China Calling (May 2013)
China is one of the main growing areas in our ingredient category. While all Silva ingredients are produced at our finished goods production facility in Illinois, our Silva-China quality control staff located throughout China works with the field side of this raw material. Each quarter we provide an update, called China Calling, which gives the latest activities from this region.
For many of our raw material partners within China, the worst of the winter ends in March; we use the time prior to prepare the land and get ready for the coming year’s crops.
The Silva Quality Assurance (QA) team (right) visits the fields directly, discussing the planting base with the farmers that produce raw materials used for production of Silva ingredients in 2013.
Irrigation water can either be river, well, or city supplied. The Silva QA team (left) discusses with this farmer the modifications required to protect this well water supply from potential contamination.
Few farmers have mechanised equipment for their planting base. The size of land they have often means that it is not viable to use tractors, and thus land preparation, planting, and harvesting are all done by hand.
In previous editions of China Calling, we have talked about how farmers are leaving their land to work in more lucrative jobs. In the picture to the right, we see how several farms have been combined, which has initiated this farmer to loan a tractor for seed planting. Silva QA team members check the working mechanism on the unit.
In many parts of China, a key activity in raw material production is the traditional hand selection operation, pictured right. High standards are used at every step to ensure that fresh, high quality raw materials are delivered to our Illinois facility for processing, resulting in the best finished ingredients for you.
In the image to the left, the first harvest of spring onions make their way to market. The majority of onions that are going to dehydration plants start their journey on a boat, but here a small truck checks in at the weigh platform.
Did You Know?
The farming production numbers in China continue to amaze. In a recent press article, the flower industry was reported. In one city alone, over 11,600 hectares of land has been assigned for daffodils. This brings in revenue of around $1.23 billion (US). Even more interesting is the fact that it is the local market in China that now requires this commodity. With increased wealth, people want these “luxury” items in their homes, offices and hotels. The export market for these flowers is about $55 million (US).
Several regions are being encouraged to invest in flower planting, to increase export figures, and in some regions farmers are being given 30% discounts on electricity if they set up a green house complex.
Fig trees are another commodity in China. Young trees are exported to Japan and South Korea, bringing in revenue of around $30 million (US).
There is a similar pattern for orchids; from one farm complex alone there was over $160 million (US) in sales—and only 5% went for export. China certainly is a country of dramatic changes.