Jason Zhang, JWM chairman and CEO

JWM eyes RMB100bn future

On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, Joy Wing Mau chairman and chief executive Jason Zhang talks to Asiafruit about what lies ahead for the leading Chinese fruit enterprise.

by Yuxin Yang

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Joy Wing Mau (JWM). What are some of the group’s most significant achievements, especially in recent years amid the impact of the pandemic?

Jason Zhang: In recent years, the world has faced unprecedented changes. The resilient JWM team successfully achieved the group’s phased objectives while maintaining our industry-leading position and laid a solid foundation for future development. In terms of operation management, JWM has developed sophisticated management and business models, which earned us a placement on Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies list three years in a row.

In terms of supply chain development, JWM has streamlined processes and operations with digital solutions. Through continuous investments, we have constructed two modern warehouse centres in Shenzhen and Shenyang, both of which are set to be operational later this year.

On the brand development front, following the partnership with China national women’s volleyball team in 2020, we entered a strategic cooperation agreement with China Aerospace in 2022, becoming the first fruit company to collaborate with China’s aerospace industry. This partnership solidified our leading position among Chinese fruit brands.

As a social enterprise, JWM makes a positive impact not only in the fruit industry, but also in the broader society. We have taken on social responsibilities by establishing a comprehensive social responsibility framework, and actively exploring sustainable development paths in areas such as rural revitalisation and carbon neutrality. The company is committed to creating an ecological value chain within the fruit industry and contributing to the wellbeing of people, society and the environment.


JWM entered a strategic cooperation agreement with China Aerospace

In your opinion, why is JWM able to achieve such results despite the external challenges?

JZ: Firstly, integrity and sharing are part of the JWM culture and have been throughout our 25 years. This has given the company vitality and resilience. It extends beyond employee stock ownership plans and profit sharing, to encompass sharing knowledge, experience, and profits with the upstream and downstream supply chain partners.

Secondly, our success is also thanks to our highly professional team. We have a commitment to nurturing and accumulating professional talent, teams, and expertise in the fruit industry.

The third key factor is our capability to match global fruit resources with omnichannel distribution networks. It is becoming increasingly evident that we can bring great returns to high-quality fruit growers worldwide.

JWM is celebrating its 25th anniversary under the theme ‘Willingness and Rewards’, which are Buddhist terms. Can you explain the meaning of this theme?

JZ: I had been thinking about how we managed to do well over the past 25 years, and particularly during the three years under Covid. I think a shared ‘willingness’ is key. Willingness translates to capabilities, as well as intangible energy and a positive mindset towards a brighter future. Our ultimate goal in the business is to fulfil the mission of “Better Fruit Better Life”. We aim to bring a promising future of wellbeing to humanity, society, and nature through fruits.

‘Rewards’ (also means ‘good fruit’) represents JWM’s future direction. At the fundamental level, it is about employees’ livelihood and the survival of the enterprise. At the level of purpose, it is about excelling in the fruit industry, promoting sustainable development and creating a better society. In terms of ideals, the aim is to influence and drive the overall ecological prosperity of the industry, the supply chain, the society, individuals, and nature.


JWM celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2023

Over the past 25 years, JWM has emerged from an importer to an integrated fruit enterprise. As its chairman and CEO, what new direction do you envision taking the group towards in the future? Are there any new goals?

JZ: In 2015, I talked about our goal to become the first Chinese fruit company with a market value of over Rmb10bn (US$1.41bn); that goal has long been achieved. Today, as JWM moves towards becoming a world-leading fruit enterprise, I propose a new goal: ‘Century Enterprise, Rmb100m (US$14.1bn) Dream’. We have three core management concepts to help us achieve it; they are, ‘professionalism’, ‘value-ism’ and ‘long-termism’.

Professionalism refers to our life-long dedication to the continuous improvement and advancement of the fruit business, to respect agriculture and its principles, because our survival depends on it.

‘Value-ism’ is about delivering the best supply to customers, to help them unlock, create and fulfil consumer demands, which in turn helps us realise our value and honour.

‘Long-termism’ is about influencing and driving commercial and cultural progress of the fruit industry by our own actions and results, and bringing a beautiful future for humanity, society, and nature through the power of fruit. I believe that as long as we focus on these three things, the goal of “Century Enterprise, Rmb100bn (US$14.1bn) Dream” will be achieved.


JWM continues to invest in production

You talked about making JWM a world-leading fruit enterprise. Can you tell us more about your global expansion strategy?

JZ: JWM actively develops its global fruit resources. We seek out new products and establish long-term partnerships with suppliers, as well as sharing the value in the Chinese consumer market.

We have also been working more closely with world-leading logistics service providers in recent years; we achieved great results together by coming up with new logistics solutions, such as charter vessels/planes, sea-air intermodal transportation and customs clearance decentralisation across multiple ports. We will continue exploring logistics solutions in key countries to maintain our competitive edge.

Export business is another area we are actively developing in global markets. We have had success bringing our Joyvio Blueberries and Shine Muscat grapes to South- East Asian markets. In addition,

we are enhancing the development of international talent in order to provide a talent pool for our globalisation work.


Charter vessels are one of many logistics solutions JWM has been exploring

Domestically, JWM is investing more efforts upstream. What does the production segment mean for JWM?

JZ: Seeds are the foundation for modern agriculture. JWM is dedicated to cooperation with leading plant breeders and seed companies globally. We continue to import and develop quality varieties that have great potential in China, and licence them in the most suitable regions to grow on a commercial scale.

JWM has successfully brought in the latest varieties of fruit such as blueberries and grapes, as well as implementing state-of-the-art growing techniques. We established world-class demonstration blueberry plantings, which now have evolved into a fully-integrated modern industrial park that encompasses a wide range of functions including blueberry variety introduction, breeding, soilless cultivation, processing, warehousing, logistics and academic exchange. With JWM’s contribution, the blueberry industry in Yunnan has experienced rapid development and has emerged as a leading region for high-quality blueberry production in China.

Looking to the future, JWM will pay even closer attention to finding the best varieties around the world, and introducing them to China to grow on a commercial scale. It is essential for driving the domestic fruit industry’s advancement, and ensuring our products maintain a dynamic competitive edge.

How is JWM coping with the economic downturn in the market? What strategies do you have in place to achieve sustainable growth?

JZ: As the outside world changes, so does our strategy. We have developed a clear roadmap with five major strategies, driven by a ‘Category Leading’ mindset, to achieve healthy and sustainable future growth.

The ‘Category Leading’ strategy is key to reach our second Rmb10bn (US$1.4bn) goal. We are focusing on core strategic products to maintain a leading position in key categories, ensure stable product quality, and drive the development of other advantageous products. By doing so, we aim to establish a highly competitive core product portfolio, while building professional and competitive barriers to entry.

A ‘Smart Digitisation’ strategy is also in place to empower future development.

We are establishing a cutting-edge, industry-leading, fully integrated digital platform to develop comprehensive digital solutions tailored specifically for the fruit sector. This initiative aims to enhance collaboration and efficiency across the supply chain, ultimately driving technological upgrades within the industry. On top of that, JWM will continue making full use of our omnichannel advantages, while expanding our distribution channels, as well as modern and emerging retail channels. By doing so, we can create more value for our clients. We are also building world-class cold chain logistics centres, and actively exploring global international logistics solutions to establish a competitive international logistics network. We are increasing investments in culture, welfare, and talent development, to create a solid international talent reserve.

JWM is soon moving into a brand new headquarters. Can you tell us more about that?

JZ: On the occasion of the 25th anniversary, we are thrilled to announce our new headquarters, the JWM Seafront Building, will be in full operation later this year. It will mark a joyous and exciting moment for everyone at JWM.

The new building is a key part of our ‘Category Leading’ strategy. It is located in the Baoan district of Shenzhen, and covers 110,000m2 in gross floor area. It is built with the goal of establishing a global fruit industry chain operation centre and research and development industrial base. We are committed to creating an advanced modern fruit supply chain smart industrial park in China.

The building has adopted world-class hardware standards and it features Asia’s first fully automated vertical smart cold storage facility specifically designed for fruit and vegetables. It integrates functions such as sorting, processing, storage, and comprehensive supply chain services. With the support of our independently developed software system, efficient digital management can be achieved, significantly enhancing our supply chain efficiency. This enables JWM to provide professional supply chain services to our partners.

The JWM Seafront Building is a new beginning for JWM. Our cold chain logistics base in Shenyang will also be operational this year. Beijing, Shanghai and other key cities will be our next targets. With the establishment of these facilities, JWM can in time achieve our Rmb20bn (US$2.82bn) and Rmb50bn (US$7.05bn) goals.


JWM’s new headquarters will be in full operation this year

Is there anything else you want to say to the global fruit industry?

JZ: The fruit market in China is undoubtedly the best in the world in terms of growth and scale. As a key company in the fruit distribution value chain, JWM will adhere to the principle of meeting and serving consumer demands, actively integrating China’s high-end fruit distribution chain. By sharing the dividends of the Chinese consumer market, we aim to achieve a more balanced value distribution across the industry chain and promote the continuous and healthy development of the global industry chain for high-quality fruit.

Repost from: JWM eyes RMB100bn future – AsiaFruit (asiafruitmagazine.com)