Focus on: China

China is one of the world’s largest sources of edible seeds and plays an important role in the seeds and pulses industry. The country is the world’s leading source of Pumpkin and has developed into an exporting powerhouse for this product, along with various Organic seeds.

Unicorn Ingredients has had a presence in China since 2011, with an operating office in Qinhuangdao. The office is headed up by Mr Wang Yong, who has been in the Pumpkin seed industry for more than two decades, who works closely with three young and energetic logistical and technical co-workers.

From China, Unicorn Ingredients sources many seeds – including Pumpkin (conventional and organic), Sunflower (conventional and organic), Organic Buckwheat, Organic Millet, Organic Linseed, Poppy, Watermelon Kernels and Sweet Apricot Kernels to name a few. We work with more than 20 active suppliers in China. Due to the fluid and dynamic nature of the seed supplier industry, we are very flexible and always on the lookout for reliable businesses to work with and develop productive long-term relationships.

As with any business or industry, rapid growth brings challenges, and the challenge we are facing with China (and other countries) is ensuring we can find a consistent and reliable supply base that can deliver requirements in a timely, clear manner. It can be argued that finding long-lasting commercial partners is not as easy as with other countries or regions due to language challenges, technical expectations and ever-changing demands of the European food industry.

Due to the large product catalogue that China has, Unicorn tends to work with suppliers that are specialised in certain seeds to ensure the expertise and focus is of the highest possible level. Unicorn also looks for an ever-increasing focus on technical reliability and commercial stability to ensure long lasting business relationships can be formed. However due to the competitive nature of the market, Unicorn also looks to supply chain innovation and whether something new can be brought to the table, such as greater access to new product development information for example

In the future China is likely to become increasingly important as part of the Unicorn Ingredients picture due to the in country office presence and the supply base. There is also the possibility that China could become a potential market to import into, as the population and demand for seeds grows.