The world’s leading fresh produce conference and networking events Staff


Industry leaders to address FPI

Top industry experts from India and the rest of the world are signed up to speak at Fresh Produce India on 27-28 April

Industry leaders to address FPI

Speakers include Pier Filippo Tagliani, chairman of Italian nursery consortium CIV (left), and CEO of Indian banana and pomegranate exporter INI Farms Purnima Khandelwal (right)

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India’s fresh fruit and vegetable business has a bright future, and Fresh Produce India will bring together some of the industry’s leaders and luminaries to discuss the best ways to capitalise on the country’s enormous potential on 27-28 April in Mumbai.

India’s only fresh fruit and vegetable conference and expo event – co-organised by Asiafruit and The SCS Group – takes place at the Trident Nariman Point Hotel, an iconic Mumbai landmark.

Well over 200 industry decision makers are expected to attend the two-day convention event, and they can look forward to plenty of fresh inspiration and ideas.

Fresh Produce India kicks off with the plenary session ‘Future consumer, future trends’. Asish Puri, associate partner of global consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants, will keynote the session with an overview of the macro-trends and developments in the Indian consumer market. Puri will be joined by a panel of leading players to discuss the implications for the fresh fruit and vegetable business. The expert panel includes Seshu Kumar, national head of buying and merchandising for India’s leading online grocery retailer Big Basket; Sudipta Mukhopadhyay, fresh merchandising manager for Walmart India Cash & Carry; and Purnima Khandelwal, CEO of pioneering banana and pomegranate marketer-exporter INI Farms.

New varieties under spotlight 

A major apple producer in its own right, India has also emerged as Asia’s biggest importer of the fruit in recent years. While India’s apple market is heavily dominated by the Red Delicious variety, other cultivars are beginning to catch on.

Meanwhile, India has displayed remarkable growth as a table grape exporter over the past couple of decades, capitalising on its capacity to supply the fruit during periods of low global supply. But the industry needs access to leading edge varieties from international breeding programmes to make the most of its great potential as a global supplier. 

The role of new varieties will come under the spotlight for both sectors in a pair of breakout sessions at Fresh Produce India addressed by international experts in these categories.

In the workshop session ‘Apple brands: what’s in store?’ Pier Filippo Tagliani, chairman of Italian nursery consortium Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti (CIV), will explain the group’s activities in varietal innovation. CIV developed and owns the rights to the Modi apple, and Modi Europa marketing director Dario Mauro Lezziero will discuss the origins of the red variety, and the potential to develop it in the Indian market.

Italy’s apple industry will be out in force at this year’s Fresh Produce India, with an 11-strong delegation from the top four companies behind Italian Alps apple marketing group FROM registered to attend. Gerhard Dichgans, CEO of South Tyrolean cooperative VOG, will discuss marketing plans for the new yellow-skinned variety Yello, as well as outlining varietal developments more generally across the global apple industry.

Key players in India’s apple business will bring their local insights to bear for the ensuing discussion. Srinivasa Ramanujam of Adani Agrifresh will share his expertise on building an apple brand domestically in India, while Yupaa’s global procurement director Parth Karvat will share his ideas on developing club varieties through India’s traditional retail channels.

In the session ‘Grape gains: getting access to the best varieties’, Dr Avi Perl, chief scientist with Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture, will outline the key trends in global table grape breeding, and explain the drivers of its pioneering Volcani programme. After showcasing some of Volcani’s latest selections, Perl will be joined by R&D director Jacob Mualem Marom, who will discuss the commercialisation process, and the opportunities to collaborate with Indian table grape producers to test the selections. The two experts will be joined on the session by Manik Patil, president of the Indian Grape Growers Association, who will discuss the role for new varieties in India’s table grape business, and by Azhar Tambuwala of Sahyadri Farmers Producer Co, which is poised to start planting patented varieties from international programmes in India after a long process of importing plant material.

Wide-ranging workshops

In other workshops, Akhilesh Bhargava, managing director of AVI Global Plast, will explain how punnet and tray packaging is helping importers and retailers to reposition their products and increase their sales in the session ‘Harnessing the power of packaging’. Siva Shankaran of Uflex will also discuss advances in modified atmosphere packaging with its Flexfresh Liners, which offer customised respiration rates for different products.

Pratik Shevade, sales manager for Euromonitor International in India, will deliver a detailed analysis of India’s consumer food service industry in the session ‘Food service focus’. Shevade will highlight opportunities for fresh produce marketers, and Gunjan Jain of GVK Nuts will be on-hand to share his learnings from marketing products such as nuts and cranberries into these channels.

Russia displays exciting potential as a market for India’s fresh fruit and vegetable exports. Niyazi Gasymov, head of leading Russian importer/distributor Soyuzpromcontract, will offer an insight into the Russian market and pinpoint opportunities for Indian suppliers in the session ‘New export opportunities in Russia and the Baltics’.  

While dominated by apples, India’s fresh fruit import market is also seeing significant growth in other categories.  In the session ‘Beyond apples: new horizons for imports’, Filip Fontaine, general manager of leading Belgian auction company BelOrta, and Tarun Arora, director of importer IG International, will discuss their joint efforts to promote pears in India. In addition, Anton Kruger, CEO of the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum, will explain how South Africa is bringing a broad product offering to the Indian market, while Paul Hardman of Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa will detail more specific efforts to develop the market for citrus imports in India.

Fresh Produce India’s programme concludes on the afternoon of 28 April with tours taking in some of the best examples of fresh fruit and vegetable retailing in Mumbai – both traditional and modern. 

In addition to taking advantage of the abundant information and insights at the conference, Fresh Produce India delegates get ample time to meet and do business at Fresh Produce India Expo, which is the primary networking arena. A wide range of companies are showcasing their products and services at Fresh Produce India Expo, which runs from 11:00-19:30 on Day One, and from 10:30-14:00 on Day Two.

For more information or to register, go to

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