On June 11th, new cases of Covid-19 were traced to the Xinfadi Wholesale Market, the largest fruit and vegetable trading center in and around Beijing. In order to avoid further developments, the authorities took measures to close the market on June 14. To ensure the normal supply of vegetables and fruits in Beijing, produce originally traded in the Market has sent been to designated areas.
During the temporary closure, the Market will not receive individual consumers and the role of large supermarkets, the backbone of all sales channels, will be given full play - direct supply from sources of vegetables, meats, and other products to supermarkets is encouraged.
These are among the measures taken to guarantee trading during this emergency. Xing, the manager of Zhongnong Futong growing center in Nanhe shared his insights on the recent supply situation in Beijing.
"On the one hand, the closure of the wholesale market has reduced the volume of transactions, resulting in a shortage on the market. On the other hand, panic-stricken locals are reluctant to buy local produce. These two factors have led to a surge in demand for fruits and vegetables from neighboring provinces. The neighboring province of Hebei has initiated a response mechanism and has increased the supply of vegetables and fruits to Beijing. Our greenhouse growing center in Nanhe is one of the main supply forces,” Xing said.
Zhongnong Futong’s growing center in Nanhe County, Hebei Province is 400 kilometers away from Beijing and supplies fresh vegetables and fruits to six supermarket chains in Beijing and more than fifty community stores. Since the outbreak in the Xinfadi Market, the growing center has ramped up its supply to the Beijing market and become a "vegetable basket" that safeguards capital residents’ demand for vegetables and fruits.
"The main categories supplied by our growing center include snack cucumbers, tomatoes, and colored peppers. After the Covid-19 outbreak, our frequency of supply to Beijing increased from twice per week to four times, and the volume has increased from about 3,000 kg each time to 4000-5000 kg, to ensure the supply of vegetables to Beijing at the best of our ability,” Song said.
“Our growing center supplies vegetables that are large in consumption volumes. After the second spike of Covid cases, we have responded to the government’s call and will not increase the prices even if the products are in short supply, in order to provide Beijing residents with stable, safe, and affordable vegetables and fruits. Currently, cucumbers and tomatoes are marketed at 7 yuan/kg and colored peppers are at 9 yuan/kg."
When talking about market supply and demand in the coming weeks, Xing said, “so far, the second wave of Covid-19 cases in Beijing has been well controlled. Although Xinfadi is still closed, Beijing locals have stable access to fresh vegetables and fruits thanks to the support and supply of more than 100 vegetable growing centers around Beijing, such as our center in Nanhe. Although summer is here and greenhouse production has come to an end, we will arrange planting in advance to provide people in Beijing with safe and healthy vegetables."
Zhongnong Futong Nanhe Greenhouse Growing Center covers an area of 11.3 hectares. Production is conducted strictly in accordance with the standards of GlobalGAP. All facilities in the center are provided by Dutch suppliers, including Hogendoorn climate control system, Codema irrigation system, Viscon post-harvest system, and Van der Kannap planting substrate.