PLS seals exclusive distributorship with China’s COFCO

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15, 2022 – (ACN Newswire via – PLS Plantations Berhad trading and export subsidiary, Dulai Fruits Enterprise Sdn Bhd cemented their export and exclusive distribution agreement with COFCO Food Import Co. Ltd, the import and distribution subsidiary of China Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) in Shanghai.

Back (L-R): Ms Zhengfeng, Mr. Eric Chan, CEO of Dulai Fruits, Ms. Wu Yiran, Vice General Manager of COFCO Food Import Co,. Ltd, Mr. Qiao Qingsong, Assistant General Manager of COFCO Food Import Co., Ltd; Front (L-R): Mr. Kenny Loh, Sales Director of Dulai Fruits, Mr. Jiao Guangyun, General Manager of Fruit Division of COFCO Food Import Co., Ltd

COFCO is China’s leader in the agricultural and food industry and a world leading agri-product trader with a global footprint with fully integrated value-chain. It is also China’s largest food processor, manufacturer, and trader.

The agreement was formalised in Shanghai, China.

This exclusive distribution agreement was inked after months of extensive engagements and evaluation by COFCO. This further re-enforced PLS’s track record and commitment to developing sustainable models in support of the Malaysia’s food security programme, that aims to scale the production of agriculture and aquaculture produce through strategic partnerships and joint-ventures with established and experienced farms and farmers.

PLS is a public-private-partnership (PPP) company which has a long history in co-operating with the State and Federal Government, and its related agencies. The major shareholder of PLS has worked with the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) since 1974 and also other land development and plantation agencies responsible for working with rural communities in the form of small holder farms. Part of PLS’s food security programme is to foster the planting of different cash crops such as oil palm, rubber, paddy, cocoa to forest plantations, and promote related economic activities such food processing.

Present for the signing of the agreement today at Shanghai are Ms. Wu Yiran, the Vice General Manager of COFCO Food Import CO., Ltd, whilst Mr Eric Chan, CEO of Dulai Fruits are on site as representatives of the Group.

Ms. Wu Yiran of COFCO said, “The demand for durian in China has been growing over the years, where in the span of four (4) years between 2017 and 2020, China’s annual import value of fresh durian has increased more than threefold. In fact, the General Administration of Customs saw the People Republic of China (PRC) importing 822 million kilogrammes of durian in 2021, which translates to an import value of $4.2 billion. With the local demand for fresh durian likely to continue increasing, we pleased to finalise this exclusive distributorship agreement which this partnership will ensure a steady supply of fresh, high-quality fruit and products, specifically for unique varieties of durian that can only be grown in Malaysia such as Musang King, Red Prawn, and D24, to name a few.

PLS is the only listed company in Malaysia that is sponsoring the food security programme and owns durian plantations. Dulai Fruit, a GTC certified company by PRC and is one of the pioneers certified to export durian from Malaysia to China. In addition, Dulai Fruits also has a noteworthy track record as a major processor and exporter of durian to China, especially their experience and expertise in developing frozen durian products and deep industry experience in cold chain logistics and warehousing.

With this exclusive distribution partnership, both PLS and COFCO aim to achieve an annual growth rate of 30% (annual import volume of 200 million yuan) in all types of durian imported from Malaysia over the next three (3) years.

This will lay a good foundation for bilateral investment in agriculture between the two parties moving forward, and together the two countries – China and Malaysia – will make proactive contributions to the development of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Lee Hun Kheng, Group CEO of PLS said, “We have been working with COFCO prior to the pandemic and are pleased to be certified under China’s rigorous quality and food safety requirements. China’s emphasis on food security sets a high bar in terms of quality from its suppliers globally. This agreement is a significant milestone for PLS as it further established our long-term strategy to develop a comprehensive, end-to-end agrofood ecosystem that will support the production, processing and distribution of our products locally and internationally.”

Lee added, “Through COFCO, Malaysia’s durian will be distributed to China’s most populous cities and provinces, reaching a potential audience in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. This milestone is another step towards our goal to be a leading agrofood producer in which, our fresh, high quality durian fruit and products forms the backbone.”

“This will also be an opportunity for PLS to distribute Malaysian produce to China and the world, whilst ensuring that Malaysians continue to have access to affordable, quality produce. We are looking forward to putting Malaysia on the global map in terms of our local produce, especially our unique durian varieties, and to grow Malaysia’s durian market share in one of the world’s largest countries and markets. We are working hard to ensure that we meet the booming food and durian demand in both China and Malaysia, and are also optimistic that this partnership will be one of the many we will establish as we continue our expansion into different cash crops”, Lee said.

Eric Chan, CEO of Dulai Fruits said, “We are very excited to be here and to co-operate with COFCO and COFCO Food to increase the access to, and availability of Malaysia’s unique durian offerings across the different provinces in China to cater to rising demand. Prominent varieties such as Musang King, Tekka, and Black Thorn, among others, are unique to Malaysia due to our country’s climate, rainfall patterns and water source to its distinct soil composition around our Titiwangsa mountain range.”

Eric added, “This environment and geographical combination enable different durian varieties to thrive and produce the exceptional unique tastes and flavours that our high-quality Malaysian durians are increasingly known for. We are confident that this partnership will open more opportunities for Dulai Fruits to offer new and innovative products that will fortify Malaysia’s position as the producer of top-quality durians globally.”

COFCO, founded in 1949, is the leader of the agricultural and food industry in China, and one of the world’s leading agri-product traders. COFCO’s unique advantages in global distribution, fully-integrated value chain, and agricultural innovations, as well as its seat in the world’s largest emerging market make it one of the world’s leading agribusinesses, ready to build even more stable food corridors between major production areas and emerging markets.

PLS Plantations Berhad: 9695 / [BURSA: PLS],

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