Davao’s first shipment of durian to China has sold out, according to John Tan, CEO of Eng Seng Food Products (ESFP). “Actually, naubos na yung stock natin (actually, all of our stocks have been bought),” he said.
ESFP is one of the four exporting companies who participated in the first shipment, along with Maylong Enterprises Corp., Dole, and SQ Fresh Fruit Corp. This part of the export deal struck by Manila and Beijing at the beginning of this year.
Tan said that they had sent around 72 tonnes during Holy Week, with everyone working overtime to complete the order. “It’s like a dream come true,” he said in Filipino. “We’re happy and I’m very proud. I know this is a big help to Mindanao farmers and also a big help to our economy.”
The products were sold in several cities, including Beijing, Jiaxing, and Shanghai, where they sold out immediately. “They were very popular,” Tan said. “Customers said our durian tastes very good.”
This shipment is just the beginning, with more to be sent during Davao’s peak season, which could be anywhere from August to October. “We’re preparing for that. It’s hard to say how many container vans [we’ll be shipping], but it will be a lot.”
Tan emphasized that producing high quality durian begins on the farm. “We need the support of farmers to produce good quality products… [and] we need to support our farmers [through] for example, fertilizers [and] technology. They also need to apply for GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) training. [If ] our durian production is good, more success will come in.”
For now, this is an extremely good start. “Our shipment to China was very successful,” Tan said, adding that the industry is very grateful for the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Plant Industry, and the consulates of both countries, whose support enabled this shipment’s success. “[May] China and the Philippines [maintain their] close friendship so that [we can provide] more agri products for export to the Chinese market.”