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12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

Author|Zhu Mo Report|Kuaidao Finance

It's the harvest season of melons and fruits, and the air is full of intoxicating sweetness.

Compared with the "fruit freedom" that consumers are happy to see, fruit farmers are walking on thin ice. This is because of the strange circle that has not been broken in the industry for many years - domestic fruits are unsalable every season, and can only be sold cheaply or even poured out in the end.

In stark contrast, imported fruit is treated differently and is still very popular even as prices go all the way. Taking Guangxi sugar oranges at the beginning of this year as an example, the market was so sluggish that it fell directly below 1 yuan / catty, becoming a veritable "sad fruit", while imported citrus is a sought-after "fragrant bait", and the price per catty is generally more than 10 yuan.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

According to the statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2021, the mainland's fruit output reached 299.702 million tons, with an output value of nearly 2 trillion yuan, making it the world's largest fruit producer.

But behind this seemingly glamorous data, there is a cold fact: the annual loss of domestic fruits is as much as 12 million tons, resulting in economic losses of 400 billion yuan.

What's even more embarrassing is that domestic fruits are often seen as a "replacement" of imported fruits. In the past 10 years, the mainland has introduced nearly 20 large cherry varieties from the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Italy and other countries, and popular grape varieties such as Kyoho, Summer Black and Golden Finger are also from Japan.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

The consequence of the "take-it-or-leave-it" doctrine is that mainland fruit varieties are highly dependent on foreign countries, lack of high-quality local varieties, slow industrial development, product picking, sorting, and packaging are seriously backward, and low-grade and homogenization have become "labels" that are difficult for domestic fruits to get rid of.

There is no shortage of fruits in China, what is lacking is good fruits. Although from the current point of view, the construction of fruit brands in the mainland has made some progress, but well-known brands are still rare.

Obviously has a unique natural geographical conditions, but a good hand of cards to play bad, should shine in the domestic fruit, why to today's predicament?

Flowers bloom inside the wall, fragrant outside the wall

The dull pain of domestic fruits

In October 2021, the dust settled on the "sky-high lawsuit" caused by a fruit and vegetable rattan.

Chinese businessman Gao was sentenced by the New Zealand High Court to compensate the global kiwifruit production giant Zespri (Zespri) 12.25 million New Zealand dollars (New Zealand currency, about 55.58 million yuan), which is still a greatly discounted amount, causing heated discussions among domestic netizens.

The fuse of the matter was that Gao smuggled out the fruit tree buds of the "Sunshine Golden Fruit" and "Charming Golden Fruit" experimentally researched by Zespri, and planted them on a large scale by mainland fruit farmers without permission.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

After the matter fermented, public opinion was polarized: some people believed that Gao had indeed violated the legitimate rights and interests of the other party, while others were not convinced, thinking that planting our own fruits, why should we be claimed by foreign countries?

As we all know, kiwifruit was originally produced in China, and there are 52 species and 38 subspecies of 54 kiwifruit varieties in the world, but in the end it was carried forward in New Zealand, and then became the world's most well-known kiwifruit brand "Zespri", with an annual production of nearly 80 million boxes and sales in more than 70 countries and regions in the world.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

Annoyingly, although China's kiwifruit production is five times that of New Zealand, New Zealand sells 20% of its kiwifruit to China, and the supply exceeds supply. Today, China is New Zealand's number one export destination for kiwifruit.

The price gap is even more pronounced. On the one hand, there is a kiwifruit priced at up to 12-30 yuan, and on the other hand, there is a native kiwifruit of 4-8 yuan per catty, and the economic benefits behind it are not a little bit and a half.

The most regrettable thing is that the Wuhan Botanical Garden has independently selected and bred the precious "golden peach" kiwifruit, because no domestic company is willing to take over at a reasonable price, and the scientific research results are not respected and rewarded accordingly, so they can only reluctantly cede the patent use right in the domestic market to the Italian company, and the other party promises not only to expand the planting area of kiwifruit, but also to continue to pay patent royalties.

This has created a very absurd scenario: if China-bred kiwifruit varieties want to enter the domestic market, they must also be imported from abroad, which is ironic.

In addition to this astonishing kiwi case, in 2020, California-based International Fruit Genetics sued China, arguing that it had stolen the sweet sapphire grapes they had bred and developed.

In April 2021, the Japanese government passed the "New Seedling Law", which "blocked" more than 1,900 new crop varieties, and no longer allowed these new varieties of seedlings to be taken out of Japan, especially to prevent the flow to China.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

Behind the much-criticized "take-it-or-leave-it" doctrine of domestic fruits, it was actually determined based on the original national conditions. It was not until after the reform and opening up that mainland fruit and vegetable breeding began to start, and between 1996 and 2007, due to the change of the scientific research system, there was also a problem of stagnation in breeding.

Fruit tree breeding is a long process, usually about 24 years to develop a new variety of fruit trees. Under the influence of factors such as breeders, financial support, and working mechanisms, there are not many breakthrough varieties independently selected and bred in the mainland.

Coupled with the varieties bred in China, growers need to bear the "variety research and development costs", and the Chinese people are naturally more willing to plant those varieties that have matured, which can greatly save the cost and time of market education, which seems to be efficient, but is actually short-sighted.

Taking domestic apples as an example, the production in 2016 was 43.88 million tons, of which more than 70% of the apples were red Fuji varieties. Someone once put apples from different regions of the country together for blind testing, and the results showed that neither consumers nor professionals could accurately tell the origin of each apple.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

In this case, a large number of homogeneous products are listed at the same time, and it is inevitable that they cannot be sold at a high price. And when a differentiated product like the New Zealand Aifei apple comes out, it's easy to win.

Under the vicious circle that is intensifying, how can domestic fruits not slide into the abyss.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

The chaos is heavy and people's hearts are lost

Domestic fruits are stubbornly ill

In March 2021, The Paper received relevant revelations, saying that in Wuming District, Nanning, Guangxi, which enjoys the reputation of "the hometown of fertile oranges", fruit merchants increased the dilution concentration of antibacterial pesticides without authorization in order to ensure the quality, and the potential safety hazards were ignored for a long time.

During the reporter's unannounced investigation, it was found that the local mandarin oranges would be sent to the fruit washing factory after picking, where they would be cleaned, waxed and soaked in antibacterial pesticides to preserve freshness. In the soaking process, a variety of antibacterial pesticides are mixed, and the soaked mandarins are not stored at a safe interval, but are directly sent to the market for sale.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

If you are worried that the concentration is not enough to cause the mandarin to rot, the fruit merchant can also buy pesticides to continue to add, so that the mandarin can be stored for about two months, and then sell when the price rises.

This unstored and degraded fruit surface will have pesticide residues, which will cause harm to the human body when eaten. Fruit farmers who know the inside story never eat it, but they ignore the "unspoken rules", just because this is how they can earn more "hard-earned money".

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

In fact, "pesticide mandarin" is just a microcosm of the chaos of domestic fruits, and the stubborn disease is far more than that. Due to the lack of planning of domestic fruits, fruit farmers are accustomed to following the trend of planting, and the consequence of a swarm of bees is that the quality of the bees is getting worse and worse, the price is getting lower and lower, and the reputation and people's hearts are lost.

The grape variety "Sunshine Rose" is a lesson in point. As early as 10 years ago, when it was first introduced, the planting area of sunshine roses in the mainland was only a few hundred acres, and now, the planting area has reached 800,000 acres.

As a rare variety that Japan is proud of, when Sunshine Rose was first listed in China, it was called "Hermes among grapes" because of its price as high as 200-300 yuan/bunch. Driven by interests, Sunshine Rose quickly promoted planting all over China, regardless of whether the environment is suitable or not, and regardless of whether the technology can support it, the first to occupy the pit and then say, the trend of quick success and quick profit prevails.

As a result, farmers plant, bosses plant, and even real estate tycoons also came to cross-border planting. At the same time of crazy expansion, the uneven quality made "Sunshine Rose" lose the market step by step, and the price plunged.

▲The sunshine grapes in 14 bases in China have different appearances

According to the price publicity data of Beijing Xinfadi agricultural product market, the wholesale prices of sunshine roses in Xinfadi in 2020, 2021, and 2022 will be 26.7 yuan, 22.3 yuan, and 25 yuan respectively, which is not the same as at the peak.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

What you sow, what you reap. In order to obtain Sunshine Roses with larger fruits and higher yields, many growers blindly choose to sacrifice flavor in exchange for a good price. In the case of fertilizer, in Japan, "Sunshine Rose" is mostly made from organic matter of plant origin, such as wood chips and walnut shells.

However, in China, in most cases, organic fertilizers of animal origin, such as animal manure, are used, and even some fruit farmers use organic fertilizers, such as phosphate fertilizers, potassium fertilizers, and calcium fertilizers, in order to save costs. You must know that the long-term use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides will break the ecological balance and immunity of fruit trees, and once stopped, there will be a large reduction in yield or even no harvest, so the use of chemical fertilizers year after year, the land is becoming more and more barren, and the harvested fruits are becoming more and more unpalatable.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

Therefore, the fruit of Sunshine Rose is indeed bigger, but the quality is greatly reduced, and the hollowing phenomenon is obvious. The early picking of Sunshine Roses is also common, and in order to take advantage of the "early adopter", the fruit is picked before it is fully ripe, so that there is a huge gap in the sugar-acid ratio.

Therefore, more and more consumers have finally eaten this former fruit aristocrat, but found that not only is it not as amazing as imagined, but also a little astringent, and it can't taste any "rose fragrance", which is not as delicious as ordinary Jufeng.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

After the disappointment, being abandoned by the market is a natural outcome.

Lack of standards and disorderly development

Can domestic fruits turn over

In recent years, the news of unsalable domestic fruits has been frequent, such as Shaanxi apples, Meishan grapefruits, etc., and the strong impact from imported fruits has made domestic fruits powerless.

The numbers speak for themselves. From 2011 to 2013, the import and export of mainland fruits was still in a relatively balanced state, after 2013, imported fruits began to exceed exported fruits, and from 2016 to 2019, they basically showed exponential growth, while the export volume of mainland fruits was tepid.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

After 2020, although the volume of imported fruits has slowed down due to the epidemic, the fruit trade deficit has continued to widen. According to forecasts, the average growth rate of China's fruit imports will continue to be higher than the average rate of exports in the next 10 years.

In terms of fruit imports, cherries and durians have always been popular categories of imported fruits from the mainland. For example, 80% of Thailand's durians and 80% of Chile's fresh cherries have entered China's consumer market.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

The differences between domestic fruits and imported fruits are mainly reflected in safety, quality, brand, taste and other aspects. Most of the producing countries of imported fruits are planted in an industrialized way, with high yield and universal use of photoelectric grading, which can sort fruits with excellent luster, single fruit weight, sugar content and moisture close to each other and put them together in boxes to ensure that the products are excellent and unified.

On the other hand, in the mainland, there is no standardized fruit quality management system, and the phenomenon of shoddy and indiscriminate filling of fruits is not uncommon, and disorderly development is constantly pulling down the overall quality of Chinese fruits.

There is no harm without contrast. France attaches great importance to the promotion of agricultural technology, has a complete set of physique and institutional settings, the French Academy of Agricultural Sciences has promoted more than 400 excellent new varieties of 74 kinds of cultivated plants, and many varieties cultivated enjoy a reputation at home and abroad.

The Japanese government also attaches great importance to the research and development of agricultural biotechnology and varieties, and incorporates the development of biological agricultural technology into the national development plan.

According to the estimates of the departments concerned, only one-third of the mainland's scientific research achievements in application and popularization have been achieved, and many of the achievements have not been carried out in intermediate experiments and production experiments, and because the special funds are too small, many tasks cannot be carried out and realized.

Fortunately, the country has realized the "stuck neck" problem that may be brought about by relying on foreign imported varieties. In the No. 1 document of the Central Committee in 2021, the goal of "fighting a good battle for the seed industry" was specifically put forward, and strengthening independent breeding varieties was not only based on the present, but also for the future.

12 million tons are dumped every year, and no one wants to sell them cheaply: when will the domestic fruits that have been crushed by imports regain their dignity?

With the increasing tightening of foreign intellectual property rights for seeds, the fruit war is no longer a small fight, and it is urgent to hold the "core" of variety research and development.

Of course, Rome was not built in a day. Whether it is market-oriented research and development, standardized planting, or socialized services, supply chain transportation, the mainland fruit industry has too many areas that need to be improved, and it still needs the joint efforts of all parties.

However, if you can't really pay attention to it from the root, and always blindly "lie flat", the future of domestic fruits may still be difficult to escape the fate of "hating iron does not become steel".

(The picture in this article comes from the Internet)

Resources:

1. Inspur Studio "Hermes in the Grapes, Why Not Fragrant"

2. Shennong Island ""Take-it-ism" can't save domestic fruits

3. The Paper "The mandarin orange that does not rot for two months is never eaten by fruit farmers"

*The reprinted article does not represent the attitude of Shangpin new consumption

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