Lantao, Domex Superfresh team up for great Gala season
The first-ever shipment of Gala apples grown in the Pacific Northwest was exported to Lantao China by Domex Superfresh in early August under a new trade protocol.
“We are very bullish on the demand for Washington state Galas by China’s consumers,” said Jim Provost, vice president North American Sourcing, Lantao. “We feel the Washington state Gala is superior in taste and color to the Galas from Chile or New Zealand. The Chinese consumer has some experience with Galas from Chile and New Zealand, and we feel that the high red color will attract them to U.S. Galas, and the superior eating quality will keep them coming back.”
Reputation for consistent high quality is not the only advantage apple growers in the Pacific Northwest enjoy. “Another advantage Washington has over other countries is transit time,” Provost told The Produce News. “China is only a two-week transit time from the West Coast, while it is over 30 days from Chile. This is a big advantage.”
Provost, who is also owner of I Love Produce in Kelton, PA, said Lantao will be the first company doing e-commerce promotions for U.S. Galas in China using the T-Mall platform.
“As the largest supplier of Gala apples from the state of Washington, we are honored and excited to have the opportunity to share our growers’ passion for nurturing and delivering safe, nutritious and consistently high-quality fruit,” said Robert Kershaw, president of Domex Superfresh Growers. “The apples are grown in ideal conditions in our rich volcanic soil with an abundance of sunshine and sparkling clean water.”
Lantao is one of the larger importers and distributors of premium fresh fruit from around the world into China. Its distribution sites include Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, Herbing, Shenyang and Qingdao. Galas will be moved from Lantao’s Shanghai headquarters.
“The Lantao team is from mainland China, so we understand the consumer market in China better than anyone in the fruit import business,” said John Wang, Lantao’s chief executive officer. “Our capabilities allow us to reach the various marketing channels in China, including e-commerce, supermarkets, fruit stands, push carts, farmer’s markets and small wet markets in all regions in China, not just the big-three cities of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.”