Exporting To China

Export Challenges

Some of the challenges that California Stone Creek is ready to meet include the following:

  • Large segments of China’s economy remain closed to foreign engagement.
  • The competition is strong; however, California produces more produce than any state in the US. Therefore, California Stone Creek is prepared to meet this challenge.
  • The Chinese business culture can be complex for companies that are not used to dealing in the Asian marketplace.
  • Sometimes, language barriers exist. However, these can be overcome by continually assessing the market and underscoring the need for transparent communications.
  • Patience is required to build trust and establish networking opportunities.


California Stone Creek also acknowledges that China has experienced excellent economic successes over the past three decades. While the country was previously an agricultural culture, urbanization has increased significantly and now surpasses 55%.

The Second Largest Economy in the World

After the United States, China is the second largest economy internationally. It is also a major trading partner among Asian countries. Knowing this information allows California Stone Creek to take a staged approach to establishing a presence in China.

Establishing a Presence in the Marketplace

This means that California Stone Creek is focused on identifying its target markets and profiling the strengths and weaknesses of its competitors. We understand too that it is important to establish our market position for selling products in China. Both production capacity and delivery must be considered to meet consumer demands.

Introducing and Exporting Produce

We believe that it is important to cover three key areas when introducing and exporting products to China. These areas cover planning and strategy, marketing, and export processes.

Planning and Strategy

Under the classification of planning and strategy, we are committed to practicing the following:

  • Concentrating on building our export skills and knowledge;
  • Knowing the appropriate amount of money to invest while projecting the expected return; and
  • Working in concert to meet China’s ever-increasing produce requirements.

Clear Channels of Communications

By marketing to China, California Stone Creek is committed to understanding the business culture and legal atmosphere of the country. We also want to make sure we promote our product well. Therefore, we are devoted to establishing clear channels of distribution.

A History of Agricultural Collaboration

We have researched the Chinese market and continue to do so. We have also looked at the practical aspects of exportation, such as logistics, regulations, and supply variables. What gives us added confidence is the fact that the US and China have enjoyed a history of agricultural collaboration – a history that dates back to the decade of the 1970s.

An Increasing Demand

Because of the relationship between the US and China, China is positioned to adopt agricultural policies that will benefit both Chinese and US consumers and producers. Moreover, China’s ever-increasing economy, escalating disposable incomes, and developing urbanization are driving demand for both beverages and foods.

Why the Need for Produce Is Great

Despite a slowdown in recent years, China still boasts one of the fastest expanding economies worldwide. Because of urbanization, residents have increased their preference for fresh foods and wet markets. Wet markets are venues that sell produce or fresh meat. As increasingly more second, third, and fourth tier cities develop in China and connect with the rest of the country, agricultural demand for produce will also be emphasized.

Consumer Preferences in China

According to the analyses, consumer preferences in China are marked by the following criteria:

  • Food safety. Retail experts report that food imported from the US is thought of as dependable by Chinese consumers.
  • Nutritional value. Consumers in China are paying more money for food that is highly nutritional in nature.
  • International offerings. Chinese consumers associate imported produce with a better lifestyle and therefore are more interested in imported foods.

Making the Adaptation

By understanding this information, California Stone Creek is ready to adapt its product offerings to the preferences in the Chinese market.

Shipping the Produce

To ship produce to China, California Stone Creek must review delivery methods in terms of cold storage, handling, air freight, and packaging.
Packing the Produce

Packaging produce—or fresh fruits and vegetables—is a crucial step in the arduous journey from the supplier to the customer.
Types of Packaging Used for Produce
Containers that are used for handling and transportation include the following:

  • Bags
  • Crates
  • Hampers
  • Cartons
  • Bulk Bins
  • Palletized containers

A Large Range of Packaging Alternatives

In the US alone, over 1,500 various packages are used for marketing produced. Moreover, that number continues to escalate as new packaging ideas and materials are introduced. Although the produce industry supports container standardization, the use of a wide range of package sizes are available to meet the needs of processors, buyers, and customers.

Current Trends in Packaging

Packaging contributes substantially to the expense of production. Therefore, it is essential that packers, shippers, consumers, and buyers familiarize themselves with the options for packaging. Because many export markets have material restrictions in place, most produce packaging now tends to be made of biodegradable or recyclable materials. Premium graphics are also used on packaging to boost a product’s sales appeal. As a result, distinctive lettering and multi-color printing processes are often applied.

Making a Choice for a Container or Package

Containment or packaging, as noted, takes various forms. Because produce should fit nicely inside a container, the packaging often conforms to a food’s shape. While onions or potatoes may be inserted in one of the various containers, foods, such as berries, soft fruits, or asparagus, are often contained in specially designed packages.

Producing a Barrier against Damage

Produce packages that are handled manually are typically limited to 50 pounds. However, bulk packages that are moved by forklifts can weigh up to 1,200 pounds. The packaging that is used for production must protect the product from poor environmental conditions or mechanical damage during handling. Introducing packaging that is collapsed or torn indicates a lack of attention in handling. Therefore produce containers must be rugged enough to resist the effects of handling, storage, and transportation.

Increased Stacking Strength

Because most produce packages are palletized, the containers must possess an adequate amount of stacking strength to resist crushing in a high humidity or low-temperature climate. The cost of packing materials has increased. However, lower cost containers that can be easily damaged by handling or moisture are not acceptable.

Freight-forwarded Produce – Special Requirements

Needless to say, the packaging used for exporting must be exceptionally durable. As a result, air-freighted produce may require a special package size and insulation. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to consult with a freight forwarder about special packing requirements.

Poor Environmental Control

The damage that results from poor environmental control during the handling and transit of a product is the main reason for rejection. It also leads to a lower level of satisfaction by the buyer and consumer. Each piece of produce—fruit or vegetable—has its own set prerequisites for humidity, temperature, and environmental gas composition.

Maintaining the Freshness of the Produce

Containers or packaging should be produce-friendly – sturdy enough to optimize a product’s shelf life. Therefore, special packaging materials are frequently used to slow water loss. Insulation may also be used to keep out heat. Plastic liners are employed as well to maintain the required mix of carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Specialized Cold Storage Containers

Specialized cold storage containers extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetables by slowing ripening during transit. For example, the ripening of avocados can be extended to just over a month, allowing the shipment of the product to faraway places like China. Asparagus also benefits from this type of containment. In turn, produce respires at a controlled rate during a journey and arrives at the ideal state in the ripening process.

Eliminating Fruit Fly Populations and their Larvae

In-transit cold treatments can be can be used, as well, for the following purposes:
To eliminate the development of fruit flies and their larvae without damaging the cargo.
To eliminate the need for fumigation with chemicals.