ou can soon be more discerning with your durian choices thanks to an agreement between Alibaba and a Malaysian supplier to import the highly sought after Mao Shan Wang durians into China.
The e-commerce giant’s online supermarket arm, Tmall, and its global food sourcing platform, Win-Chain, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Malaysia’s BEHO Fresh and China Certification Inspection Group Malaysia (CCIC) to bring in frozen whole versions of the fruit.
According to the deal, BEHO Fresh will supply Win-Chain with whole, frozen Mao Shan Wang durians for sale on Tmall and other Chinese retail platforms owned by Alibaba.
CCIC will provide independent, third-party quality control and traceability services to ensure the items are up to standard.
China’s appetite for the pungent Southeast Asian delicacy has been growing rapidly in recent years. In April, over 80,000 Thai durians were sold within a minute of an online sale, and the flavor has found its way into pizzas, snacks, and desserts from big food companies.
While the majority of durians sold in China currently comes from Thailand, Mao Shan Wang is prized for its creamy texture and bittersweet taste, which have led to some detrimental effects. In Malaysia, prices for the variety have nearly quadrupled in the last five years and more land has been converted into durian plantations, resulting in deforestation and critically endangering the Malayan tiger.
[Photo via 8 Days]