China’s fresh fruit business is changing fast, and Fresh Produce Forum China will bring together local and international decision-makers to debate the biggest issues and hottest trends for the trade in Hangzhou on 23-25 May.
China’s e-commerce revolution, direct sourcing, the rise of new products and technologies and the pathways to expansion for domestic fresh produce companies are some of the key topics up for discussion at the conference and expo event, which is co-organised by Asia Fruit Logistica and Asiafruit Magazine.
After a Welcome Reception on the evening of 23 May, the conference gets under way on 24 May with the keynote session ‘E-commerce revolution 2.0’. E-commerce is changing the face of China’s fresh produce business, and a panel of leading players will share their vision of where things are headed. Speakers include Tmall’s fresh operations director Helen Liu; Chen Ren, strategic sourcing director for Yiguo E-commerce; and Zhang Yi, CEO of Floruit, the leading online platform for fruit wholesaling in northern China.
Following a Networking Break, the focus shifts to direct sourcing, with expert speakers bringing a range of perspectives on the theme. George Liu, founder of B2B fruit company Frutacloud, and Zheng Wenjing, chairperson of Gaogu Import and Export, will discuss their respective models for sourcing fruit directly to sell online. Catherine Gao, vice-president and general manager of the import business for Xianfeng fruit, will explain how the major Chinese fruit store chain is partnering with producers to achieve consistency in quality and satisfy the growing demand for premium products among its shoppers. Meanwhile, Wayne Prowse, principal of Fresh Intelligence Consulting, will outline the latest sourcing trends for imported fruits in China.
After a 90-minute Networking Lunch, delegates can choose between back-to-back pairs of Breakout Sessions homing in on specific subjects.
The first Breakout Session focuses on the opportunities and challenges to developing the market in China for western pears, which are very different to their Asian counterparts. Fabien Dumont, export manager at leading Dutch fruit grower cooperative Fruitmasters, will outline the company’s strategy and explain its activities for building the market for Conference pears in China. He’ll be joined by commercial director of Dole China Andy Zhang, who has extensive experience of marketing Belgian pears in China.
In the concurrent Breakout Session ‘Technology: making the grade’, Richard Zhang of Jinfeng Cooperative will discuss the state of China’s farming industry in terms of embracing modern technology to achieve higher productivity and quality standards. He’ll also offer advice on how to develop premium domestically-grown products for the Chinese market. New Zealand-based sorting specialist BBC Technologies provides grading solutions to Chinese producers and packers of higher value products such as blueberries, and the company’s Asia sales and service manager Stanley Lim will share his practical insights in the session.
The second pair of Breakout Sessions turns the spotlight on emerging products and supply origins for the Chinese market – avocados and Spain respectively.
Avocado consumption is developing rapidly off a low base in China. Leading US-based global avocado grower-marketer Mission Produce has joined forces with Chinese importer Lantao and fruit store chain Pagoda to roll out ripened avocados to Chinese consumers under the Mr Avocado brand. Mission’s senior VP of global sourcing and logistics Jim Donovan and Jade Shan, general manager of Mr Avocado, will discuss their marketing strategy.
Spain, Europe’s fresh produce export powerhouse, has begun to gain traction in the Chinese market with citrus in particular, but what more does the nation have to offer? Spanish citrus grower-exporter Juan Motilla has played a pioneering role in developing the Chinese market, and the company’s Asia sales manager Nicolás Arbarello will be joined by Jun Pan of Cash Fruta Sevilla to discuss the future opportunities and challenges.
China’s leading fresh produce companies are scaling up – and they’re exploring different vehicles to reach the desired scale, from public listings to strategic alliances.
After an afternoon Networking Break, the final General Session looks at the best avenues to growth for domestic companies with a panel discussion involving key industry players and financial and legal experts. Raymond Jin, deputy vice-president of Chinese fruit group Joy Wing Mau, and head of Yumsun’s domestic fruit business Chen Bin will discuss their company’s respective expansion strategies. Joining them on the panel will be Michael Murphy of law and consulting firm MMLC Group, who has particular expertise in agriculture and plant varieties, and Chen Hui, vice-president of Nongtai Finance, which specialises in agricultural finance.
Network and connect
Running alongside the conference at Fresh Produce Forum China is a high-impact expo where leading local and international companies promote their products and services spanning the entire supply chain.
Fresh Produce Forum China offers first-rate opportunities to network and connect with key decision makers in China’s fresh produce business. Delegates get ample time to meet and do business during the conference and expo. The programme includes hour-long Networking Breaks, a Networking Lunch and two cocktail events.
Fresh Produce Forum China concludes on 25 May with a day of organised tours. During the morning, delegates can choose between a guided tour of e-commerce giant Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou or a visit to Jiaxing Market. Already one of China’s largest domestic fruit wholesale markets, Jiaxing Market is soon to become a key hub for imported fruits in eastern China with a new market for imported fresh fruits now under construction. During the afternoon, a retail tour will take in a range of newer food retail formats. Stops on the tour will include: Xianfeng Fruit, a leading boutique fruit store chain; membership-only warehouse club Sam’s Club; and a Tesco Express new concept small format store.
For more information, visit the Fresh Produce Forum China website: