Falsely labeled crabs upset the market
Updated: 2012-10-16 13:23
By Tang Zhihao in Shanghai (China Daily)
"There must be systematic and detailed laws and regulations to stop falsely labeled crabs from entering the market," said Yang. "Meanwhile, every administrative department including association and quality supervision authorities should have a clear role and know exactly what should be done".
Despite the falsely labeled crabs causing disorder and confusion in the market, crab business operators are still confident about the market.
"Currently, many customers only know crabs from Yangcheng Lake are good, but they cannot tell which brand is better. I think it is a time for companies to develop their own brands and establish brand loyalty among customers," said Zhang from Suzhou Yangchengyuhuo Biological Breeding Cooperative. "As in any other industry, a confused pricing system and lack of industry standards to regulate the market are part of the essential development that must be experienced by the crab industry".
To broaden brand awareness, Zhang has increased the amount he spends on advertising. He also launched an online trading platform to attract Internet shoppers.
Zhang said he planned to release the total output of crabs at the beginning of the crab season and will update the figures to notify people how many crabs are available for sale.
"Creating trust is the most important thing in supporting a company's growth," said Zhang.
For many crab traders, an online trading platform has become an important shop window for their products.
Currently, there are more than 100 companies and individuals trading Yangchenghu crabs at Taobao.com, one of the largest online trading platforms in China. The top trader sold 6,900 boxes of crabs in one month, each containing eight crabs.
Yihaodian.com, the online trading unit of US retailing giant Wal-Mart in China, said the weekly sales revenue from crab trading has so far amounted to millions of yuan in 2012 and will increase by the end of October. The end of October is the best time to enjoy crabs because the male crabs will be fat and female crabs will have thick roe.
In August, the Suzhou Yangcheng Lake Crab Association reached an agreement with leading e-commerce platform operator 360buy.com allowing it to become the first authorized online store to trade authentic Yangchenghu crabs.
Yang Weilong said it is essential for crab trading companies to seek expansion through an online platform.
"E-commerce has emerged as a formidable distribution channel and demonstrated a strong capacity for expansion," said Yang.
Zhang from Suzhou Yangchengyuhuo Biological Breeding Cooperative said having an online store is an effective way to reducing rental and labor costs.