppliers in Kenya is through online directories. There are numerous Kenyan directories online that you can utilise. Otherwise, you can search for suppliers online. You can check out our guide on how to buy avocados online. One of the steps we insist on in the article is why buyers should partner with a local supplier. A local supplier has a working mechanism.
So how do local avocado suppliers such as FrutPlanet do it?
We have a vast database of trustworthy avocado growers. Most of the growers have been supplying us with avocados since the inception of our company. Apart from the small-scale farmers, we have a great network and source some of our avocados from large-scale farmers.
Partnering with us, we’ll help you buy and export avocados so that you focus on important aspects of your business. It relieves you of the hassle of working in a new environment. In addition, automating the sourcing could save your business money.
But assuming you still want to proceed alone, without our help, what’s the second step after finding the avocado growers?
#Number 2: Obtaining Necessary Documents and Certifications
To buy and export avocados locally, you must be certified by the relevant authorities. You need to meet certain requirements in each certification and pay a fee. Most of these export permits are under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries.
Some of these permits include an export license from the Horticultural Crop Directorate Authority (HCDA), which controls production in Kenya. In addition, you need certificates for Phytosanitary and conformity from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHS). Other certificates you may need include GlobalGAP, a compliance certificate for organic farming.
And that’s not all; at least not yet!
Any exporter targeting the fresh fruits and vegetables market in the European Union market, the United Kingdom, and the United States needs extra compliance certificates. These certificates include Euro 1, MRL Limit compliance, and BRC Global Supply Chain Compliance, amongst others. In addition, some countries demand even more certifications, some of which have a validity of less than a year.
But why would a buyer want to spend so much money and time on certifications when they can partner with a local supplier? Local suppliers have all these certifications; therefore, all you need to do is request a quote or order and let them handle the rest.
But how can you be sure the supplier you choose is certified locally and internationally?
Well, it is easy; you just need to dig a little deeper into the companies existing reviews. Who are the company’s previous customers? To which locations have the company exported in the past? Here at FrutPlanet, we’ve been in the fruits and vegetable export business for years and have exported to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and the United Arabs Emirates, amongst other regions. Therefore, we have handled similar customer orders previously and delivered them successfully. Your case should not be any different.
#Number 3: Have a Quality Control Mechanism
Now that you know where to source and which certifications to get, you must establish a quality control mechanism. It helps you establish that the avocados meet the export standards and that you won’t have any issues with customs. In addition, ensuring that the avocados have no damage shields your business from losses.
But how do you control the quality of the avocados you source?
First, you need a team of experts with experience in a fruits and vegetable export company. The team should clearly understand what to look out for when sorting the avocados. The quality control mechanism mainly involves the physical appearance of the avocados and the packaging.
So, now that you understand that quality control is crucial, what features should you look out for?
Appearance: When harvesting, avocados are often subjected to many physicalities. This pressure results in physical defection, including discolouration, cracks and bruises on the fruits. Your team of experts should be able to identify deformities in shape, size, and colour.
Texture; Your team should be well informed on the avocado variety you’re harvesting. They should be able to distinguish differences in the texture of the fruits. For example, if you’re sourcing Fuerte avocados, they should look for smoothness and a long neck. On the other hand, if you’re sourcing the Hass avocado, expect rounded avocados with rough skin. There are Hass avocado look-alikes in Kenya, so sourcing can be confusing.
Packaging: Your quality control mechanism should have a well-defined handling and packaging mechanism. Avocados are susceptible to damage, so your team should handle them carefully. You should think about the best mode of transport, where to store them before export, etc.
Set up a thorough quality control mechanism and ensure that it takes note of the above features. With us as your avocado exporter and supplier, we ensure that each fruit is inspected individually before shipping. We keep in touch with our customers to ensure any issues or concerns are well communicated
#Number 4: Arrange for Payment and Transport
Now it’s time to pay your growers, although some may require that you pay them before harvesting. Usually, payment is after harvesting and selecting high-quality avocado pieces. You have already negotiated and agreed on a particular wholesale price by the time you’re arranging for payment. You can check our guide on how to negotiate with wholesale avocado suppliers.
If you’re working with a local supplier such as FrutPlanet, requesting a quote and paying a milestone is the first step. However, the payment process varies depending on the supplier you partner with. You can contact us via email or request a quote for avocados for more.
Once payment is processed, it’s time to arrange for transportation. The first step is transporting to the warehouse for packaging into more modest materials fit for global standards. You can use plastic and wooden crates to transport the avocados from the growers to your warehouse by road. But once the avocados are processed at the warehouse and ready for export, you should repackage and export via air. JKIA airport handles most of the export of fruits and vegetable export.
When you partner with us here at FrutPlanet, we handle local processing and packaging at our warehouse. The HCDA and other local authorities also check the avocados before exportation. You can partner by emailing us today.
#Number 5: Prepare Accompanying Documentations
When exporting avocados, one of the things you need is proper documentation for the exports. These documents include the export declaration, a bill of lading, a packing list, and the commercial invoice. Another more important document you should have is a laboratory test report, which shows the results of samples tested on maturity, and oil content, among other factors. In addition, you need a phytosanitary certificate for the avocados and any other fresh produce to show it’s free from regulated pests, etc.
You will also need a certificate of origin, a crucial international trade document showing that the products are whole produced and processed in the country. You will also need a non-preferential trade document from the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The certificate confirms the country of origin.
Had enough already? Well, there is more.
You will need an AfCFTA certificate of origin from the Kenya Revenue Authority and the preferential certificate of origin for the free trade agreements of COMESA, EU, AGOA, GSP, and EAC. Finally, you will need to have an export certificate issued by AFA Horticultural Crop Directorate (HCD). All these certifications are important and indicate that the AFA HCD and other government bodies have cleared the consignment for export.
But you don’t have to go through this entire process. Instead, you can focus on what matters to your business by partnering with a local exporter. Let the supplier handle the entire export process while you focus on growth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying and Exporting Avocados
What do I need to export avocados from Kenya?
To export Kenyan avocados, you need an HCDA export license, phytosanitary and conformity certificates from KEPHIS, Euro 1 Certificate, Global GAP Certification, MRL limit compliance, and BRC certification.
Who is the largest exporter of avocados in Kenya?
The largest exporter of avocado is FrutPlanet Exporters. FrutPlanet has been exporting avocados in bulk for over five years now. We have created an extensive network with growers and have access to various global markets.
Which is Africa’s largest avocado producer?
Kenya is Africa’s largest avocado producer, exporting over 100k tonnes annually. The competition has always been tough between Kenya and South Africa. Kenya exports most of its avocado to the Asian market, Asia, and the United Arabs Emirates. Other major destinations for Kenyan avocados include the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.