China is both the largest fruit producer and the largest fruit consumer in the world. In various segments of the production chain, however, there are still many problems.
This is a recurring problem in the Chinese fruit industry. Every year there are news items that report on unmarketable fruits. The main reason that some fruits are unmarketable is that the link up between production levels and retail channels is not smooth.
The threat of imported fruit
In recent years the volume of imported fruit has greatly increased. Fruit exports, however, have decreased, affecting the favorable trade balance of China.
Lack of standardization
The road from production to market includes the cultivation of excellent fruit varieties and the management of the orchard prior to the harvest. After the harvest there is pre-cooling and storage. Before the fruit enters the market there is the management of commercialization, as well as transport and retail. Each segment of this production chain needs relevant standardized regulations. Up until now, however, the conditions are chaotic and uniform standards are difficult to achieve.
Sources of high-quality fruit are difficult to locate
China is vast and has abundant resources. There are many production areas for fruit. Fruit dealers, however, are limited in experience, time, and energy. They find it difficult to locate and control sources of high-quality fruit.
Limited use of refrigerated distribution
Fruit is a fresh product, so losses from damage during transport are a major concern. The journey from tree to consumer is often long and during that journey the fruit needs to be refrigerated.
E-commerce of fresh produce has limited profits
According to relevant data, only 1% of the several thousand e-commerce fresh produce dealers make a healthy profit. A large part of the remaining 99% suffers losses, and only a small group manages to break even.
Source: Fruit Service Center