The rising influence of China and India in world perishable markets remains one of the key trends for the international fresh produce business business as it heads into the second half of 2012, according to the organisers of the fourth annual Cool Logistics Global conference, due to be held in Antwerp, Belgium, on 24-26 September.
The two Asian countries will feature prominently in this year's discussions, which will consider their growth and the changes that cold chain logistics and transport will need to make in order to accommodate their rising demand for fruit and vegetables.
Marc Evrard, business development manager at BFV, will discuss how Belgium's largest fruit grower cooperative has managed to establish a reliable import supply chain into China over the last two years, following the country's recent landmark trade agreement to open the Chinese market for Belgian conference pears.
Developments in India, meanwhile, will be explored by Sunil Sharma, managing director of Global Agrisystem, one of the country’s leading fruit and vegetable exporter and agribusiness players, who will be joined by Pawanexh Kohli, founder of Indian cold chain think-tank CrossTree techno-visors.
With a middle-class consumer base due to reach an estimated 583m by 2025, India is likely to drive growth in consumer spending in Asia as a whole, but the country's cold chain logistics expertise and infrastructure are still in need of significant improvement if they are to cope with such growth.
At Cool Logistics Global, Sharma and Kohli will explore challenges and opportunities for capitalising on the country's projected rise in import and export demand.
"We are delighted to have cargo owners representing a wide range of commodity and market sectors this year, alongside senior figures from the world of perishable logistics, forwarding, shipping, transport and handling," said Rachael White, director at event organiser Cool Logistics Resources.
"Cool Logistics Global will provide a timely opportunity to compare and contrast real-world experiences across different perishable supply chains and discuss how all the parties 'from farm to fork' can work together to address rising cost, capacity, quality and regulatory pressures."
Delegates attending the annual event will also hear from major perishable cargo owners including José Perottoni, external market logistics director for major Brazilian food supplier Brasilfoods, as well as Jorge de Souza, director of Brazilian grower association Abanorte, and Francisco Labarca, executive director at Pacific Seaways, the specialist carrier established in 1980 by a group of Chile's leading fruit exporters.