Jaguar: joint efforts to promote Conference pears in China

Jaguar the Fresh Company has had a representative office in Shanghai since 2013. The company supplies wholesalers, retailers and a number of online shops including eGuo, Yiguo and Fruitday. Coco Zhu is the representative of Jaguar in China.
“Our strategy is that volumes of imported fruit traded by retailers will increase. In Europe, Jaguar has long-standing experienced supplier supermarkets. This knowledge we want to export to the Chinese market,” explains Coco.

Jaguar's Conference pears in Shanghai

“Importers typically work with agencies to import fresh products. Custom clearance agencies have the required licenses. These licenses need to be updated every six months. We import 70% of our products through the port of Shanghai. In addition, we have a number of clients in the North of China. We supply these clients via the port of Dali or Tianjin. This year we are organizing programmes to import citrus from Egypt, South Africa and Spain, kiwifruit from Greece, apples from France, Conference pears from the Netherlands, grapes from India, Peru, Chile and South Africa and grapefruit from Israel.”
“Currently we are preparing citrus import from Egypt and Spain. Our Egyptian citrus programme will consist of approximately 300 to 500 containers and will run until the end of May. The Chinese domestic citrus season ends in February, so we have a window of three months to supply the market with fresh citrus.”

Taste of Chinese consumers is different to its European counterpart. Appearance and packaging of the product is important to the buyer and end-customer. Import fruit is premium fruit on the market, and customers expect nothing less. “This year we have not started with the import of apples from France yet. Last year we had a problem with the colour of the skin on the apples. Chinese consumers expect the skin of the Royal Gala apples to be of an even red colour. Royal Gala from New Zealand and Chile are 80% to 90% red. From France, only 60% to 70% of the apples were red. Customers believe that if the apple has a combined red and yellow skin, its quality is inferior.”
“We are exploring the opportunity to market Dutch Conference pears in the North of China. Now the main exporters of Conference pears from the Netherlands to China are Greenery and Fruit Masters. Fruit Masters has been exporting to Shanghai for five years already (the export of Dutch pears has been allowed since last year). Currently market demand for Dutch pears is relatively low. Jaguar believes we need to cooperate with retailers and E-businesses in order to promote the pear to the Chinese consumers. We contacted the Dutch Consulate in Shanghai, and are trying to organize some activities together with our clients."

"Also Goodfarmer, a Chinese producer and importer, is importing Conference pears. I believe that Goodfarmer has stopped to load for the season. Conference pears are difficult to sell on the Shanghai market. Golden Wing Mao, a retail supplier and one of the biggest import companies, are organising a number of events to promote Conference pears.”

Jaguar's QC manager Sven with a client at the Shenyang market

“In the North of China, pears are a popular fruit and consumers eat pears during the winter months. Sales results for Conference pears are stronger than in the South and customers like the quality and taste of the pear. We are currently selling the pear in 13kg and 14kg N.W. boxes, same as the other importers use. We believe the Conference is easier to market in smaller boxes. The shelf-life of the pear is short; only two weeks at the right temperature. Due to low demand, retailers cannot sell the whole carton within two weeks, and at times half of the pears are thrown away. Now we are producing double-layered 8.5kg cartons, which we will start to export by the end of December to Northern China. Besides, refrigerated transport is not always available or well organized in China, which shortens shelf-life further. We are constantly trying to find the best solution for supplying the Chinese market and serving our clients.”

Coco Zhu together with Egyptian citrus supplier Hama Holding. To the left is Saied El-Sayed, General Manager of Hama, and to the right AbdelRahman Elanwar, Export Account Manager Asia at Hama

For more information:
Coco Zhu
Jaguar the Fresh Company
Contact number: +86 130 9599 8877+86 130 9599 8877
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