Asia Golden Rice joins with Alibaba
Pact covers online and vending machines
Rice exporter Asia Golden Rice Co has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tmall, one of the leading shopping websites of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, to distribute premium-grade Thai rice via Alibaba channels.
The MoU signing ceremony was held yesterday in Hangzhou, China during the "Global Shopping Festival" and witnessed by Chutima Bunyapraphatsara, deputy agriculture and cooperatives minister, and Jet Jing, vice-president of Alibaba Group.
Under the MoU, Asia Golden Rice's Benjarong hom mali Thai rice brand will be sold on Tmall and the supply chain of jasmine rice production will be streamlined.
The rice will be distributed through Alibaba's channels, including Hema and Tmall, using an omni-channel approach.
Supply chain resources from Cainiao network will be integrated to ensure speedy delivery to Tmall consumers.
The MoU also covers "new retail". Benjarong and Tmall plan to set up more than 100 rice-vending machines at important business locations in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai.
Mr Jet said Tmall could offer a lot of different scenarios for selling hom mali rice, solutions for targeted marketing and online-offline business services along the supply chain.
Benjarong entered the China market in 2002.
After many years of offline development, it has captured a market share of up to 70%.
It started cooperation with Tmall in 2014 and achieved more than 900% year-on-year growth in sales on Tmall in the first half of 2017.
Thailand is forecast to produce about 32 million tonnes of paddy in the 2017-18 crop, for which harvesting usually starts this month.
Of the total, roughly 30% of annual production is premium-grade hom mali rice, which is popular in restaurants in Asia, particularly in Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
Thailand is keen to export more rice this year amid rising global demand at a time when major rice-producing countries have been hit by unfavourable weather, driving global prices higher.