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A news report by China Daily

Yantai's apples at the core of rural development

The first China Shandong International Apple Festival was held in Yantai from Oct 27-29, showcasing more than 300 agricultural enterprises to the world.

"As the birthplace and largest production area of apples in China, Yantai is using the China Shandong International Apple Festival as an opportunity to invite industry players worldwide to share their insights and conduct negotiations and cooperation, especially in terms of apple planting, seedling cultivation, intensive processing, warehousing and logistics, leisure tourism and market promotion," said Zhang Shuping, Party secretary of Yantai.

Founded in 2016, Haolin Fruit Cooperative, located in Yantai's Penglai district, has 66.67 hectares of apple orchards. After four years of cultivating the land, Haolin had its first harvest season in October, with a yield reaching two metric tons per mu (0.07 hectares). The output is expected to grow substantially next year, achieving three to four tons per mu, according to the cooperative.

Joining hands with Shenzhen Pagoda Industrial Group, a company focusing on fruit procurement, planting support, fruit logistics and storage and marketing, Haolin has developed a new variety of Fuji apple, which has been well received by the market, said Zheng Wenbin, a sales manager with Haolin Fruit Cooperative.

The cooperative secured an order of 100-150 tons of apples from Pagoda even before their first harvest, thanks to its apple planting standards and apple quality, Zheng added. Haolin's apples are not only available in supermarkets in first and second-tier cities nationwide, but also exported to some Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia.

Yantai is home to rafts of apple growers like Haolin. By the end of 2019, the city had 188,400 hectares of apple orchards producing 5.59 million tons of apple annually, ranking first among all prefecture-level cities in China, according to the local government.

Yantai has 46 apple processing enterprises with an annual processing capacity exceeding 4 million tons, another national leading position. Yantai Kangleda Food, a supplier of dried and canned fruit, showcased its products at the China Shandong International Apple Festival.

"Our apple products are mainly exported to countries including Russia, Kazakhstan, Japan and India," said Kong Weijing, a salesperson at the company.

Apple products account for one-third of the company's annual total export, Kong added. Kong attributes the favorable market results to Yantai, the birthplace of high-quality apples. "Yantai apples are rich in sugar and very crisp, and so conducive for processing into other apple products."

Based in Yantai, the company benefits from the city's convenient transportation and logistics. "For us, a processing company, logistics is really important. If the transportation takes too long, that affects apple preservation," Kong said.

Source: China Daily

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