Feature: Mexican chia seeds aim to perk up sales at China's Import Expo

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-10 11:07:01|Editor: Liu
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TEPATITLAN DE MORELOS, Mexico, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The chia seed, a highly nutritious Mexican product, is seeking to perk up sales in the Chinese market through the ongoing second China International Import Expo (CIIE).

Oswaldo Navarro, a chia seed producer, told Xinhua that his grandfather began planting chia in the last century and that he is aware of the "potential" of this seed to serve as a source of nutrients as part of a healthy diet.

For this reason, Navarro has dedicated himself to creating a special product that can be marketed abroad.

After establishing his own brand, Onavsa, in the town of Tepatitlan de Morelos in the Mexican state of Jalisco, Navarro began considering how to position his product abroad and make its debut at the CIIE.

At the CIIE, he said he hopes to meet with representatives from Chinese businesses who are interested in his product, after having contacted them via the Internet and through associations like the Mexico-China Chamber of Commerce and Technology.

"We are very excited ... We hope to see representatives from around 10 to 15 businesses during the five days of the CIIE," said the young businessman.

Navarro also said he hopes to learn how to sell his product on e-commerce sites in order to gain popularity in the Chinese market.

Though it was founded a few years ago and has only 30 employees, Onavsa has already received an organic certification and has begun exporting abroad. This year, a total of 80 tons of his chia seeds have been sent to Shanghai.

"We already sent to China four containers of 20 tons each, to Shanghai, but in the medium to long term, we intend to send all our production to that country, which would be around 400 tons annually," he said.

During Navarro's visit to China, he will also visit manufacturers of gravity table seed cleaners.

"There is Mexican machinery for cleaning grains and seeds, and there are very recognizable American and German brands. However, China is a leader in the production of affordable machinery for cleaning grains and seeds," he said.

With the current "rudimentary" machinery, Navarro can clean between three to four tons of seeds per day, but with Chinese equipment, "we could clean around eight tons and with fewer employees," he noted.

Disappointed by the prospect in the U.S. market as Washington increases trade barriers against its partners, many small- and medium-sized businesses in Mexico are aiming for better commercial cooperation with China, especially through events like the CIIE, where they can exhibit their products.

"We are very grateful and proud to be participating, and for us, it's important to maintain a relationship with China and the CIIE," Navarro added.