CHINA – Hongjiu Fruit, which operates across the fruit supply chain in Asia, has secured US$71 million (500 million yuan) in funding as part of its Series C round led by the CMC Capital Partners. 

The funding round follows a US$71.4m series A round in December 2018 with the participation from CSFA, Haiken Group, Sunshine Insurance Group, China Securities, S.F.Express Group and Shenzhen Capital Group.

Hongjiu Fruit connects premium orchards from home and abroad in the upstream and end retail channel in the downstream.

The company said the investment will be used to improve supply chain system, expand imported and domestic fruit products, and improve capital turnover as part of its commitment to building world class orchards and integrating top fruit resources.

According to a DealStreet Asia report, Chongqing-based Hongjiu, which has over three decades of experience in the industry, is targeting to build six distribution centres overseas.

The company currently has three fully-owned subsidiaries in Thailand, Vietnam and Chile and production centres in Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi and Hainan in China.

The new funding will also help Hongjiu optimise the supply chain, expand import and domestic fruit categories and improve capital turnover efficiency.

Hongjiu Deng, Hongjiu Fruit’s founder said, in a statement that the company has already entered the high-end fruit markets in Thailand, Vietnam and South America and is now looking to enter the Philippines to source tropical fruits.

In September this year, Chongqing Hongjiu Fruit and Philippines-based firm Davao Eng Seng Food Products Company signed a US$1 billion strategic cooperation agreement to source bananas, coconuts and pineapples.

Booming Chinese fruit industry

China’s direct fresh fruit imports have increased four-fold over the past decade to reach 3.8m tonnes last year, according to Fresh Intelligence Consulting’s Wayne Prowse.

More than 70 per cent of the volume is sourced from South East Asian countries (the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) supplying tropical fruits, such as bananas, dragon fruit and durian.

These products are especially popular in southwest China, into such extents that many local distributors and buyers have established their own sourcing and packing operations in South East Asia.

Maggie Xie of Haisheng, the world’s largest apple juice concentrate producer, has unveiled plans of modernizing the fresh fruit and vegetable sector in China and is now embarking on construction of Asia’s largest high-tech greenhouse for growing cherry tomatoes.

Haisheng has already established close to 6,000ha of modern agriculture plantings around the country.