Continuing its series of exhibitor spotlights from Asia Fruit Logistica, Asiafruit looks at how a number of companies are ramping up their trade into China to meet the growing demand for high quality imported produce.
FLP started exporting its Fruta Lista-branded ready-to-eat fruit pouch mixes to Europe last year and is now looking to break into the Chinese market according to Ana Andrade. The company also launched its baby bananas in China in May and now sends around one container a week to the market.
Egyptian exporter Pico sent its grapes direct to China for the first time following the signing of the protocol. “It was near the end of the season,” said Muhammad Galal Fayed, “but now at least we know what we are doing and what specifications are required. That allows us to be fully ready for next season.”
Camposol has become the first Peruvian company to open a division in China. Headed up by Luis Miguel Baanante, the Shanghai office will drive forward sales of blueberries and avocados. “There are a lot of things we still need to develop and understand in China and the size of the prize is so big that we can’t afford not to be there,” said José Antonio Gómez, CEO of Camposol Trading.
Dutch Valley Peppers (Netherlands)
Earlier this year, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to export sweet bell peppers to China. Since June, a consortium of Dutch growers and exporters has teamed up under the name FVO to supply a number of different Chinese retailers – including Metro and City Shop – while also running a publicity campaign to raise awareness of what remains a relatively unknown product for the country’s consumers.
Agrícola Chapi (Peru)
Peru’s Agrícola Chapi tripled its avocado plantings to 300ha this year and will have an annual production of 6,400 tonnes once the groves reach full production. While its biggest avocado market is currently Europe, the main target for growth going forward is China, said Rafael Martín.
Ghabbour Farms (Egypt)
The protocol for Egyptian grapes to enter the Chinese market was signed late in the day for the current season, but exporter Ghabbour Farms was happy to have shipped its first three containers to Shanghai. “China is a very important market,” said Hassan Zaher. “We sent some citrus as well, including Star Ruby grapefruit, lemons and mandarins, and that’s gone well.”
Primer Fruit Mexico (Mexico)
Primer Fruit Mexico is ready for the starting gun to be fired on Mexican banana exports to China when the import protocol is finally in place. The company has been shipping to Asia for four years and Nicté Manrique said the logistical advantage Mexico has over other suppliers (transit times to Hong Kong and Shanghai are 22 and 20 days respectively compared with more than 30 days from Ecuador) means Mexico has a bright future in Asia.