November 21, 2008

The Orange Bailout

So our office sent around an email on Thursday ... FREE ORANGES for pickup in the HR area at 4 PM Friday. Bring bags. 

What's the deal? I asked my Chinese co-workers, and here's what I found out. 

There was a maggot infestation scare or something with a recent orange crop. This affected only a small percentage, miniscule really, of a certain region's orange crop. Yet it sharply reduced demand for ALL oranges, regardless of origin or proximity to the damaged ones. People weren't buying. Farmers panicked. "We've got shitloads of oranges and no customers!"

So what happened? The government bought them (the good oranges, I mean) for pennies on the dollar (jin on the yuan, I should say) and sold them to other companies nationwide, including ours. I'm not sure if this sale was forced or not, but I wouldn't be surprised. Anyway, the result is that we now have tons of oranges in our office.

Smuggling Oranges

I haven't eaten one.

1 comment:

Josie said...

Fascinating! I wonder if one could make ethanol out of them....