Davao's 'King of Fruits' finally breaks into US market

A trader unloads fresh Durian fruits from a farm in Calinan District, Davao City to a fruit store along Quezon Blvd. in Davao City on Wednesday. Davao City’s Durian fruits will soon penetrate the US market through blogger importer Lindsey Gasik who is bringing 300 kilograms vacuum packed fresh Durian to various US states. Lean Daval Jr

Davao City’s “King of Fruits” has made it to the land of milk and honey.
Yes, the famous Durian fruit has penetrated the United States market through an American blogger who dabbles as food importer.

Former president of Davao Durian Industry Association Council Larry Miculob told media in Wednesday’s Habi at Kape that since October this year, they started sending vacuum-packed fresh durian to the US through their partner Lindsey Gasik.

Gasik, a blogger from Oregon whose interest is to tour Asia to taste different varieties of durian, has exported an initial 300 kilos of vacuum packed durian.

“She frequents Davao City since 2010 and this year she expressed interest of exporting durian and this is the first time that Davao durian in vacuum pack was able to enter the US market,” Miculob said.

Miculob said each pack of durian has a label that explains about the fruit, its variety and that it comes from Davao City. The farmers are also featured in the label. 

Each pack is priced at US 69 dollars, which is about P3,400.

Miculob added that during the initial order, they sent durian varieties that include arancillo, puyat, and graveolens (orange). He said that their partner has specific weith requirement of 300 grams per pack.

“Its not easy to enter the US market. In fact, you have to pass the strict requirements. We submitted documents but since we have our facility and we already have been exporting to Japan it was easy for us to enter the US market,” Miculob said.

Miculob owns a processing facility in Calinan.
He said there is no schedule for the next delivery but assured that this is permanent market already.

“This is a permanent market and the delivery depends on the level of the inventory. Last week ata meron siyang mga deliveries in different states.

The US market is surprising to me and based on the feedback from the buyers they say it is the first time that they tasted a frozen durian,” he said.

He said apart from durian he also sent sample of marang.

“Because we are processing all kinds of fruits. Its no longer a problem to preserve fruits except lanzones,” he said.

He also encouraged the farmers to maintain the quality of durian fruits to penetrate more international markets.

“The moral lesson is we should strive hard of coming up with a product that is really processed or international standards so that it will be easy for us to penetrate international market” he said.

Apart from the US, Miculob said they are also looking at China as market for the frozen durian. However, durian is still among the fruits not included in the bilateral agreement for export in China.

“We are still waiting for the signing of the bilateral agreement for us to penetrate China. We have been asking for help from the national government and even to the Consul General of the Philippines to China to fasttrack the bilateral trade agreement with the Philippines,” he said.

He said the Chinese did not set a limit for the quantity.