Qin Luo was anxious to check on the conditions of the farms. In the afternoon; after packing lightly, the three of them set out to the two farms situated in the northern suburbs.
The two farms were not situated too far apart from each other so Qin Luo planned to check out the larger farm first since it has a slaughterhouse which meant it had an industrial cold room for storage. It seemed that the smaller surrounding farms would bring their livestock here for a uniformed slaughter. If he had any luck, he might be able to purchase raw meat and store it in his space for later use.
On the journey to the farm, Qin Ke was like a bird freed from its cage, chirping here and there as he unceasingly asked about everything. In Ink’s case, everything he saw was fresh and new, yet he did not have many questions. What surprised Qin Luo was that Ink seemed to have an impression of many things yet his eyes showed a first timer’s curiosity towards them. This puzzled Qin Luo but he decided not to question it.
Since they departed very early in the morning, noon had yet to approach when they arrived at the farm. Under the clear blue sky, the cattle and sheep leisurely strolled on through the green expanse; making for a beautiful scenery that Qin Luo and Ink could not help but to take a pause to appreciate the view.
The farm manager is called Zed. He had received a call beforehand and knew that the new owner would be visiting. Therefore the help at the farm had immediately informed Zed of Qin Luo’s arrival just as his car rolled up in to the help’s line of sight at the farm.
Zed is a local, with a tall and muscular build. When he speaks, his voice is low and muffled but he was kind and humble when he spoke. His only major concern now was the intention the new owner had for the farm. If there were any major changes, he and the other farmers may lose their jobs. As one of the farmers who have lived on the farm for the past two decades, this would be an undesirable outcome for him and one which he would find unacceptable.
Qin Luo noticed their nervous behaviour and immediately did his best to appease Zed and the other farmers; revealing that he had no intention to sell the farmlands or dismiss them from their current jobs. With reassurance, Zed dismissed everyone who had gathered and asked for them to return to their work. He then guided Qin Luo to start his inspection on the entire farm.
The farm was much larger than what Qin Luo had expected. The slaughterhouse was not a small workshop either. This meant that there may be quite a large amount of meat stocked in there. This made him particularly happy and his words also increased relatively.
Zed had initially thought the new owner was an exotic child with no experience in farm management and hadn’t planned to inform him of the farm’s recent difficulties. Besides, the previous owner was also only a mantel piece, Zed had to work out a solution for all the issues that came up.
However after just a short interaction with Qin Luo, his opinion changed and he decided to report on some of the recent difficulties the farm encountered. He had not expected Qin Luo to provide him with solutions but he had done so, hoping that he would be able to bring in contacts that might help ease their current predicament. After all, the Donaldson House is a very influential household in the UK. Since Qin Luo had inherited this farm, it should indicate that his background should be deep and he should possess a sizable network.
Most of the farms around this area are farms that cover livestock and poultry and since there is a medium-sized cannery situated nearby, it was convenient. The two parties had signed a contract and have been cooperating for many years. The cannery is responsible for the acquisition of the meat and poultry from the nearby farms whilst the farm slaughterhouse that has been acquired by Qin Luo is responsible for providing the cannery with the meat and poultry.
The cannery is an old-fashioned enterprise which has gained a good reputation over many years; they are unwilling to compromise when it came to the processing and quality of their products. In comparison, some other similar and smaller factories, their price is slightly higher. This did not pose as a problem since the taste and quality has won over the hearts of many people. However, six months back, several old clients of the cannery had suffered heavy losses due to floods which in turn, led to a sudden decrease of orders and demand. Later on, due to several consecutive natural disasters, a large number of dead livestock were brought into many of the processing enterprises. This not only led the citizens to avoid canned meat products but their competitors had lowered the prices of canned goods because they acquired the meat at a very low cost. These problems overwhelmed the old-fashioned cannery and the factory had to consider laying off some of its employees. Then due to improper internal communication and mishandling, the employees went on strike and they lost another batch of orders which only aggravated the problem.
At this moment, the cannery is on the brink of bankruptcy. Many canned goods were overstocked with no sign of being sold anytime soon. The future of the slaughterhouse managed by Zed also looks bleak. The cold storage still kept a large load of raw meat and there was nowhere else for it to be processed.
Half a month ago, several farmers had sought Zed out, in hopes that he would be able to lead everyone out of their current situation. The farms around had managed to reach their present state with the help of the cannery. The manager of the cannery, John, has shown them much care throughout the years. Although some of them had insisted that the cannery should purchase the animals in stock based on the old contract or they would bring this to court but most of them did not want to continue to pressure the old man who has no escape. The livestock could not be left out on the fields and market without any profit. Therefore they had sought Zed out in hopes that he could provide them a solution.
Qin Luo could not help but to let a smile peek through his lips as he listened to Zed list out their current predicament, frowning as he did so. He was wrecking his mind on how he would propose his intention of purchasing raw meat when Zed had taken the initiative and offered him this opportunity on a silver platter.
Zed saw the smile hanging upon the new boss’s face and he realized that this young man might have a good solution to their problem. He looked at Qin Luo with a heart full of hope and waited for him to propose a feasible solution.
Qin Luo did not disappoint him. He excused himself and pretended to make a phone call. After returning from the call, he not only promised to immediately purchase all the meat in the cold storage but also for Zed to contact the surrounding farms to acquire all their current available livestock at a reasonable price.
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For a moment, Zed could not believe his ears. It took him about ten seconds before his senses returned to him and his face bloomed with a large smile. Immediately, he sent some workers over to the surrounding farms to inform them. He also confidently patted his chest and ensured that the quality of meat from the pastures around are absolutely top notch.
Qin Luo thought of the inventory of the cannery and further inquired about it with Zed. Zed knew that Qin Luo might have a way for them to sell the canned goods. If the canned goods can be sold, even if it is at a low price, it could help save the cannery through its crisis of shutting down. He immediately made his way over to the cannery with the small group to meet the old man in charge of the cannery.
When Old John was informed that there was someone interested in their inventory, he was so elated that his hands trembled lightly. If the inventory was kept any longer and passed its expiry date, forget selling at a profit, nobody would buy it even if it was sold at a loss. Therefore, before Qin Luo even opened his mouth, John took the initiative to lower the price and it was a level below the cost price!
Qin Luo looking at this honest old man staring at him with a face full of hope, he could not bear to make him drop the price any further. Although he was confident that even if he bargained for, to lower the price by a third, John would still sell it to him. However, as a person, one should always leave some room for others. The price proposed has already been heavily discounted and he should not overstep or take advantage of those in dire straits. After slightly hesitating, he once again stepped aside and pretended to make a “contacting a potential buyer” phone call.
Old John thought Qin Luo would have continued to bargain for a lower price and he had been prepared to lower it further by cutting the stated price by half. However, he had never thought that this young man would just step aside to make a call right away and return with the promise to buy the whole inventory at the stated price. He could not believe his ears and repeatedly confirmed with Qin Luo before thanking him with excitement.
Qin Ke looked at the pile of cans, large and small sized, he found it to be very interesting and ran around the warehouse. Ink was obviously very interested in these various sized cans but obediently followed Qin Luo.
Old John was very confident in his products and seeing that the both of them were staring at the canned meats with faces full of curiosity, he decided to open a dozen or so cans on the spot; with a variety of flavours, he invited them to have a taste. This made Qin Ke and Ink happily eat mouthfuls of the canned meats. Zed also took the opportunity and enjoyed a few bites.
Old John continued chatting with Qin Luo as he introduced the factory’s products; beginning with its classic flavours to their recent flavours and the new one they had developed. He had noted that Qin Luo didn’t have the intention of purchasing their products for a long term so he did not mention the matter of future orders. For the current moment, this purchase will help solve the backlog of inventory. This would help other several farms to clear out their overdue livestock as well. With this, it had already allowed the cannery that was on the brink of bankruptcy to have a breather. Otherwise, he would have to pay not only for the losses but face a lawsuit from the farmers.
Qin Luo tasted several flavours and felt that it was quite tasty. He couldn’t help but to feel grateful in his heart that he was able to find so much delicious food while here in the UK. It was a very extravagant thing to be able to eat canned meat in the past during the last days. If he were to store them all into his space, it will be enough to feed his family for generations. Remembering the various ration bars that had been difficult to swallow during the end of the world, Qin Luo suddenly felt emotional and couldn’t help but to shower several praises upon the taste of the canned food.
Old John took Qin Luo’s praises to heart and his gratitude towards Qin Lou increased and so did their conversation. He voluntarily offered information, mentioning the cannery also has a large warehouse that was adjacent to the main road. During their normal production, the cannery would transport the goods to the warehouse and use it as their distribution center.
Due to the recent downturn of production, the warehouse had been unused for half a year and the management staff had been dismissed. If Qin Luo needed to transport the food, he could temporarily hire people to transport it to the warehouse for storage. However, these thugs will not be suitable when it comes to the management of the food. Old John suggested that Qin Luo take some of her men for that role to prevent the theft of the goods as well as to prevent unnecessary losses.
Qin Luo was contemplating on how he could escape the eyes of those around him and place the canned goods into his space when the manager had provided him with such a “convenient” location, he almost nodded happily. After pretending to be on a call once more, he conveyed that his friend was not too far from their current location and that as long as the cannery agreed to send the goods to the warehouse, the other party would send over the trucks to pick the goods up overnight. What’s more, he had negotiated with his friend and they will pay the entire amount in one lump sum after the goods arrive at the warehouse. Concerning the contract and their related payments, Qin Luo will take him to sign them and make the payment.
Old John has taken care of this factory for many years and has been in contact with various suppliers but to be able to finalise a transaction with just a short phone call without lifting a brow, this cannot be done by an average person. It is precisely because of this that he would have no choice but to brace himself and prepare to refund the other party if they decided to return their purchase. After all, most of their products being sold looked good at a glance but they are all close to the end of their shelf life. If they cannot be sold within the set warranty period, he must accept their return. Nevertheless the cannery needs money now to continue their operations. Old John had made an estimation that if the money can be received on time, there is a chance to keep the cannery backup and keep it running. Qin Luo has now presented him with this opportunity, how could he not feel gratified.
He immediately suggested that if the goods could not be sold within the warranty period, he is willing to replace all the remaining expired products after three months.
Qin Luo shook his head and said that it would not be needed, but he was persuaded by Old John’s insistence and could only helplessly take account of this article into the contract. Not to mention that even after returning to China, he still had more preparations to make before the apocalypse so even if he wanted to exchange the goods, it is a journey of ten thousand crags and torrents. Besides, Qin Luo’s space has no effect on the preservation of the food as it kept things at the present condition with no chance of spoilage. As his space strengthens, it would also have the effect of purification which would allow food and waste materials stored in it to slowly recover to its best condition. So even if these cans have all expired and spoiled, he can make them taste delicious again in the future.
The warehouse is really a good place to hide from the eyes and ears of the others and so Qin Luo proposed to rent it for a month from Old John. Old John laughed and said that a lease would not be needed. Qin Luo had helped him a lot and the warehouse was currently not in use so he need not even mention payment for a month, even if it was a few months, he would not accept payment, not even a penny for its use.
Translator: DC Proofreader: Naito