Despite sky-high import tarrifs

"US grapes continue to find market in China"

Daniel Ho is the Co-founder and Vice President of Chinese fruit importer and distributor Shanghai Topsun Fresh. The company specializes in Southern Hemisphere and overseas imported fruits for the Chinese market.

The US table grape harvest and export season is now in full swing. This season, the company is experimenting with a new packaging solution that makes for less shrinkage during transit.

“We work directly with the biggest table grapes grower Sun Pacific from California. This year we worked together to pack the fresh grapes in a novel way. Instead of using bags in styro box, we pack the grapes in loose packs in cardboard carton. And we are more focused on air shipments instead of oceanic. What we would like to do is to offer our clients the best quality fruits with the utmost freshness. For example, with this new solution, the shatter and dry stem on arrival can be decreased from 12-15% to 3-4%, which helps our retail client to get less shrinkage and better business," explained Daniel.

Despite the high import tariffs for American grapes, at a staggering 39.5%, high quality grapes still manage to find a good market in China.

Daniel continues: “Most of our clients are high end fruit shops and live streaming platform sellers.  The value that this new solution brings is that the buyer has more confidence in the quality of the fruit, as the fruit arrives in good condition consistently. Even through there is still lots of local grapes like shine muscat, good US grapes can still be moved with 50-100% higher price than local grapes.”

“US grapes, in general, have firmer texture, better flavor, good crunchiness, and better shelf life. This is very well liked by the retailers and final consumers. Popular US varieties now in China market are mainly Sweet Globe, Autumn Crisp,  Adora, and some late season variety like Autumn Royal,” explains Daniel.

Close partnerships are key to success
Due to pandemic and travel restrictions worldwide, it has been difficult for people to meet and understand how big changes happened from both sides.

“People with mutual trust and open mind are the key to the business”, says Daniel: “Without the trust and support from our partner Sun Pacific, it is basically impossible to make this new project happen. Our mentality of business is trying to add more value to both our upstream and downstream partners with a better one-station solution which may include market trend information, new packing ideas, efficient logistic solutions, marketing and branding etc.

"At the end of day, the business can only work when there is consistent value being added to the current value chain. On top of that, good partnerships with mutual trust and taking a long-term view, is becoming more and more important, especially in an environment with such a lot of uncertainty.”

Topsun Fresh have operations in South America, Southeast Asia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The company is optimistic about the potential to grow in these areas with exports to the Chinese market.

For more information:
Daniel Ho - Co-founder/ VP
Shanghai Topsun Fresh Co., Ltd.
Tel/Whatsapp: +86 138 1721 4619

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