- Producer: Wang Rui
- Brand: Long Jin Yuan
- Year of settlement: 2015
- Location: Wudu district, Longnan region Gansu Province, China
- Olive grove: 130 hectares
- Varieties: Arbequina, Hojiblanca, Picual, Koroneiki
- Harverst: end of October, hand picking
- Production: 300,000 litres per years
- Other products: olive wine, vinager, liquor, and leaves tea
- Specificities: own their olive nursery
New entrants of Chinese olive oil, already so big!
Along a large greyish avenue in the city of Longnan, our driver suddenly stops under a porch. We feel like we are entering a private home. Yes and no. It is also Long Jin Yuan’s headquarters and factory, a family business producing olive oil, already making almost 300,000 litres per year. But also a lot of other original and pioneering olive products… Discussion with the young Miss Wang Rui.
In Olio Veritas – Could you tell us about the history of your very young company?
Wang Rui – In 2015, my father, who was a nurseryman at the time, decided to extend his business to olives, given the government’s incentives and the success of the sector. So he planted trees on about a hundred hectares in the mountains above here, built a shed to install two production lines, and a building for tanks, bottling and storage. A year later, in 2016, we were already producing olive oil. The year after, I graduated from the University of Agriculture in Chengdu and joined the company. I am mainly interested in distribution. Today we have nearly 30 people working for the company.
IOV – What are the varieties of your trees and oils?
Wang Rui – We have mainly the Spanish varieties grown in the nurseries of the olive research institute: Arbequina, Hojiblanca, Picual, but we also have some Koroneiki. We harvest all the varieties together in November, so our oil is a blend.
IOV – What products do you make from all these olive trees?
Wang Rui – First of all, extra virgin olive oil. We produce nearly 300,000 litres per year. But we chose to diversify our products to avoid waste and offer an wide and original range to consumers. For example, we produce herbal teas from young olive leaves, olive vinegar, but also olive wine and olive liquor, from the pomace that we let ferment in large amphoras. We like to experiment, and customers who know olive oil seem to appreciate those by-products.
IOV – For the moment, what are your main distribution channels?
Wang Rui – We sell in many shops here, in Longnan region, as well as in Gandzhou City and its 15 million inhabitants area. We also have some opportunities in Taiwan. Last year we were able to sell all our production. But we need to get organized for the future, and hire people to support our development in new markets in China.
IOV – What are the mains challenges to make your company keep growing?
Wang Rui – The market! The production of quality extra virgin olive oil in China is very promising and is constantly increasing. In Wudu district alone, we are 11 companies, the majority of which produce more than 100,000 litres of oil per year. But consumption does not follow the same rhythm. Few Chinese people can tell the difference between a basic olive oil and a high quality olive oil. Moreover few Chinese people know that China produces quality olive oil. They trust Spain or Italy more than China. We are not yet equipped to go to other international markets, so we will focus on educating the Chinese consumers first.
IOV – Thank you Miss Rui. Let’s try the olive oil !
In the middle of the company’s diplomas and accreditations, under the curious gaze of our hosts and the wisdom one of the surrounding statues, Miss Rui has us taste a few different products she makes out of olives. Finally, she pours in cardboard cups the extra virgin olive oil pressed a few months ago. The oil is quite thick in the mouth and very light in taste. No pungency, no bitterness. But no flaws either. We can feel that the product is fresh. Our Chinese hosts do not really have an opinion on the matter.
>> To know more about olive oil in China, you can read all our articles in English here!