Lemonboy was partly inspired by the rich history of the lemon business in Hong Kong

JWM Asia and Twente Partners launch lemon brand

New venture sees the development of Lemonboy brand.

by Matthew Jones

JWM Asia Group, a leading trading and marketing platform based in Asia, has formed a strategic alliance with Twente Partners, a highly respected South African citrus grower-exporter.

The partnership has given rise to a new lemon brand, Lemonboy, which will be used in markets across Asia.

This project was inspired, in part, by the rich history of the lemon business in Hong Kong. Lemon traders, known as ‘lemon boys’, have long played a role in meeting consumer demand for the citrus fruit in the Asian nation.

“Forging strong partnerships with producers, exporters and importers alike allowed these traders to ensure a steady supply of produce year-round,” says Antony Greenstein, chief executive of JWM Asia.

“This robust supply chain enabled them to meet the demands of multiple sectors in Hong Kong, including wholesale markets, supermarkets, fruit stalls, open-air food stalls and other distribution channels.”

Greenstein says Hong Kong’s lemon traders have also paved the way for the emergence of a thriving industry centred around a beloved local beverage, lemon tea.

Synonymous with the city’s vibrant culture, lemon tea has firmly established itself as a culinary staple in Hong Kong, largely thanks to these traders’ consistent supply of lemons.

“This has allowed tea houses and traditional cha chaan teng’s to rely on the availability of highquality lemons to expertly craft their signature lemon tea recipes,” Greenstein explains.

An increasing population of health-conscious consumers has also contributed to the rising demand for lemons in Hong Kong. According to Greenstein, the fruit’s rich Vitamin C content and other associated health benefits are perfectly aligned with this consumer group.

“Lemons have become an essential ingredient in a wide range of beverages, desserts, and wellness practices, leading to increased demand,” he says.

“In short, the history of lemon traders in Hong Kong reflects the city’s dynamic trade networks, culinary influences, and evolving consumer preferences. As a result, the demand for lemons continues to grow even to this day, and we owe thanks to those first lemon boys who paved the way for what the industry has become today.”

JWM Asia, formerly known as Metspan, was established in 1996 and has since emerged as a prominent trading and marketing entity in Asia. The business was acquired by Joy Wing Mau Group in 2017.

JWM Asia has strategically positioned global offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa, along with affiliate offices in Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Chile. JWM Asia has played a leading role in the Hong Kong lemon trade for the past 20 years, specialising in the lemon replenishment business.

“We have fostered strong relationships with key players, while catering to the needs of wholesale, retail, and catering companies throughout Hong Kong,” says Greenstein.

“This extensive experience and expertise served as a significant inspiration for this new brand initiative, Lemonboy.”

Given the ever-increasing demand for lemons in Hong Kong, JWM Asia actively sought a new partner in the market. Greenstein says Twente was a natural fit.

“Twente proved to be an ideal partner for this new venture due to its shared ethos and strategy of bringing value to end consumers and growers,” Greenstein says.

“It excels in strengthening supply channels and acting as a bridge builder from farm to table.”

Drawing on its wealth of production expertise, Twente has developed strong customer bases in Europe, the Middle East, and Canada.

Recognising the potential of Asian markets, the company sought a trusted and reliable partner to expand into this region.

“This is where JWM Asia’s lean and flexible team, armed with extensive expertise in managing large volumes across diverse Asian markets, truly excels,” says Ronald Ferreira, Twente Partners’ commercial manager (Middle East, Asia, and Russia).

“Navigating the intricacies of each market with its unique specifications, protocols, and trading practices, JWM Asia proves to be the perfect collaborator, ensuring that the precise fruit specifications are met and delivered to the market at the opportune moment. “Such meticulous attention to detail guarantees utmost satisfaction for both consumers and growers alike, solidifying the partnership’s success.”

Repost from: AsiaFruit (asiafruitmagazine.com)