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Local avocados get nod for sale to mainland

  • COURTESY KEN LOVE
    The Hawaii Sharwil avocado is regarded as a premium avocado variety. The fruit, which is green when mature, has small seeds, a creamy texture and a buttery flavor.
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Guacamole connoisseurs around the U.S. will soon have a new domestic avocado to try — not from California or Florida, but Hawaii.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is changing its rules for Hawaii growers to allow them to ship Sharwil avocados to 32 mainland U.S. states between November and March.

According to a USDA rule scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, the shipments will help give shoppers an option to buy domestic avocados during winter months, when most grocery stores stock avocados from Mexico instead.

President Tom Benton of the Hawaii Avocado Association says growers, mostly on the Big Island and Maui, produce roughly 1 million pounds of the fruit each year, but until now have only been able to sell within the state.

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