Saturday, November 29, 2008

interview with wholesaler #1

I was really afraid of contacting wholesalers because the supermarket people were so mean to me. But today I conclude that I must have met one of the nicest wholesalers in the business. For so many reasons. The guy I spoke with is english educated. unfortunately he's not the son of the farmer but the partner. Oh well, nevermind. different perspective, same business. At the end, he actually entertained me for almost 3-4 hours and gave me a big bag of vegetables! Unfortunately there was a japanese eggplant in my goodie bag but it rolled out and I think it never came back in my bag again *cry* I really wanted to try it coz I would never have bought it on my own. sigh.

On the other hand, I think theirs is a unique perspective and is good to be so open. He says there are ways to get in without gahmen knowing and I wonder about that. He didn't tell me and I don't want to know but geez, I wonder if it's the same methods as I know. Unimportant though. But as ascertained, they are not interested in "domestic issues" and supermarkets don't care either. And best of all, we don't have the purchasing power apparently. Is not enough priority. Dammit I forgot to ask if they know the source is heavily degraded, would they still import from there. Shit. Maybe I should email him to thank him and then sneak in the question.

He say to treat him chicken rice and I definitely don't mind! Even better yet, I promise I will show him around Cameron Highlands. That is definitely doable. I think I can start a SG-CH tour agency O_O" Not that people feel the need for that right? Hmmm... who knows. Farm stay? :D

I don't want to say this but I wonder if his identity as a christian influences his decision making and makes him different from the chinese-educated wholesalers. I cannot say that until I have met other wholesalers. Is it an education thing or a cultural-religion thing? He speaks perfect english; and cantonese and hokkien and teochew and chinese. I'm sure he speaks malay too.

I don't have other to compare to I think but he definitely feels that it's an integral part of his business. Even the branding and the company name. Of course there is no other comparison other than to the US and again, religiosity I would definitely hesitate to comment on.

oh one important thing, i really don't like how these CH exporters disguise their names every each way. now SFL is called United SFL Plantations?! But they export specially to wholesaler #1. Wholesaler #1 doesn't do the auction deal because they do institutional customers but yet they still do home delivery so what's up with that? SH only supply them with cucumbers. Momotaro is expensive coz seed is expensive. Branding is important. Price can be 100% different pre and post packaging. I think consumer target is different too. the indonesian products because of the air/sea freight(?) are all very professionally packaged, with plastic and box prints. They happen to have the same branding too, unplanned. Their quality more consistent. The CH ones are totally unprocessed. Wholesaler must do QC and packaging. 90% of the ones he get from CH are unprocessed. But of course post-handling are done in CH only if direct to supermarket.

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