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Gabrielle Easter

BY GABRIELLE EASTER

@gab_produceplus

Friday 22nd May 2015, 05:29 London

Raising the bar in China

Expert speakers discussed the competitive effects of imports on domestic production in China to wrap up Asiafruit Market Insight in Shanghai

Raising the bar in China

Asiafruit MD Chris White, Zespri China manager Lewis Pan, Shaanxi Qi Feng GM Qi Feng and Yunnan Management MD Lewis Dagger (left-right) 

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Exporters must see China as more than just a place to sell some product if they want long-term survival in the country, according to Lewis Dagger of Yunnan Manaagement.

Wrapping up the Asiafruit Market Insight event in Shanghai on 21 May, Dagger spoke from his experience in fresh produce production, IP development and marketing to offer an overview of the competitive effects of imports on China’s domestic fresh produce production.

Dagger turned the topic on its head, speaking on the way in which local production can impact the imported fruit market. Dagger told delegates of the factors driving the increase in imported fruit, from food safety and traceability concerns to expectations for year-round produce and free trade agreements boosting opportunities for suppliers to enter China.

While meeting these demands is easier to achieve with imported produce rather than local, Dagger said China is seeing the development of vertically integrated agriculture enterprises making investments in this industry.

“For them to survive, they need to penetrate the same market that has traditionally been in place for the export products,” Dagger said.

At the same time, Dagger warned exporters that they would not last long if they weren’t willing to add value to their business in China, whether by sharing technology and product knowledge or recognising the diversity of the markets within the country.

Offering two case studies from New Zealand’s based single desk kiwifruit marketer Zespri and local kiwifruit producer Shaanxi QiFeng Fruit Industry, kiwifruit provided an interesting look at both developments within local production and marketing, as well as the role imported produce has had in building up the demand for the fruit within China.

Qi Feng, general manager of Shaanxi Qi Feng, told delegates of the importance of quality, taste and market acceptance to ensure the survival of a fruit brand in Chian, giving a heads up to Zespri for it successful marketing campaigns for pushing the nutritional messaging behind kiwifruit, boosting both imported and local consumption.

Lewis Pan, Zespri’s China manager, complimented Feng’s presentation, emphasising the importance that Zespri places on consumer education and marketing as well as its focus on sustainability as an integral part of the Zespri brand.

Asaifruit Market Insight, Asiafruit magazine's annual China conference event, took place on 20-22 May at the Hilton Hotel in Shanghai.

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