Sunshine Farm improves shoppers' experience

Sunshine Farm, an upgraded food market, recently opened on Sanxin Road N. It is one of the 33 standard wet markets in Shanghai. 
Sunshine Farm improves shoppers' experience
Yue Cheng / Ti Gong

Residents shop in the Sunshine Farm, an upgraded food market, on Sanxin Road N. 

Sunshine Farm, an upgraded food market, recently opened on Sanxin Road N. It is one of the 33 standard wet markets in Shanghai.

Adopting a supermarket system, the halls pay attention to vehicle routing problems when distributing food, offering customers QR codes to track food information.

Xiaocaichang, a local term for cheap food markets, used to be dirty and disorganized. From 2005 to 2015, the city government integrated them into 1.0 version market halls with sound infrastructure.

In 2016, Shanghai initiated a 2.0 version market hall program that introduced business information management technology.

Through a source-saving, brand-promoting running system, a 2.0 version market hall offers citizens better shopping atmosphere, safer farm and associated products, and customer-friendly, cheaper prices.

The updated Sunshine Farm covers two floors with a total area of around 1,000 square meters and includes sections for seasonal fruits and vegetables, meat, imported wine and aquatic products.

A whole industry chain enterprise, Sunshine Farm is a producing-selling-marketing-integrated company with its production base in Songjiang’s Xinbang Town.

Sunshine Farm will soon launch an online service that offers door-to-door service to people too busy to visit the hall.

Besides selling products, Sunshine Farm also functions as a meeting place.

“It’s not only a market hall, but also a venue for community residents to gather and do exchanges,” said Li Pengbo, a Sunshine Farm official.

Customers can appreciate floral displays, dine on Western and local style food, do interactive learning, experience traditional Chinese tea culture and enjoy other activities.

A space on the second floor can serve as a venue for the launch of farm products, social events, a classroom for lectures on health, and other community activities.

Besides the local government’s support, Sunshine Farm wouldn’t have been realized without the efforts of Gu Huihua, its founder.

A subversion of the traditional Chinese farmer, Gu used to be the subject of gossip for her Chanel clothing and Louis Vuitton bags.

With her previous experience as a seller of Japanese agricultural machinery, Gu is well versed in farming knowledge.

Approved by her Japanese employer, Gu sowed some Japanese Kurumi cucumber seeds in her hometown of Xinbang.

The appealing look and tasty flavor of the cucumbers cultivated by Gu were highly praised by her boss. The event turned out to be a catalyst for her later entrepreneurship.

Encouraged by the local government and her family, Gu quit her well-paid job and founded the Shanghai Yingjiu Agricultural Science & Technology Development Company. She has been a professional farmer ever since.

“Whenever I saw a farmer’s yearly toil turned out to be nothing, or even a debt, I wanted to help them,” Gu said.

In recent years, her company and agricultural cooperative has been helping jobless rural residents find work.

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