The company sent 90 crates of the berries to the Shanghai warehouse club after inspections and preparing phytosanitary certificates and other documentation, according to a news release.
The Watsonville, Calif.-based berry company had to act quickly, with about a week’s notice to ship the strawberries, working with the Santa Maria Ag Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Today marks a banner day in which our partner California Giant assisted Costco Wholesale in navigating through the rigors of testing protocol to successfully launch the opening of Costco's first warehouse club in China,” Frank Padilla, vice president and general merchandise manager of produce and meat at Costco Wholesale, said in the release.
California Giant harvested, packed and shipped the Santa Maria-crop strawberries the weekend before the store opening.
“A lot of dedicated employees within California Giant and Costco worked together behind the scenes so that Costco could offer fresh California strawberries to their members,” chief operating officer at California Giant, said in the release. “We stepped up to the challenge and I’m confident their members enjoyed the berries.”
The Shanghai Costco opening was such a success that every aisle was flooded with shoppers and the overload forced the company to close it mid-day, according to media reports.