China: How to solve the problem of unmarketable fruit?

A variety of orange called the sugar orange' became unmarketable shortly after the Spring Festival earlier this year, and this news went viral online. Afterwards, the prices of apples and oranges decreased, and even the price of kiwi fruit suffered. Wholesale traders with stocked warehouses, cooperatives and refrigerated warehouse owners all suffered losses. Looking back on 2017 and 2018, the fruit market has suffered from unmarketable fruit at an unprecedented scale.

The phenomenon of unmarketable fruit has changed from individual cases to a universal feature of the fruit market, occurring with greater frequency in recent years, at first only in certain areas, but now spreading across the country. Initially only a few fruit varieties were affected, but the phenomenon has spread across the industry. Initially the phenomenon was brief, but it now lasts longer and certain fruit markets are weak all year round. Prospects do not look good.

There is more than one reason for this and it depends on local conditions: sometimes the phenomenon occurs when the market is saturated, products are of poor quality, or trees are growing old. In some cases transport is problematic. In yet other cases natural disasters reduce product quality.

1. Farmers blindly expanded the surface area devoted to plantation, which led to a situation where supply exceeded demand.

2. Low-price, high-quality imported fruit seizes market shares from domestic fruit.

3. The domestic fruit market lacks transparency and requires an improved information structure.

4. Agricultural e-commerce is rapidly developing with decentralized traders, WeChat shops, and fast delivery. E-commerce rapidly replaces traditional marketing and retail channels.

Source: Chinese Farmers Cooperation

Original author: Li Feng


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