The agricultural arm of Chinese investment company Legend Holdings, Joyvio Group, last week launched sales of kiwifruit throughout country, the South China Morning Post reports.
The launch, taking place on 13 November, presents the second fruit for the company to sell after its successful venture into blueberries.
Approximately 4,000 tonnes of gold kiwifruit, which has been grown domestically on Joyvio’s farms near Chengdu city, will become available from supermarkets and e-retailers from this month.
The kiwifruit is set to be branded ‘Liu Kiwi’ as a tribute to company chairman Liu Chuanzhi, a renowned businessman who has led the group’s shift into the fresh produce sector.
"Mr Liu often said to us that agriculture is an industry that could greatly benefit the nation and the people, and it's also an area that we can make use of our advantages to do well," president of Joyvio Group and senior vice-president of Legend Holdings Chen Shaopeng told the South China Morning Post.
"He set no investment caps or revenue goals for the business."
Over the previous two years, Joyvio has acquired blueberry farms at home in Qingdao and the Shandong province and overseas in Chile.
Its move into kiwifruit has seen it purchase land in the Sichuan, Shaanxi and Henan provinces, becoming the largest kiwifruit grower in China.
Cherries and grapes from its bases in the United States, Australia, and Chile, are scheduled to enter the market by the end of this year, and plans to introduce other fruits and vegetables are also in the pipeline.
While the agriculture company is not yet generating profit for parent Legend Holdings, Chen affirmed his belief that it would yield stable returns within three to five years.
The company’s activities have been met with some scepticism, however, due to its reliance on locally grown produce, the Standard reports.
There are some doubts over the kiwifruit’s potential for success as Chinese consumers grow increasingly averse to the domestic industry, which has been plagued by a series of food safety scandals.