Liu Mau-Wah, co-chairman of China’s largest integrated fresh produce business, Joy Wing Mau Group; chief executive of global kiwifruit marketer Zespri, Lain Jager; and the chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club China, Neil Maffey, are just some of the high-profile figures lined up to speak at this year’s Asiafruit Congress in Hong Kong.
Taking place the day before Asia Fruit Logistica, Asia’s premier fresh produce conference event returns to AsiaWorld-Expo on 6 September, with even more topics on the programme to cover the fast-developing Asian markets.
Where next for China?
This year’s Asiafruit Congress kicks off with a keynote session focusing on the future of the Chinese market. China has quickly emerged as one of the most attractive and lucrative markets for global fresh produce suppliers. But a recent slowdown in the economy has prompted questions over its future trajectory.
On-hand to explain what is happening at a consumer level in China will be Youchi Kuo, who leads Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) China Center for Customer Insight. Kuo will set the scene for the session with her expert perspective on the evolution of China’s consumer market, drawing on BCG’s landmark report – The New China Playbook: Young, Affluent and E-savvy Consumers will Fuel Growth.
A panel of senior industry executives, including Mau Wah and Maffey, will then join Kuo to discuss the implications of these changes for China’s fresh produce business – and the future market outlook.
Breakouts offer more choice
Delegates to Asiafruit Congress can also choose from a wide range of afternoon breakout sessions, which go into more detail on specific subjects.
Myanmar’s emergence from economic isolation has provided a rare opening for companies to reach a fledgling consumer market. In a session spotlighting this last untapped ASEAN market, Jasper Ong of Myanmar Golden Produce will explain what the country has to offer as a grower and exporter.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Japanese market is also the focus of a breakout session, with Hisao Takeda of Yamano & Associates and Satoru Aoyama of AISS Corporation among the speakers to outline the opportunities and challenges in this large, complex and changing market.
Egypt has already made significant in-roads as a supplier into Asia with citrus, but what further potential is there to expand its presence? Sara Salama, commercial director at major Egyptian grower-exporter Pico, and Neil Barker of Australia-based importer-exporter BGP International, will provide their supplying and procurement perspectives respectively.
Convenience is a hot trend in Asia, as underlined by the rapid growth in smaller retail formats across the region. A panel of experts including CK Lai of Hong Kong-based produce distributor and fresh-cut specialist Good Vview Group, Jan Doldersum of global seed company Rijk Zwaan and Hamish Robison, operations manager for Zespri Japan, will share their expert advice on how marketers can better service this sector.
Asia also presents potentially fertile marketing ground for some of the many branded apples and club varieties entering the global marketplace. In a session discussing the future for apple brands in Asia, Pink Lady’s Garry Langford and Ryan Au will discuss their strategy for developing the distinctive apple in Asia.
Future supplies for Asia
The closing general session for this year’s Asiafruit Congress – future supplies for Asia – analyses Asia’s ever-increasing demand for safe, high-quality fresh produce, and asks where the supply will come from to meet that demand in the future.
Chief executive of Zespri Lain Jager will be on-hand to discuss how the world’s leading kiwifruit marketer is balancing the ever-expanding demand from Asia with its well-established business in other global markets. Joining him on the panel discussion will be Craig Stauffer, chief executive of US-based global grower-marketer Vanguard International, which has been marketing and selling fresh fruit and vegetables in Asia for more than 25 years and last year joined forces with New York-based agri-focused investment fund Blue Road Capital to drive its global expansion.
Get the best access
As well as getting high-quality information and contacts to develop new business in Asia, Asiafruit Congress delegates receive a three-day access pass to Asia Fruit Logistica, including the welcome reception on the evening of 6 September. The conference serves as the perfect primer to Asia Fruit Logistica, helping delegates to work out who and what to focus on at the trade show, which runs from 7-9 September.