Officials from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in China have announced the initiation of the draft protocol for export of California fresh strawberries to China. The announcement is an important milestone in a long process that began with the special market access China granted for the 2008 Olympics, when the athletes requested strawberries.
“We are honored that the Chinese have allowed California to be the first location in the world to ship strawberries to China,” said Rick Tomlinson, president of the California Strawberry Commission.
The signing is progress toward the next step, when Chinese officials come to California for a final inspection in the spring. It is anticipated that shipments could begin in the summer. Access to the market is a good example of complementary trade to support the growing consumer demand for strawberries. China has significant domestic strawberry production, but their season usually ends during the month of May; just as the Chinese season ends, California is reaching peak production.