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Macao Magazine 54

September 2019

orchards that produce for export as well as inspection of packaging equipment in the factories. Fu Yi chairman Chen Yaodong says that, even before a lychee tree is planted, customs officials come to the orchard that aims to export. “They inspect the ground and water quality,” he says, “to see if they are up to standard. Orchards and packaging plants that have not registered with the customs cannot export. The whole inspection procedure is strict.” “After the lychees have passed domestic inspection,” continues Chen, “they must then be inspected by the importing country. The US, Japan and the European Union all have detailed inspection procedures. The US inspection items are many and their demands are very high.”

Eating lychees in Europe While China remains the most important market for Guangdong’s lychee growers, foreign countries offer enormous potential. Lychees are growing in popularity in Europe but consumption is limited. The growers want to reach beyond the traditional market of overseas Chinese – especially Cantonese – who have carried their love of the lychee with them. In a report published in February this year, the Confederation of British Industry says that, in Europe, the lychee is most popular in France, with Madagascar and South Africa supplying the majority of lychees during the winter season from October to February. “Supply during the summer season is much more limited,” it notes, “but offers opportunities for countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Israel.” The report places the import market in Europe at between 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes of the fruit a year. “Lychees do not ripen after harvesting,” it says. “Therefore, lychees should only be harvested when they are fully ripened. To prevent the fruit from deteriorating after picking, it can be fumigated with sulphur dioxide. This treatment makes sea transport possible, as long as the fruit is kept in cooled conditions. It will also change the colour of the fruit to yellow, while European buyers prefer its natural red colour.” The lychee is indeed adored in China and across the world – and this love is clearly growing every year, with producers reaping the benefits. Madame Yang Guifei may be the most famous lover of the lychee – but many people, at home and abroad, share her passion and may also go to great lengths to indulge in their favourite fruit.

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Profile for Macaulink

Macao Magazine September 2019  

We have found alarming figures on plastic waste over the course of putting together this issue: 160,000 plastic bags are used every second a...

Macao Magazine September 2019  

We have found alarming figures on plastic waste over the course of putting together this issue: 160,000 plastic bags are used every second a...