Aug 30, 2016

    Johor firm's frozen durian has 2-year shelf life


    IN BUSINESS, it is not enough just to maintain your market share.

    You have to expand

    your product range and

    find new markets if you want to remain relevant

    in an ever-changing world.

    And that was how Malaysian company Top Fruits evolved from what was a fruit orchard in

    Batu Pahat in Johor - which grew and sold fruit like mangosteen, jackfruit and banana - into an exporter

    of frozen fruit and other fruit-derived products.

    Sales and marketing manager Iris Tan Sing Boon, 30, said the company had

    its roots in the fruit farm

    set up by her father

    Tan See Chip, now 76,

    in the 1980s.

    The idea behind the

    new company was to look into other ways of selling the fruits.

    They settled on frozen durian.

    "That was in 2010.

    "My siblings - two elder brothers - and myself joined the company to build the business," she added.

    They started their plant with 20 workers close to the farm and were able to quickly start exporting to China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and other countries.

    "Our frozen durian has an expiry date of up to two years, whereas fresh durians can last only five to seven days.

    "This means even though the durian is seasonal, it can now be obtained throughout the year," she said.

    The company, which today has 80 workers,

    also became an original equipment manufacturer

    for distributors, who

    started to request other durian products like

    ice cream, rolls and balls,

    as well as mochi.

    Ms Tan said they are expanding the factory next year to handle the demand.