Zhengzhou Chen's Sun Fruit and Vegetable Trade Co., Ltd.
Copyrighbt © Zhengzhou Chen's Sun Fruit and Vegetable Trade Co., Ltd. 豫ICP备18022162号
Company Address: No. 1-6, B9 District, Wanbang International Logistics Park, Zhengzhou City, China
Company phone: 400-187-7919
Company email: email@example.com
From the place of origin to table, we strictly control the quality of the fruits, achieved a three-in-one mode of fruit production, sales and distribution.
Under the guidance of the company's global leadership, the company has developed international direct mining operations in North America, Australia, Europe and Africa
Hong Kong "Asia Fruit" Special Issue Interview with Chen Xuemei, Chairman of Chen’Sun Fruit and Vegetable Trading Co., Ltd.
May 15, 2019
As a large-scale distributor in China for both imported and domestically-produced fruit, Chen’s Sun has been in operation for more than 20 years, and your business has extended its reach all over the world. Could you briefly share your journey thus for?
Chen Xuemei: I had a big burden on my shoulders growing up because I had many younger brother and sisters. When I first started working, my intention was to help my parents pay my sibling’s tuition fees. I chose the fruit industy because it didn’t require much investment, and it was relatively easy to enter.
In 1992, I set up a fruit stand near Zhenzhou Commercial Building and I was selling fruit there for seven to eight years. That was the initial stage of my business. In 2000, my team and I moved into Erhuadao Wholesale Market and launched our fruit wholesale business, first with strawberries. Strawberries were an easy category to start with, as their taste and appearance met the market demand at the time. Plus, they were convenient to purchase, and the profit was condiderable.
Later, when I saw an opportunity to expand the business, I invested in longans. However, due to my lack of experience, I could not keep the quality consistent. As a result, I lost all my savings. But life goes on, and I refused to give up, so I got a loan from the bank and embarked on the path of fruit wholesale once again. After another ten years of hard work, and exploration in product diversification, differentiation strategy, branding and aftersales service, we finally became a top player in the region in 2010, and entered the Dazhongyuan Wholesale Market.
We then also started operating with in Wanbang Fruit Wholesale Market in Zhenzhou in 2012, and registed a new company for our new imported fruit business. However, we didn’t fully participate in the global market until March 2015, when we registered a trading subsidiary and our SZM trademark and brand.
What would you say was your biggest challenge in developing your business?
CXM:The biggest challenge during the process for me was to find money and people. A rapidly developing company always faces great financial and managerial pressures so there two elements are the morst critical. I’d argue that talent is more important than capital, because crisis arises from having the wrong people.
The industy has undergone major changes during your decades-long career. What is your focus right now to ensure long-term success in the industry?
CXM: Different form when I strarted, today the supply chain is going to be the key for a company’s success in the fresh produce industry. From upstream R&D and post-harvest to cold chain import and delivery to consumers, supply chain management allows us to fully control the flow of information, logistics and capital and links every player in the industry chain in a fully functional network benefitting everyone in the process. The construction and development of a complete fruit supply chain will be a hotspot of competition for the industry in the future.
Chen’s Sun is currently carrying out a strategic rollout spanning the whole industry chain, from production to cold chain logistics and marketing. Which part do you find to be the most difficult?
CXM: Production is the most difficult part. That is because for us, growing fruit is not our field of expertise, and it doesn’t help that huge investment in this doesn’t usually bring short-term benefits. Research in this field also requires scientific precision, so for us to ensure the quality of our fruit, we need to invest and employ experts to care for the environment, to develop organic products and to track the whole growing process.
Can you describe the scale of the Chen’s Sun business today?
CXM:Currently we are mainly handing imported fruit and premium domestically-grown fruit. At the same time, guided by our diversification and differentiation development strategy, we have extended our offerings to non-staple foods such as dried fruit and beverages, and have generated goog turnover.
We now have subsidiaries in many provinces and cities across the country, and nearly 1,000 secondary wholesales working with us. We have established strategic partnerships with over 400 big supermarkets such as YongHui, Dennis, PangDongLai, CR Vanguard, Walmart and Carrefour. We also set up offices and processing sites in Thailand, Vietnam and other regions.
Outside Asia, we have started direct sourcing activities in North America, South America, Australia, Europe and Africa.
Branding is becoming more and more important in the fresh produce business. Chen’s Sun owns three brands,such as SZM, Zhiduoxian and JiaoGuo TianXia. How are you positioning them differently? What is your brand stragegy?
CXM: SZM is a brand mainly for imported fresh fruit and dried fruit; Zhiduoxian and JiaGuo TianXia are for premium domestic product. All three brands so far are quite successful and well regarded by the market. Pioneering the industry through hard work,finding the best around the globe is our motto.
Zhengzhou International Airport is the largest airport in Central China, and also the third-largest fruit customs clearance port only after Guangzhou and Shanghai. As a Zhengzhou-based company, how are the airport’s fresh fruits services benefitting you?
CXM:Thanks to Zhengzhou’s central location, over half the country’s population can be reached within two hours by air. The fruit charter flight business is developing really fast in Zhengzhou, almost surpassing all other major airports. It definitely benefits the fruit industry in Zhengzhou as most of our fruit is directly purchased globally now. Freshness is everything for our fruit. Airfreight through Zhengzou airport will allow us to deliver fresh produce in an even faster manner in the future, to help meet customer’s needs and expand our business.
What are some of the new trends in fresh produce consumption you have seen in Henan Province?
CXM:As the consumption upgrade progresses, premium domestic fruit and imported fruit have become mainstream. Consumers value quality and brands more,differentiation is key, and quality always wins. In fresh retail, with the rise of omnichannel marketing, there is a trend towards chain srores and neighbourhood stores.
As a female leader, do you think your gender has brought you any advantages or challenges?
CXM: I was very good at financial management and cost control in the early stage of my career. In the process of business development, I could bear the hardship and frustration of temporary failure; and in major decision-making, I would subconsciously maintain a sense of crisis and act om a more cautious and considerate way. In management, I rely on my instincts and tend to be calm when dealing with problem. This also brings me challenges, as a compassionate approach tends to contradict corporate rules.
Reprinted from may 2019 - Asiafruit Magazine