THAILAND: Facebook page launch to sell the ‘king of fruit’

You can shop for more than just clothes, cosmetics and electronics on Facebook nowadays. The social networking platform is now the place to go to find the king of fruits, the durian.

A Facebook page puts you in direct contact with the farmer. Just pick the durian you want, leave a message on the page and it will be delivered to you within a day or two.


The Saengkamin family, from Klaeng in Rayong province, run Suan Trong-rerk (Trong-rerk Farm), the first farm in the area that offers a durian delivery service via its Facebook page “durian durian”.


“We label our durians by number and then customers can tell us which one they like,” says Trong-rerk Saengkamin, son of the farm owner.

Having run the durian farm for over 30 years, the Saengkamins said the time was right for the farm to start selling durian on Facebook this year. The family sell just the Kan Yao variety of durian, which is relatively expensive, at around 300 baht per kilo, compared to the average 60-80 baht.

The Saengkamins, however, claim consumers can taste the difference.

Father of the family Booncherd Saengkamin says that he normally sells a variety of durian, including Mon Thong, from his 30 rai farm to middlemen who come to pick the fruit from the trees directly.

“One whole tree comprises approximately 20 pieces of fruit, with each weighing around 4 to 5kg. The total price [of the whole tree] is over 20,000 baht if we can sell at full price on Facebook for example,” he says, noting that the very same amount of durian if sold to middlemen only earns him around 10,000 baht.


Buying durian is often seen as a very hands-on experience — ensuring that the flesh is just ripe — so to address problems associated with buying online, Suan Trong-rerk durian quality is guaranteed. If it turns out the fruit is not good enough, the farm promises to send a tasty replacement.

Mother of the family Ubonrat Saengkamin explains that it was, in fact, a customer who inspired the use of social networks as a new channel for durian distribution. After buying durian from the farm and deciding to take it back to Bangkok, the customer and his friends were so impressed with the taste that he contacted the farm to suggest that the farm expand its business via Facebook.

When Trong-rerk finally decided to create the page, in a break between durian seasons, he posted pictures of the Kan Yao durian and before he knew it fruit from the entire tree was sold out.

Durian trees in Rayong bear fruit by the end of February to March, with the peak time being April. Fruit, therefore, is available for sale much earlier than in other provinces.

Currently, Suan Trong-rerk delivers durian to two destinations – Chon Buri province (in front of Burapha University) and Bangkok (at Mor Chit Bus Station) where customers go to pick up the fruit themselves.


Trong-rerk says that owing to the positive feedback on the project, the family has plans to offer more durian varieties in the coming season, including Phungmanee and Kadoom. Customers will also be able to monitor  the entire progress of surian cultivation in the future online, from the flowering to fruiting periods.


Source: Bangkok Post


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