Farm to Table: Chinese O2O Retailer Suning.com Empowers Rural Farmers to Bring Agricultural Products to More Consumers Across the Country
Suning.com (002024.SZ), China’s leading smart retail service provider and a Fortune Global 500 company owned by Suning Group, is helping farmers in Xuyi County in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province to harness the internet and logistical, technological and geographical challenges associated with the sale of the local specialty crawfish, to expand product awareness and boost sales as this year’s season comes around.
Xuyi crawfish are bright red, clean, tender, and revered for their fresh and sweet taste but shoddy imitations are often sold by illegal vendors around the country. Now, thanks to Suning.com, consumers everywhere can enjoy fresh agricultural products at a more accessible price. The Xuyi crawfish story is a shining example of Suning.com’s e-commerce solution helping farmers to get their products from farm to table.
Earlier this year, Suning.com held a training course to cultivate the use of the internet as a way to bring agricultural products from China’s villages where they are produced to more customers in metropolitan areas. More than 300 small and micro e-commerce merchants from Xuyi County participated in the event, where they learned the difference between food and agriculture, and gained insights into how to market Xuyi County’s unique agricultural products online. Trainees also learned foundational steps to run an e-commerce business, including how to use new media to open stores and promote products.
“Suning.com taught us all the components needed to effectively run an online business, from operational planning to online system operations. In addition to training, there will be teams providing us with professional guidance along the way. This allows us to communicate and solve problems as a group in real-time,” said Qian Haiwen, General Manager of Xuyi Lobster Supply Chain Co., Ltd.
Suning.com has also established a 5,000sqm base in Xuyi County to enable authentic sales and delivery of Xuyi crawfish directly from the source. Qian Haiwen has high expectations and is already looking forward to expanding his business in anticipation of a growing market.
Suning.com has a history of supporting counties and villages to promote their agricultural products.
In the mountainous Yuegou Village of central China’s Henan Province, agricultural treasures are abundant, including the village’s native eggs. However, its geographical location and topographical conditions mean the village cannot easily ship products, which has led to the depletion of local jobs. To improve the situation, Yuegou county leaders called on villagers to join Suning.com’s rural revitalization program, where they can get help to sell the village’s eggs and improve their income. With policy support from the county and assistance from Suning.com, Yuegou Village has built a complete egg supply chain with a record of 100,000 orders per day and a monthly turnover of RMB20 million.
Suning.com has also established an inaugural batch of listed purchasing villages as the sources of high-quality agricultural products, including Liangjia, Qing’an County, Suihua City in Heilongjiang Province and Kedeng Village, Yanyuan County, Daliang Mountains in Sichuan Province that span across China. Furthermore, the company has developed a Chinese style online pavilion to promote Chinese agricultural brands and enhance the visibility of agricultural products.
In addition to immediate sales, the increased popularity and distribution of agricultural products also helped strengthen regional industrial chains and cultivate a more sustainable business model. In turn, these create long-term benefits, from strengthening the local labor market to attracting young talent to return to their hometowns.
To date, Suning.com has established 120 purchasing villages, 71 factories, and 68 industrial clusters. With its brand-new supply chain, the company is cutting out the middleman to obtain products from the source, support manufacturing and promote marketing. Through these joint efforts, Suning.com is bolstering the agricultural farming economy, allowing villages to reap more profits, and delivering affordable prices to consumers.