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Daily Digest | Farm to table

Written by The Uptake Published on     1 min read

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Alibaba’s Hema reshapes agriculture in China.

Hey there. It’s Brady.

As someone who has spent many hours assisting relatives on family plots throughout my life, I can sincerely say that it’s tough to run a profitable farm. Proceeds are easily siphoned away by large-scale monoculture operations. Few manage to find a niche that guarantees revenue season after season.

When conglomerates insert themselves into the equation, farmers usually get the short end of the stick. But Alibaba’s Hema is trying something different. The supermarket chain will work with 1,000 villages by 2025 to move their produce to its stores and directly to customers, complete with the tracked product information that gives buyers a way to find out where exactly their food came from.

This development is in line with the Chinese government’s “common prosperity” drive that you have heard so much about. Plus, it emulates a pattern already established by Alibaba: its “Taobao villages” developed over the past few years transformed impoverished areas into hubs for trinket production, offering a new way for people in these regions to earn a living.

Jiaxing wrote about Hema’s plan. You can read about it here.

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