Asiafruit Congress, the region’s premier conference for the fresh produce industry, kicked off yesterday, with a first session powerhouse panel of retail figures from some of the largest chains in Asia.
Session one featured Shane Bourk from the Dairy Farm group/Wellcome in Hong Kong, Jean-Paul Khaou of Tesco Group Food Sourcing in China, John Glover from Metro Cash & Carry International and Nick Reitmeier from Central Food Retail in Thailand.
The panel discussed a number of topics central to Asia’s produce retail business, such as direct sourcing arrangements and payment options for small growers, promotion of organics and other certifications to consumers, and supermarkets’ competitive edge against traditional wet markets.
In the second session for the day delegates heard about retail marketing developments in their home regions from three industry figures from the US, the Netherlands and Australia.
John Pandol of Pandol Brothers in the US spoke candidly about the failure of the company’s Quick Rinse Grape Cube in the US market, and what lessons had been learned.
Shawn Harris of Nature’s Pride in the Netherlands discussed meeting the demands of different markets and retailers with global mango supply, and Martin Kneebone of Freshlogic in Australia discussed the opportunities for segmentation and value-adding within established retail categories.
Asiafruit Congress will continue today and tomorrow with sessions looking at Peruvian supply, logistics, fresh convenience and apple marketing.
The conference runs alongside Asia’s largest fresh produce trade show, ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA.