|Municipal Party Secretary Wei Xing (first from right), and Chairman and General Manager Cao Ronggen of Kunming Jinyuan Flower Industry Co., Ltd. jointly attended a ceremony to mark the initiation of the National Coffee Trading Center project. (puernews.com)|
According to Pu'er Daily, the municipal government of Pu'er City and Kunming Jinyuan Flower Industry Co., Ltd. (Jinyuan Flower for short) held ceremonies on July 9 to mark the signing of an agreement on a collaboration project between the two and the initiation of that project. These occasions signified the formal commencement of the National Coffee Trading Center as a project as well as its settlement in Pu'er.
Deputy Mayor Yang Weidong of Pu'er City said at the signing ceremony that coffee planting began in Pu'er over 100 years ago and that since the 1980s the coffee industry of Pu'er has gradually set foot on the path to becoming greater in scale and industrialized. By making sufficient use of the city's capability of bringing government resources together and integrating them and the company's capability of running business operations in the market, the joint effort by Pu'er City and Jinyuan Flower to build the National Coffee Trading Center will lead to a perfect modern coffee trading system and, on top of it, a coffee public trading service platform that is based in Yunnan Province but has national reach.
The system and platform will make it possible for all parties involved to complement each other with respect to resources and collaborate with each other to grow stronger, thus playing a vital role in gaining a greater say in deciding the prices of coffee and setting coffee quality standards, protecting the interests of the widespread coffee farmers, regulating the market, building Pu'er's coffee into a famed brand, and promoting the fast, healthy development of the coffee industry in general.
According to sources, there is a total of 716,000 mu of coffee fields in Pu'er, amounting to a total coffee yield of 45,000 tons, which makes Pu'er the top city in Yunnan Province in terms of coffee planting area and yield. In Pu'er, there are currently a total of 386 coffee businesses registered as such with the city's industrial and commercial administration, with Nestlé and Starbucks each maintaining a permanent presence in the city, and there are over 240,000 people involved in coffee business.
In December 2012, China Fruit Marketing Association named Pu'er "China's Capital of Coffee." At present, Nestlé, Starbucks, Maxwell House, Kraft Foods, Ecom Agroindustrial Corp., Louis Dreyfus, and other international coffee businesses have all set up a coffee purchase post or center in Pu'er. In fact, coffee from the various cities and counties of Pu'er and from Laos and Burma and some other countries is mainly traded in Pu'er. According to statistics, over 80,000 tons of coffee, or 85% of China's total coffee output, was traded in Pu'er in 2013.
Background to the Project
In Yunnan there is over 1.8 million mu of coffee fields, which produces over 90,000 tons each year, a fact that makes the province account for over 98% of the entire country's total in terms of both coffee planting area and yield. Yunnan is the largest coffee planting and export base in China. For a long time, however, over 90% coffee produced in Yunnan has long been exported as raw material to European and North American countries, which has led to too high reliance on the international markets.
As a result, big fluctuations have frequently occurred due to the influence from the international markets, and situations in which it is difficult to purchase coffee have alternated with those in which it is difficult to sell coffee. This has made it impossible to develop the coffee industry steadily.
Planning for the Project
Deemed part of a grand vision planned for Yunnan as a whole, the National Coffee Trading Center project aims to build itself into an industry platform serving coffee farmers and businesses, which will consist of one headquarters, three collection centers, and one delivery center. Of these facilities, three, known as the Yunnan Coffee Service Headquarters, the Public Trading Service Platform, and the Warehousing Center, respectively, will be built in Pu'er; three collection centers, where coffee will be preliminarily processed, will be built in Lincang City, Baoshan City, and the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, respectively; the coffee storage & delivery center in Kunming City. The entire project is expected to involve a total investment of RMB750 million.
Prospects of the Project
Once completed, the National Coffee Trading Center in Yunnan will begin to serve as a central platform for Yunnan's coffee industry and even for China's coffee industry and fulfill the following 5 functions: 1) establishing an advanced international-standards-compliant system for the electronic processing of large coffee transactions; 2) perfecting and building an international-standards-compliant system for accessing the quality and taste of coffee products; 3) building a full-blown service system and quality standard system that are oriented toward coffee farmers and producers; 4) building a coffee training system and a talent cultivation system that comply with international standards; and 5) building Yunnan's and Pu'er's coffee into high-end brands and promoting them in China and in the world.