Mil­lion boxes

China Daily (Canada) - - ANALYSIS -

9-kg of cher­ries were shipped to China in 2012 by North­west Cherry

Grow­ers in the US US and that acts as a brake on sales in China.

US pear pro­duc­ers also face stiff com­pe­ti­tion from their coun­ter­parts in Ar­gentina, Aus­tralia, Bel­gium, Chile and South Africa — leav­ing aside grow­ers in China it­self, which is the world’s largest pro­ducer, mean­ing sup­plies are plen­ti­ful and cheap.

Aus­tralia and Chile also com­pete with the US in sell­ing cher­ries.

Fruit deal­ers at­tribute the surge of im­ported fruit to the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing in cities and who have larger dis­pos­able in­comes that mean they can af­ford more di­verse di­ets, in­clud­ing ex­pen­sive, pro­tein-rich food­stuffs.

In ad­di­tion, e-commerce has brought for­eign prod­ucts to cen­tral and western in­land re­gions, an un­der­tapped mar­ket with great po­ten­tial and, thanks to e-commerce, pro­duce can be de­liv­ered to peo­ple’s homes within two or three days af­ter it ar­rives in the coun­try.

Free trade zones are also help­ing. Shang­hai news­pa­per The Pa­per said the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone opened a fruit­spe­cific port in June, re­duc­ing cus­toms pro­cess­ing to six hours, en­sur­ing fresh­ness and cut­ting lo­gis­ti­cal costs by 30 per­cent.

Young peo­ple are the main cus­tomers of im­ported fruit, as they are will­ing to pay a pre­mium for higher-end prod­ucts, which they of­ten buy on­line.

Li Yi, of Beijing, said she has bought im­ported fruit and veg­eta­bles since she be­came preg­nant be­cause over­seas pro­duc­ers have bet­ter quar­an­tine and safety stan­dards.

“Im­ported fruit and veg­eta­bles ad­here to in­ter­na­tional safety stan­dards rather than Chi­nese laws. QR codes can be scanned to re­veal de­tails about prod­ucts and the com­pa­nies pro­duc­ing them, so I think they are safer than what is pro­duced in China.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Hoa Van Huynh (cen­ter), di­rec­tor of the Agri­cul­tural Trade Of­fice of US Con­sulate Gen­eral in Guangzhou, and Jeff Cor­rea, di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing for Pear Bureau North­west, at the 2015 road­show of US pears in Guangzhou, cap­i­tal of Guang­dong prov­ince.

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