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Israel starts exporting avocados to Japan

This unprecedented transaction is expected to open doors to other major markets around the world.


Israeli Haas avocados.

For the first time in 70 years of relationship, a container full of Israeli avocados of the Haas variety landed in Japan this week. This unprecedented transaction is expected to open doors to other major markets around the world.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Oded Forer: "We have opened a new market for the export of agricultural products and for the first time we will export avocados to Japan. This is an unprecedented move in cooperation with one of the world's leading economies everywhere in the world."

The crowds of diners in Tokyo will surely be surprised to discover that in the sushi they order, starting this week, they can also find the wonder ingredient: the Israeli avocado. After 70 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Japan and the high expectations recorded in recent weeks, this week the first avocado grocery store in Israel, containing the most common variety of hay in the country, arrived in Japan. In the coming months, the Ministry of Agriculture will work in coordination with the Japanese authorities to streamline the export process and allow 125 million Japanese citizens to enjoy excellent Israeli agricultural products.

The opening of imports to Japan, the fourth largest economy in the world, inevitably has enormous economic potential for both countries and an opportunity to cooperate in other areas. Beyond that, Japan is considered one of the strictest countries in the world in terms of export requirements, so a foothold in this market can open doors to export to other big markets like the United States and China, which they have requirements similar to those of China and Japan.

The process between the two countries began in 2015, when Japan initiated and turned to Israel in order to examine the importation of avocados of the Haas variety, since until then the importation of avocados to Japan was prohibited. In the same year, a Japanese delegation came to Israel to learn about the avocado industry in Israel and to examine the conditions for an export agreement. After many discussions in collaboration with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and negotiations that lasted several years, in 2020 Japan approved the export of avocados and the agreement between the parties was signed.

One challenge that stood in the way of the Israeli avocado to Japan had to do with the ability to keep the fruit fresh during the long sea transport, which typically takes about two months. In recent weeks, the Ministry of Agriculture has been experimenting with simulating shipping under these conditions, which has been successful and has given hope that exports will be commercially viable.

In Israel and Japan, there is great enthusiasm for the move and there is an expectation that ripe fruit will grow on this important deal. The avocado fruits, which were picked from the orchard in Israel and shipped in a container to Japan in mid-February, successfully arrived at their destination this week.

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