Chinese companies have suffered the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic to various degrees since the Chinese Spring Festival [25 January, 2020]. Now that conditions are improving day by day, many companies have begun to resume operations and gradually return to normal levels.
Regardless of its size, whether large or small, every company is experiencing the effects of industrial shutdown to some degree. A spokesperson for Dole shared their views on current conditions in the industry and their business strategy:
"Dole is a company that values the safety of their employees. During the peak of the epidemic we encountered a great number of difficulties. For example, we had more than 20 shipping containers per week in the port of Shanghai alone that were not being processed, which obviously resulted in severe shortages. Furthermore, many cities had measures in place to restrict movement, which affected distribution to various degrees. There were many obstacles. We have a number of branch offices and our employees in those offices had difficulty reaching their place of work. People were unable to reach their offices on time. In addition, some of our suppliers had difficulty resuming operations, which resulted in a shortage of packaging material. This in turn affected our production." "Despite the gravity of the problems we face, we managed to implement disease prevention and at the same time maintain production as well as distribution. We worked hard to guarantee stable market supply. More recently the situation is coming under control and government policies encourage economic recovery. Ports are clearing up their backlog. Provinces are opening up roads. And suppliers are resuming deliveries. Dole is currently operating at 95% of the regular operation levels. We see now that the market is stabilizing both in terms of import volume, as well as price, and there are no major fluctuations."
Product quality and safety come first
"People in China have responded to government appeals because there was a serious need to take defensive measures. People kept their outdoor trips to a bare minimum. They avoided gathering in groups, for example in the workplace. The impact of these measures was quite severe for offline sales. Yet at the same time, the epidemic greatly increased online demand for fresh fruit and vegetables. Our sales volume on the e-commerce platform JD increased by 2-3 times in comparison with the period prior to the outbreak of the corona virus."
"Our sales through the Ding Dong Buy Vegetables app increased 3-4 times. We also saw significant increase in sales on the O2O platform of Hema. Regardless of the circumstances, Dole maintained high standards for product quality from beginning to end. We made sure that during the COVID-19 epidemic both our workers and our customers handled a safe product. It is precisely this attention to product quality that allows Dole to maintain a foothold in the ever-changing Chinese fruit market."
"In addition, we are continuously working hard to develop even more product varieties as a growing number of foreign imported fruits receives permission to enter the Chinese market. We are always searching for new product areas to purchase top-quality fruit, so that we can satisfy the varied demand of Chinese consumers. At the same time, we also experiment with new forms of fruit consumption, such as the fruit cup, dried fruit, prepackaged corn, and box sets of fruit and tea. We try to enrich the fresh fruit scene in China and provide consumers with convenient ways of eating fresh fruit. We believe that the long-term prospects of the Chinese market economy are great. We also believe that we will be able to maintain a stable supply of top-quality fresh fruit and vegetable products to the Chinese market."
Dole currently has more than 1,600 shops in 10 national commercial systems, 25 well-known local commercial systems, and 15 well-known premium fruit chain stores. This network of shops covers 140 cities.
"Dole works together with a number of international retail leaders such as Walmart, Kaishike, Carrefour, RT-Mart, and AEON. At the same time, we also work closely with local chain stores such as CR Vanguard, Ole, Shenzhen Rainbow Department Stores, Shanghai Century Lianhua Supermarkets, and Jiajiayue."
"Following developments in the retail industry, Dole has also developed great partnerships with new retail platforms such as Hema Fresh, 7Fresh, Suning Fresh, and Ding Dong Buy Vegetables. Dole also cooperates with famous tea brands such as Xicha, Lele, Naixue, and Guming. In this way Dole hopes to diversify consumer experience. Furthermore, Dole has also developed brand stores in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an where customers can directly purchase our products. We also cooperate with large companies to provide our products to their employees in their company canteens and we always strive to make our consumer experience more convenient and more beneficial."
For more information:
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