Chinese pickle spices up export hopes with Mexico

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 7, 2023
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Fengdu county in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality is famous for exporting zhacai, a traditional Chinese pickle made from mustard stems. The traditional appetizer with a century-old history has become a delicacy on the dinner tables outside China.

In the production workshops of Chongqing Fengdu Sanhe Industrial Co, you can smell the fragrance of zhacai from far away. Tons of mustard stems go through many processes to be made into zhacai that is exported to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and other countries.

"We started exporting zhacai in 2001. Last year, the export volume was about 10,000 tons, and the output value was about 100 million yuan ($13.7 million)," says Huang Han, chairman of company.

In August this year, representatives of the company visited Mexico and Brazil as part of a delegation seeking trade opportunities as well as cultural exchange. "This gave us confidence and the expectation of entering the Mexican market," Huang says.

"Mexican food tastes sour, sweet and spicy. I believe that tacos with zhacai added will be a wonderful feast for the taste buds," he says.

The company's research and development team tasted a variety of Mexican foods, asked people for advice, and adjusted the zhacai formula according to the local tastes. Eight types of zhacai have been developed for the Mexican market, and the company plans to go to Mexico with samples in December, Huang says.

In 2022, trade volume between Chongqing and Mexico reached 13.64 billion yuan, up 6.2 percent year-on-year, and Mexico has become Chongqing's largest trading partner in Latin America, according to the Chongqing municipal government.

Xiao Chaoming, general manager of Chongqing Fengdu Mingfu Industrial Co, has been producing and selling pickled onions for more than 30 years.

Xiao says that the company began selling its products to Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and other countries in 2006. Now its annual export volume has reached 1,800 tons and is expected to hit 4,000 tons next year.

In August, Sanhe and Mingfu reached a deal worth $2 million with the Yucatan Peninsula Chinese Association in Mexico. The first order of zhacai and pickled onions for Mexico marked a good entry for the two Chinese enterprises into the Latin American market.

Recently, a government delegation from Chongqing municipality visited Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil to deepen exchange, economic, trade, and cultural cooperation between Chongqing and Latin America.

During the visit, three investment and trade fairs attracted more than 600 Chinese and foreign enterprises, leading to the signing of 21 projects.

At the China (Chongqing)-Mexico Investment Promotion and Commercial Cooperation Conference held in October, Fadlala Akabani, Mexico City's secretary of economic development, said he hoped that Mexican enterprises could be incorporated into the supply chain of Chinese enterprises and that Mexican workers would be integrated into the production and marketing value chain of Chinese enterprises.

"I think that between Mexico and China, our two countries have a prosperous future, and we must continue to work together," Akabani says.

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