Pinduoduo, China’s largest agricultural platform, joined a new campaign to support farm produce from China’s geographical indications (GI) as it steps up efforts to promote quality products and contribute to rural vitalization.
The campaign, hosted by Farmers Daily and China Green Food Development Center under the guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, kicked off on Sept. 17 in Yinchuan, Ningxia.
The organizers will select and promote a number of well-known GI-protected agricultural products nationwide and use them as model cases to help develop specialized rural industries. Pinduoduo is among the companies that will provide technical and platform support for the campaign.
A geographical indication is the name of a product where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. A 2013 study by the European Commission found that GI products command an average price premium of 2.23 times compared to non-GI products.
In China, a total of 3,454 agricultural products have been registered as GIs, according to Cheng Jingen, an official with the Department of Agricultural Products Quality and Safety Supervision of the agricultural ministry. For example, Ningxia has 60 agricultural products — including “Yanchi Tan Sheep” and “Zhongning Goji Berry” — under GI protection, with an annual output value of over 12 billion yuan ($1.86 billion).
Pinduoduo sees GIs as an endorsement of product quality that could lead to the establishment of time-honored agricultural brands.
“Agricultural products of GI origins are proven to have good, natural and safe qualities, and the concept is consistent with what Pinduoduo advocates, which is to let consumers enjoy better food,” said Hou Kaidi, vice president of Pinduoduo.
In August 2020, Pinduoduo started a strategic cooperation framework with Ningxia, featuring agricultural specialties from the region, training farmers on e-commerce and promoting consumption through tourism in rural areas.
During the kickoff event in Ningxia, Pinduoduo offered online and offline training on e-marketing techniques to relevant personnel working around GI products. More than 100,000 people joined the online courses, learning the marketing and branding skills on the e-commerce platform.
The platform is promoting high-quality produce from more than 400 growing regions as part of its annual harvest festival, including specialties from 100 of China’s geographical indications. Through livestreaming, user traffic support and free training, Pinduoduo will help more people understand and buy GI products, contributing to the development of strong agricultural brands.