If we happened to do a list on all the Chinese food safety scandals in recent years that list would be both really long and really scary. With that creeping fear in mind, how can you make sure that what you buy is safe? How are you supposed to stick to a healthy diet when reliable, fresh produce is so hard to come by and finding familiar, safe brands and ingredients is not as easy as you are accustomed to?
Shanghai-based online supermarket Epermarket was created with foreigners’ needs in mind. Founder and CEO Jean-Yves Lu started the site in 2011 after many years working for multinationals in Paris. When he returned to China with his wife and two young daughters, Jean-Yves was very concerned about finding safe foods for his family to eat. Four years later, what started as an idea has quickly become Shanghai’s fastest growing online supermarket and has made a name for itself among the international community, who love their wide selection of premium imported goods, healthy foods and household products.
Any supermarket that truly understands their customers knows that their top priority must be to guarantee the quality of its products and services, from sourcing and procurement, to storage and delivery. But in China, it’s difficult to trust companies, especially when it comes to food. Customers need hard, solid proof—which is best done through internationally accredited certifications.
Epermarket is the first (and only) online supermarket in China to receive ISO 9001 certification, one of the top quality management standards in the world. By applying these international standards and consistency to its everyday activities, all of Epermarket’s internal operations—including everything from product procurement, delivery processes and temperature control in their warehouse and delivery trucks—meet the highest international standards. But ISO certification is not just some one-off examination. They must be audited and re-certified each and every year to keep and maintain their status.
Because their suppliers have to be carefully selected and controlled, it helps to have the help of a team of experts from all over the world.
“Our product team ensures that we work with suppliers who have the appropriate business licenses. We have turned down very famous products simply because the company didn’t have the right certificates,” Peggy Liguori, French Product Manager for Epermarket, told Shanghaiist.
After a thorough check of their certificates and an initial inspection of a potential supplier’s storage facilities, Epermarket’s international team of product experts conduct careful taste tests before finally agreeing upon which items are right for them. Additional controls are also carried out throughout the year such as regular farm and storage facility visits to ensure that suppliers continue to maintain high standards.
To go even further with farm quality control, Epermarket has recently started an organic vegetable farm to supplement their growing selection of organic produce. The farm will help provide more variety and transparency while letting the expat community see what organic farming in China truly looks like.
The Epermarket warehouse is fitted with a three-chamber cooling system to uphold the integrity of all of their products. They also have engaged an entire team that is dedicated to maintaining product and packaging quality so your fresh products stay fresh, and your frozen products stay frozen.
They also have full traceability for every single product in their warehouse—each product is assigned a unique QR code, making it easy to track and access detailed information. Innovative detectors are used to validate each product in your order, ensuring that nothing is out of date when your goods are delivered and the products for your order have been gathered together.
Epermarket also runs its own fleet of delivery vehicles in Shanghai, and the company has a carefully monitored temperature control system to assure maximum freshness for each and every delivery.
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