california avocados

New, Yet Old, Competition for California Avocados?

Dan Fruits & Vegetables

california avocados

There may soon be some new, yet old, competition for California avocados and they have a tropical flair. After 25 years, Hawaii has again begun shipping Sharwil avocados to the mainland. 3,000 pounds of the avocado variety is being sent to Seattle, and the industry hopes to continue that through March. Hawaii has once shipped avocados to the mainland before, two and a half decades ago. The Hawaii-Tribune Herald noted the first shipment was in the ’80s to Alaska. However, in the early ’90s shipments of the Sharwil avocado were suspended when the United States Department of Agriculture put stringent protocol practices in place over concerns of fruit flies establishing populations in several other states. 

In 2013, after years of research and refining practices, the Hawaiian growers could once again ship the fruit is they met certain standards. After five years, the industry is up and running again, and cleared to ship to 32 states excluding California and Florida. Several other southern states are also off limits, as well states that border California, but that may be temporary. USDA Officer in Charge in West Hawaii, Mike Scharf, told the Hawaii-Tribune Herald, “With a systems approach … we hope to see very safe product leaving, and we hope to see this thing eventually going into other states including California and Florida.”

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Taylor Hillman