James Tyler and Perfection have accelerated their penetration of the US$95,294m Chinese vegetable market by harvesting the first batch of Broccolini in China. An offtake agreement with Chinese behemoth fresh food player - Qiandama - has already been secured, which has the potential to grow into an annual revenue in the 10s of millions of dollars. With demand all but secured, our attention turns to supply - and here's five key things we've learnt so far!
ONE: You can't grow anything without land!
Unlike in many Western countries where land is plentiful, finding available space in China is incredibly difficult. Without a solid proposal or extensive consultation with Chinese local Governments on what benefits the project will bring to the region, it is next to impossible to secure land. Fortunately for James Tyler we have signed the China Australia Air Silk Road MOC that removed barriers to securing land, and we were able to bring Perfection and the Broccolini project into this MOC.
TWO: Increasing yield is critical
Leading on from the point above, with limited land comes the inevitable need to maximise the usage of that land - or in other words - increasing yield. Over the next few seasons both Perfection and James Tyler will be carrying out a number of tests to measure output and maximise yield.
THREE: Quality at scale
This is no shortage of mouths to feed in China, so selling your product isn't an issue. Therefore, when it comes to broccolini, our key challenge is to rapidly increase supply at a certain spec (ie. quality).
FOUR: Farmer management
There are also relatively few large scale farms, with the overwhelming majority being small scale farms with a single farmer/owner/manager. Therefore, to meet the objective of point three above (quality at scale) it is imperative that we have a network of knowledgeable and experienced farmers.
FIVE: It's the perfect hot pot vegetable
China has only ever known broccoli. That is until Perfection and James Tyler introduced Broccolini. And after sampling with target buyers from all different types of sales channels, one of the major opportunities we discovered was as a hot pot dish. The firm, crunchy stem doesn't disintegrate in the boiling broth like Chinese broccoli, making it chopstick and hot pot friendly! We think this opportunity could be huge - watch this space....