Citing the “huge opportunity” for avocado consumption in China, Mission Produce President and CEO Steve Barnard announced the company is building a second ripening facility in the country.
Barnard’s announcement, during the Produce Marketing Association’s recent Fresh Connections event in Shenzhen, China, was made with representatives of the companies Mission partners with in China, importer Lantao International and retailer Pagoda.
“We believe in this country and we think the opportunity is huge,” Barnard said in a news release. More centers will be built across China in the next five years, according to the release.
The new center, to be built in South China, is scheduled to open in September. The company’s Shanghai ripening center opened in early 2017.
The centers supply Pagoda’s 2,800 stores across the country, and other retail outlets in the area will also receive ripened avocados.
“Launching a ripe program in China has been a great success and we’ve seen strong consumption increases over the past year,” Lantao CEO John Wang said in the release. “The next center will position us to better serve customers in the south.”
Pagoda General Manager Qidong Zhu said the retailer is committed to working with Mission Produce and Lantao to make the program a success.
“After opening the first ripening center in Shanghai, we experienced strong demand from Southern China,” he said in the release.
Mission’s avocados in China are marketed under the Mr. Avocado brand, a joint venture with the three companies. The venture oversees the Shanghai ripening facility.