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[Press Release] Xianfeng Fruit To Build International Fruit Import Center in Shanghai

May 18, 2021

Chinese fruit giant Xianfeng Fruit has recently secured a new site at the Hongqiao International Hub in Shanghai’s Qingpu District, garnering enthusiastic media attention. The company plans to build a new international fresh fruit import center on the site. The construction project reportedly has 500 million Chinese yuan ($78 million) in investor backing and will have a total footprint of approximately 60,000 square meters. The new center will house facilities such as a Fresh Port international conference and exhibition center, Fresh Port headquarters (a big-data information sharing center), a national e-commerce center, a national smart cold-chain warehouse R&D and promotion center, a talent training center and a smart manufacturing center for dried fruit.

Digital rendering of Xianfeng Fruit’s planned International Fruit Import Center in Shanghai.

Once the project is completed, it will pave the way for an end-to-end international fruit distribution system based on Xianfeng Fruit’s ecological platform. The center will promote trade ties between global fruit industry partners, creating a platform for business and interaction between global players in the high-end fruit industry — a gathering point for outstanding international fruit suppliers and talent.

Xianfeng reportedly selected this site at the Hongqiao International Hub (a large transportation and business hub encompassing the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport) with the goal of creating a leading global fruit import/export distribution center that will also serve as a secondary headquarters for the group. Xianfeng Fruit was founded in 1997 and was one of the first fruit companies in China to penetrate the entire industry value chain. Xianfeng Fruit currently has high-level strategic partnerships with more than 300 top-quality fruit growing locations throughout the world, and it has completed the first stage in establishing a network of overseas assets and global supply chain channels. The company is actively developing high-quality international agricultural resources, investments and its fruit import/export trade. According to reports, the Xianfeng Shanghai International Fruit Import Center will also include a large-scale integrated fresh fruit storage and processing facility for dealing with fruits such as cherries and bananas.

Inside the factory of a Xianfeng cherry supplier in Chile.

As China is located in the Northern Hemisphere, the period lasting from October until May marks the off-season for domestically produced fruit, when fewer local fruit varieties are available. According to China’s Food and Nutrition Development Outline, the country’s annual per capita fruit consumption is on the rise. In addition, since the advent of the novel coronavirus pandemic, consumer demand for fruit has been increasing even more, with consumers not only pursuing the nutritional boost of ordinary fruit but also wanting quick and convenient access to a wide selection of high-end fruit varieties. However, owing to the perishable and non-standardized nature of fruit, transportation and other costs associated with getting the fruit to the consumer are very high, limiting the ability of many consumers to enjoy higher-end fruits. The construction of more cold-chain logistics facilities and the integration of digital technologies will be crucial in solving this issue.

Unlike more high-tech manufacturing industries, the fruit production sector has made less progress in switching to digital solutions; the average age of people in the industry is higher, and technological advancement has so far lagged behind. Thus, in an effort to satisfy more than just the taste buds and nutritional requirements of consumers, Xianfeng is actively implementing strategies to revitalize rural areas, aiming to improve the lives of fruit farmers and help them achieve a steady income. To this end, Xianfeng Fruit put forward an internal proposal several years ago that pushed for continued digital transformation within the group’s operations, to improve both quality and efficiency in the industry. At present, over 80% of Xianfeng’s operations are conducted online, in addition to 100% of supervisory tasks, raising the overall efficiency of operations management by 30% compared with last year. The company has now fully implemented warehouse management system software throughout its cold chain logistics system, realizing a two-way supply chain model described by the phrase “grow to order, order according to supply,” which has dramatically reduced fruit spoilage. The results of this digital transformation are beginning to become apparent.

A Xianfeng Fruit store bearing the slogan “fresh and sweet, or you won’t pay a cent.”

The city of Shanghai is an outward-looking global trade metropolis, and the Hongqiao International Hub in Qingpu District is a crucial zone in Shanghai’s plan to establish a national logistics hub oriented toward business and trade services. The completion of the Xianfeng International Fruit Import Center construction project will mark steady progress in Xianfeng’s goal of creating a more interconnected fruit industry, building a solid foundation for the industry as a whole and promoting the thorough integration of technologies such as internet-based services, AI and 5G. The center will set a new benchmark for innovation in the fruit industry, bringing high-quality fruit from all over the world to Chinese consumers and clients.

Images: Xianfeng Fruit


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