Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Lunar New Year: An interview with David Cui, GrainCorp China

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GrainCorp, News, 1 February 2022

GrainCorp has a vast geographical footprint, with operations not only in Australia but in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, the Americas, south-east Asia and China.

GrainCorp’s David Cui pictured in Beijing, China. Photo courtesy GrainCorp

And with this, comes a diverse group of people who work with us.

Lunar New Year, which falls on 1 February this year, is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all of the people at the heart of what we do.

David Cui is the General Manager of GrainCorp China, with a career in the agriculture industry spanning 30 years.

In celebration of Lunar New Year, we spoke to David about what Lunar New Year means to him and his role with GrainCorp China.

In the Lunar New Year calendar, 2022 is the ‘Year of the Tiger.’ Could you tell us a bit about this zodiac sign?

The tiger is one of the most auspicious Chinese symbols since it is believed to guard against the three main things that can bring devastation to any home: fire, thieves and ghosts. Therefore, this Zodiac sign is honoured in China as the ultimate protector of home and health.

And does the ‘Year of the Tiger’ have a special significance for you?

Yes, there is something very special about this Lunar New Year as my daughter’s Zodiac sign is a tiger. She has just graduated from university and started working in the U.S. My wife and I have not been able to see her for two years due to the pandemic. We miss her very much and hope to see her soon when things get back to normal. For that reason, this Lunar New Year reminds me of her and signifies our hope that we can be reunited as a whole family this year.

Traditionally, how do you and your family celebrate the Lunar New Year?

The Chinese Lunar New year is also called the Spring Festival, which is the most important festival in China. Before the Spring Festival, people clean their houses, put red couplets on the gates and set off firecrackers, according to fairy tale, for driving away a demon named Nian. On the eve of the Spring Festival, family members will travel back home and have a reunion banquet. The most popular food is dumplings, which is supposed to bring good fortune to all the family members. When preparing the dinner, one special dumpling will be filled with a new coin and the person who eats that dumpling is considered the luckiest one in the New Year.

The Spring Festival lasts 15 days, so on 15 February, we will be celebrating the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Lunar New Year holiday.

You’ve been working for GrainCorp for five years and involved in the agriculture industry for 30 years in one way or another. What do you enjoy most about your role?

As the General Manager of GrainCorp China, my role is to market agricultural commodities from different origins into the Chinese market together with my Chinese and trading colleagues.

I’m very proud that GrainCorp China has made great progress over the past five years. The sales of Australian commodities have gained high reputation among our Chinese customers. Through our continuous efforts, I believe GrainCorp will become one of the most influential Australian agricultural trading companies in China.

There’s been lots of exciting growth for GrainCorp on the international stage, with a growing customer-base. Can you tell us a bit about your role in this?

A big part of my job is to work closely with our local customers in China to understand their needs, deliver quality service and work closely with our traders to relay all the correct market information, too. I’m very proud that, by working closely with customers and our colleagues, we’re making great strides here and becoming one of the most professional, high-quality Australian agricultural trading companies in China.

Thanks for sharing , David – and happy Lunar New Year to all our fellow colleagues, customers and their families!

Related story: Meet Jesse Scott, GrainCorp’s Chief Innovation and Growth Officer

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