Zespri’s global general manager of marketing Jiunn Shih, Rabobank’s Asia-Pacific head of financial markets Michael Every and Dole China’s commercial director Andy Zhang are just some of the high-profile speakers lined up for this year’s Asiafruit Congress.
Taking place the day before Asia Fruit Logistica, Asia’s premier fresh produce conference returns to AsiaWorld-Expo on 5 September with a high-powered programme covering a range of hot topics.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Zespri has become an iconic brand in the international fresh produce business. In the session ‘Global brands for local consumers’, the kiwifruit marketer’s Jiunn Shih will explain how Zespri makes its global brand resonate with local consumers across diverse markets and demographics.
Born in Taiwan and raised in Brazil, Shih joined Zespri last September from Unilever in the Netherlands, where he was senior global marketing director. In an in-depth Q&A, Shih will highlight learnings the fresh produce business can take from FMCG, and discuss how Zespri is seeking to apply such methodologies to forge a stronger emotional connection with consumers. He’ll also discuss the challenge fresh produce marketers face in engaging consumers via digital channels.
Mapping the trade landscape
China is extending its influence as a political and economic superpower, the US is charting a new trade course under the Trump administration while Russia continues its embargo on food imports from several western countries. A panel of industry experts will explore the changing global trade landscape in the final general session of Asiafruit Congress.
Michael Every, Rabobank’s head of financial markets Asia-Pacific, will keynote the session with an overview of how he sees the global balance of power shifting. He’ll then be joined by an expert 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.
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.
Vietnam is displaying exciting growth as a consumer market for high-quality fresh produce, spurred on by the expansion of modern food retailing. In a session spotlighting the Vietnamese market, Siebe van Wijk of Fresh Studio will share his first-hand insights and some case studies on supply chain development.
EU fresh produce exporting countries are working hard in Asian markets to make up ground on competitors from the US and the Southern Hemisphere. A session on market development strategies for EU suppliers will hear from Belgian Fruit Valley’s Marc Evrard and Dole China’s Andy Zhang on how they have worked to build demand for Belgian pears in Asia.
E-commerce has already displayed its powers as a consumer-direct channel for Asia’s fresh produce business, but B2B models look set to drive the next wave of e-commerce growth. Antonio Palanca of HiveXchange, a new online trading marketplace built specifically for fresh produce, will discuss the evolution of online B2B trading models for the industry. He’ll be joined by George Liu of Shanghai-based Fruta Cloud, who will explain how B2B e-commerce is facilitating direct sourcing of imported fruits in several Asian markets.
Around 400 high-level industry professionals from more than 30 different countries are expected to attend Asiafruit Congress, providing first-rate networking opportunities for delegates.
As well as getting high-quality information and business contacts, Asiafruit Congress delegates receive a three-day access pass to Asia Fruit Logistica, including the Welcome Reception on the evening of 5 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 6-8 September.