Fairtrasa hopes its recently-opened sales office in Shanghai will serve as a launchpad for its own organic and fairtrade production in China. Speaking after the creation of Fairtrasa China, founder and CEO Patrick Struebi told Fruitnet that he believed there was scope to replicate the company’s farmer development model given the growing Chinese awareness of sustainable agriculture.
Fairtrasa China’s initial focus will be on importing fruits including bananas, grapes, avocados, citrus and blueberries from Fairtrasa supply companies into China and other Asian markets but in future Struebi said he planned to pursue a dual strategy supplying imported and domestically-grown produce to retailers and wholesalers.
“Food security is a major concern amongst Chinese consumers and although the organic and Fairtrade markets are still in their infancy we want to capitalised on a first-mover advantage and secure a good position in what will undoubtedly become a major market,” he said.
“Further down the line we see the opportunity of introducing our farmer development model to China where there is growing awareness of the importance of sustainable agriculture.”
Fairtrasa China will be headed up by Sophia Cai who previously worked at Global Food Sourcing in Asia for Tesco.
The full interview is available in the April edition of Asiafruit Magazine.