Spring Trading Company
A cold selection of natural non-toxic icy poles.
Enterprise/business philosophy and objectives of the founder
After founder Ming Huang Lee, a travel-loving businessperson who used to be the owner of a plastic manufacturer, happened to visit Luye Highland, he was deeply attracted by its picturesqueness and simplicity, and decided to settle down there, making Taitung his second home. When he began frequently receiving free fruit from his neighbours, it was only after he asked local farmers that he understood the reason: sometimes the overproduction of fruit forced farmers to sell their produce to middlemen at an unfairly low price, or overripe fruit needed to be discarded without even entering the market, resulting in farmers’ efforts going down the drain. In order to solve the economic and employment problems facing farmers, he founded Spring Trading Company, for which the goal would not solely be profit-oriented.
History of development/business model
The core spirit of the Spring Trading Company brand is “friendly transaction”, which is manifest in its policy of purchasing almost ripe, non-sellable seasonal fruit at a reasonable price, manually turning them into naturally-sourced icy poles free of additives, and selling these in consumer markets.
With an eye to promoting a friendly transaction model, Spring Trading Company has also collaborated with IKEA, Taipei City Zoo, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and New Taipei City’s Yingge Ceramics Museum in its marketing. In addition to setting up counters at these locations, it has also designed creative, interesting icy poles that catch consumers’ attention with limited editions for different events.
It is worth mentioning that Spring Trading Company created a “Honesty Shop” at its birthplace in the Luye Highlands. The shop is open in all weather, providing a quiet, comfortable space for travellers. Anyone who wants to eat icy poles can drop money and retrieve their change by themselves. This has become a must-see tourist destination.
Creating social value/mitigating social problems
Spring Trading Company, which claims that “eating icy poles is just like eating fruit, like drinking juice”, can sell millions of icy poles every year, creating a revenue of more than 10 million Taiwanese dollars. At the moment, it cooperates with 20 farmers. Using a contract farming method, it encourages farmers to grow fruit on a large scale. As a result, the economic problems facing farmers in Luye, Taitung have not only been solved, but local job opportunities have increased too.