Chinese e-commerce company partners with southern region of Thailand in joint durian harvesting initiative and the southern Thai province of Chumphon have announced new centralised durian harvesting collaboration, the first of its kind between a Chinese company and the southern durian-producing region of Thailand.

Chumphon is expected to produce 670,000 tonnes of durians this year, a 44 per cent increase compared to 2022. JD’s global sourcing team will gradually expand this joint harvesting initiative to include other provinces, such as Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phang Nga, and Ranong.

This collaboration is set to continue until the end of the harvest season in January 2024, and all harvested durians will be transported to China for sale.

To facilitate this collaboration, JD sent a team of 20 experts, including experienced buyers and quality control specialists, to Thailand in April with the support of the Department of Agriculture of Thailand.

Over the course of four months, the team visited orchards and conducted comprehensive inspections to hand-pick the finest durians based on parameters such as sugar content, pH levels, and microbial counts.

After processing and packaging, the selected durians will be shipped to China within a week. Once there, JD’s sophisticated nationwide cold-chain logistics will take over, ensuring that the durians reaching the consumers are nothing short of fresh and delectable. The first batch of directly sourced durians, consisting of around 6,000 fruits, is estimated to arrive in China in late August.

By adopting a direct sourcing model and leveraging its supply chain advantages, JD is able to offer durians in the Chinese market at the more affordable price of just Rmb29.9 per kilogram (US$4.13).

China holds a significant role in the durian trade with Thailand. Data from 2022 reveals that China imported a total of 825,000 tonnes of durians, with 780,000 tonnes originating from Thailand alone, accounting for over 90 per cent of the total imports. Similarly, China serves as the largest export market for Thai durians, with over 80 per cent of Thai durians being sold to China.