Leading technology distributor and solutions provider Avnet rallied to the aid of Taiwan’s farmers when they found themselves with a surplus of shakya fruit – also known as sugar apples, custard apples and Buddha’s heads.
According to the Council of Agriculture, Taiwan produces around 57,000 metric tons of shakya fruit every year, of which a quarter is bound for export markets.
This year, the double whammy of the highly perishable fruits’ short shelf life, and today’s export challenges, local farmers faced the grim prospect of wasted produce and a major blow to their incomes.
A team of enterprising colleagues at Avnet Taiwan, led by Prince Yun, President, Avnet Asia Pacific and Japan, set their minds to devising a way to help their local agricultural industry.
Attempt at beer
After brainstorming several ideas, they decided to try their hands at brewing “Shakya Beer.” Avnet purchased the surplus shakya fruit at market rates, boosting local farmers’ incomes and helping reduce food waste in the process, and embarked on their brewing project. However, despite their best efforts, the beverage was a fizzer, and the plan was abandoned after half a year. It was back to the drawing board.
Popsicles better option
The team then happened upon the cool idea of making shakya fruit popsicles. After onboarding local iced confectionery brand iceSpring, the popsicles went into production. The majority of the manufacturing process was manual, and the fruits of their labor were outstanding.
The finished products contained no chemical additives or artificial colors – only fresh shakya fruit and juice. The healthy, deliciously refreshing iced treats were packed and gifted to delighted employees and business partners.
“We are heartened to partner with the local shakya fruit farmers to support them through challenging times, and also contribute to the promotion and consumption of the exotic shakya fruit,” said Prince Yun, President, Avnet Asia Pacific and Japan. “The fruit popsicles are a gift that gives twice. “They are a thank you gift to our hardworking employees who, like family, deserve only the very best quality food that is both delicious and nutritious. They are also a gift of hope for our hardworking farmers.”