Durian pre-sale promotion gets Thai agri-business partnership with Alibaba’s Tmall off to great start 

Economy April 24, 2018 18:48

By The Nation

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The successful Thai durian pre-sale promotion on Alibaba’s Tmall platform, over a three-day period starting April 17, ushers in an expanded presence for more Thai agricultural products on the online platform.

More than 130,000 high-quality Thai durians pre-sold to Chinese consumers, including more than 80,000 of the Monthong variety, during the opening minute of the promotion.

Under the terms of its partnership with the Thai government, China-based Alibaba Group has pledged to jointly promote the sale of 3 billion yuan (about Bt15 billion) worth of durian over the next three years, in addition to other Thai exports.

Charin Sirikarn, owner of fruit-trade centre Super Fruit Thailand, said increased demand from China would have a positive impact on the company’s business across the board, with higher sale volumes and new job opportunities opening up to accommodate the growing market.

“We carefully sort durians by their quality before shipping them overseas, considering factors such as shell colour, weight and ripeness level. By shipping durians that are 70-80 per cent ripe, they will arrive in China fully ripe and ready for consumption,” Charin explained.

Through the collaboration with Alibaba, the aim is to increase the value of durians and other quality agricultural products from Thailand in the global market, which will ultimately lead to a better life for farmers and entrepreneurs, said Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong.

The sales of rice, another of Thailand’s major export crops, will also be bolstered by the partnership following the launch of Tmall’s Official Thai Rice Flagship Store on April 19.

The store’s online launch will be followed by Tmall-supported distribution of Thai rice across multiple channels, including innovative and convenient vending machines available at some stores of the leading supermarket chain RT-Mart in China.

Zhu Xia, senior director of Tmall Fresh, said that the durian pre-sale promotion was just the first step in the company’s continued commitment to support Thailand’s agriculture industry.

“Throughout this initial stage of the partnership, we have received tremendous support from the Ministry of Commerce and the DITP [Department of International Trade Promotion] in recommending top-quality suppliers of these products for our platform, and we aim to offer these businesses – not only for durian and rice, but also other crops – with an opportunity to grow and build upon their successes through our platform,” he added.