Top Fruit Sdn Bhd has become the first Malaysian company to directly export fresh pineapples to China.
The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau cleared an initial 120kg airfreight consignment for entry on 17 October, with a 40ft seafreight container arriving at Shanghai Wai Gao Qiao Port just days later.
Made up of the MD2 pineapple variety, the shipments will be marketed under Top Fruit’s Royal Mas brand.
Top Fruit’s Vincent Chan is confident the Malaysian offering will establish a point of difference in China’s increasingly competitive pineapple market.
“Even though the Royal Mas pineapple variety is the same as the Philippines and Costa Rican MD2 variety, there is a difference in terms of taste due to the Malaysian location and soil content,” Chan told Asiafruit.
“The most significant taste profile of Royal Mas Malaysian pineapple is that it is extremely juicy and less fiber due to the peaty soil of our pineapple plantations in Malaysia, which have a higher water content compared to other soil types.”
Chinese market access opened up to Malaysian pineapples earlier this year, with the protocol signed at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May.
Top Fruit is one of three Malaysian packhouses and exporters approved by AQSIQ to ship pineapples to the People’s Republic, with the company currently allowed to send fruit to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Dalian Port. The company is looking to extend its points of entry to Guangzhou and Dalian over the coming months, as it looks to establish a year-round distribution and marketing campaign.
“We are planning to send up to five containers per week at the initial stage and the volume will gradually be increase further to meet the demand from the market,” explained Chan. “We are looking to expand and upgrade our current packing facility in Malaysia to cater for the increased volume as soon as possible.
“We are able to provide a 12-month supply programme into the market due to our integrated supply chain and geographical location near the equator.”
To help gain traction in the Chinese market, Top Fruit has established its own marketing office in Shanghai under the name of Shanghai Top Pineapple Co, which is being led by Chan and Sophia Cai to provide real-time sales and marketing support to its customers.
“With the establishment of the Top Pineapple office in Shanghai, we hope to be able to provide full time support to all our partners and customers in the market more efficiently,” added Chan.