Fri, Jan 12, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Farmers sell direct on Post Mall site

NO INTERMEDIARIES:Buying produce direct from an array of farmers benefits the consumer. Chunghwa Post also donates a percentage of the profits to local charities

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

An increasing number of independent farmers are using the Post Mall e-commerce site to sell their produce directly to online customers, Chunghwa Post said on Tuesday.

Company spokesperson Susan Lan (藍淑貞) said 260 independent farmers are using the online site to market and sell their produce.

Jointly, they generate annual sales revenue of between NT$35 million and NT$38 million (US$1.18 million and US$1.28 million) per year, which accounts for about 12 percent to 13 percent of the Post Mall’s total revenue, she said.

The company’s partnership with independent farmers began in 2014, Lan said, adding that farmers have used the site to sell 14 types of produce, including gold yams from Yunlin County, onions from Pingtung County, Yuherbau litchis from Kaohsiung, cantaloupes from Yilan County, navel oranges from Taitung County, passion fruit from Nantou County and red quinoa from Hualien.

The company has also worked with independent farmers from Kaohsiung’s Meinong District (美濃) who have chosen to sell their cherry tomatoes on the Post Mall, Lan said.

“The farmers’ association in Meinung taught the farmers how to grow cherry tomatoes, including how to use fertilizers, apply chemicals and implement a safety and responsible production system,” Lan said. “The association also helped them obtain a safety certification for their produce, which was later marketed, sold and delivered through Chunghwa Post’s services.”

The cherry tomato harvest was lower this year because of the weather, Lan said, but added that a 3kg box of cherry tomatoes sells for NT$498, the same price as last year, because it is sold directly from Meinung and the company works with 50 cherry tomato farmers.

Fresh produce from independent farmers is mainly purchased by domestic buyers, Lan said.

For each box of cherry tomatoes sold on Post Mall, the postal company donates NT$10 to the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, Lan said, adding that the partnership has worked well for the postal company and independent famers.

“In the past, each of them had to find their own way to sell the produce, but now the Post Mall serves as a platform to market their products directly without any intervening traders,” Lan said. “We are actively seeking farmers to work with us. They should know that we will donate a percentage of our profits to charity.”

The company has contributed to charity organizations nationwide, depending on where the agricultural products were produced, she said.

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