Ask any packer and shipper who has approached China and you will learn that it is a challenge.
- We get dozens of inquiries each day from "big potential customers." They disappear after a few exchanges.
- Tens of importers are "sourcing" ingredients for the same end user.
- Thousands of Chinese companies seek blueberries but most need smaller than full-container weight.
- Local producers are on the prowl for information on our production and waste time of our packers with requests for pricing which ends abrupt after the price is given.
- Shippers are facing all sorts of difficulties at the ports and receive request after request for more and more documentation.
- Steep duties are piled on the prices of processed blueberries.
|Lots of Blueberry Products -- Where and how are they getting the froze blueberries!|
Still we believe there is a tremendous untapped market for frozen blueberries in China. We just need to figure out the companies, channels and the process to approach this complex value-chain.
USHBC has received a grant from the USDA-FAS for a feasibility study of the Chinese food industry. This grant program is in a category called the: Emerging Markets Program (EMP) which is designed to help US companies and industries approach markets with lower than $17,000 per capita income. (We are also conducting EMP programs in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia.)
We are just getting started, but with our decades of work in the country we have a good running start!
- We are identifying and contracting with food industry experts in the different regions of China. this is a huge country and we are focusing on the areas with food manufacturing including Guangdong, Fujien, Liaoning, Jiangsu, Beijing and others. These experts know the inside scoop on the food business.
- Companies and channel partners are being identified and contacted. A chart of the value-chain is being crafted little by little. This is extremely important to our industry as so many companies come and go. We also want to know the background -- are they state, military, private, foreign joint ventures. Most important --can they do business!
- We are validating information from the USA side where in the process of contact we are learning of requirements and fielding technical questions and homing in on specifics.
- A report will be crafted at the end, but in the mean time, we will be delivering real time, practical intelligence to the US blueberry packers and shippers of frozen.
Stay tuned for updates on the program, and we will also report at the next USHBC meeting in Vegas in October!
|Frozen is an under-performing category!|