Asiafruit Congress headlines a rich programme of events at this year’s Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong.
Taking place on 5 September, the day before Asia Fruit Logistica, Asiafruit Congress is the curtain raiser to the trade show.
A unique full-day conference for top executives in Asia’s fresh produce business, Asiafruit Congress brings together expert speakers to explain the latest market trends and opportunities.
This year’s Asiafruit Congress kicks off with a session spotlighting developments on Asia’s fast-moving food retail scene.
Shirley Zhu of global food and grocery analyst IGD will outline some of the macro-trends. Zhu, who leads IGD’s research programme in South East Asia, will discuss the ‘reshaping of hypermarkets’, the growth in ‘proximity retail’ and the ‘forefront of omnichannel’.
The session will then focus on the merging of online and offline food retail platforms with perspectives from two leading exponents – Alibaba-invested O2O fresh food chain, Hema Supermarket, and ‘omnichannel’ retailer Walmart/Sam’s Club China.
Asiafruit Congress moderator Chris White will be joined by Hema Supermarket’s senior merchandising director Paul Sheh, Sam’s Club’s chief merchandising officer Yoep Man and Winstone Chee, vice-president of fresh food merchandising at Walmart China, to discuss the evolution of omnichannel retail and the vital role of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Global brands for local consumers
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Zespri has become an iconic brand in the international fresh produce business. In the second session ‘Global brands for local consumers’, the kiwifruit marketer’s Jiunn Shih will explain how Zespri makes its brand resonate with consumers across diverse markets and demographics.
Shih joined Zespri as global general manager of marketing last September from Unilever in the Netherlands, where he was senior global marketing director. In an in-depth Q&A, Shih will highlight some key learnings the fresh produce business can take from FMCG. He’ll also discuss the challenge fresh produce marketers face in engaging consumers via digital channels.
In the final general session, a panel of industry experts will explore the changing global trade landscape. Michael Every, Rabobank’s senior Asia-Pacific strategist, will keynote the session with an overview of how he sees the global balance of power shifting. He’ll then be joined by a panel of industry figures from around the world to discuss the implications for the fresh produce trade.
Speakers include Jose Antonio Gomez, CEO of Peruvian agribusiness export giant Camposol Trading; Tracy King, international business CEO of Chinese group Xing Ye Yuan; and Filip Fontaine, director of BelOrta, one of Belgium’s leading cooperatives and fruit and vegetable auctioneers.
Breakouts offer variety
In addition to General Sessions at Asiafruit Congress, delegates can choose from a wide range of afternoon Breakout Sessions, which go into more detail on specific subjects. The first pair of breakouts includes a market spotlight on Vietnam and a session on market development strategies for EU exporters to Asia. The second pair of breakouts looks at the development of B2B e-commerce in the fresh produce business, and at protecting intellectual property varieties in China.
Around 400 high-level industry professionals from more than 30 different countries are set to attend Asiafruit Congress, providing first-rate networking opportunities for delegates.
Asia Fruit Awards
Asiafruit Congress also hosts the presentation of the Asia Fruit Awards, the annual pan-Asian awards for the fresh produce business. Presented by Asiafruit Magazine and Asia Fruit Logistica, the awards are given in three categories – ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’, ‘Importer of the Year’ and ‘Produce Retailer of the Year’. The ASIA FRUIT AWARDS ceremony takes place before the Networking Lunch.
Asiafruit Congress concludes with the joint Welcome Reception to Asia Fruit Logistica – and the conference serves as the perfect primer to the trade show, helping delegates to work out who and what to focus on at Asia Fruit Logistica on 6-8 September.
Hall Forums: marketing, hi-tech and logistics
Visitors to Asia Fruit Logistica will also find more information opportunities than ever on the show-floor this year, where they can take part in two Hall Forums.
Asiafruit business Forum – Hall Forum One – offers daily workshops with practical ideas and solutions for better fresh produce marketing. ‘Packaging’ is the focus for Day One, with sessions looking at its role in protecting and transporting produce, as well as its potential as a merchandising and marketing tool. Day Two includes sessions on recruiting fresh talent to the fruit and vegetable business and on ‘niche marketing’. ‘Production and trade’ are the focus for Day Three, with sessions looking at ‘What’s new in varietal development?’ and at ‘Harmonising QA standards for broader market access’.
Hall Forum Two turns the spotlight on the worlds of hi-tech and logistics. Each morning, Smart Horticulture Asia, the forum for information management, standards and technology, will explore data management at different stages of the supply chain. Day One looks at ‘Data (based) growing’, Day Two at ‘Data (driven) product’ and Day Three at the ‘Data (driven) supply chain’.
Each afternoon, Cool Logistics Asia offers a new series of practical workshops on cold chain management. The wide-ranging programme looks at the future of container shipping (Day One), perishable logistics for beginners (Day Two) and exporting to Asia by air (Day Three).
Well over 11,000 high-level buyers and trade visitors from more than 40 different countries are expected to attend Asia Fruit Logistica, and they will find an amazing array of products and services on show spanning the entire supply chain.