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Asia Fruit Award winners unveiled

Now! In Season, Golden Wing Mau and Pagoda win the 2015 Asia Fruit Awards

Asia Fruit Award winners unveiled

Chairman of Chinese fresh fruit chain Pagoda, Huiyong Yu, collects the Asia Fruit Award for Produce Retailer of the Year

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Australian marketing campaign 'Now! In Season', Chinese fresh produce group Golden Wing Mau and specialist fresh fruit retailer Pagoda were announced as the winners of the prestigious Asia Fruit Awards in a presentation ceremony at Asiafruit Congress-Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong today.

The Asia Fruit Awards, the annual pan-Asian awards for the fresh produce business, are presented by Asia Fruit Logistica, Asia’s leading fresh fruit and vegetable trade show, and Asiafruit Magazine, the industry’s premier publication.

The awards celebrate excellence and recognise achievement for the best players in Asia’s fresh fruit and vegetable business, with the winners selected by the two organisations.

The Asia Fruit Award is given in three categories – ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’, ‘Importer of the Year’ and ‘Produce Retailer of the Year’.

Marketing Campaign of the Year: Now! In Season (Australia)

The Marketing Campaign of the Year Award was presented to ‘Now! In Season’, a multi-industry, multi-market promotion for Australian fruits. 

The campaign, launched in April by the Victorian State Government in collaboration with Austrade and Horticulture Innovation Australia, takes a whole-of-industry approach to promoting Australian fruits across Asian markets. Through a mix of in-store tastings, point-of-sale materials and networking events, the campaign promotes seasonal Australian produce. Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines were the initial focus for the promotion, which launched with stonefruit, table grapes and apples and pears, with the support of the respective peak industry bodies. Citrus has since been added, with cherries to follow, while the campaign has been rolled out to more markets, including China and Japan.  

"The Victorian Government, in collaboration with peak industry bodies, Horticulture Innovation Australia and Austrade, is extremely pleased with the success of the Now! In Season programme,” said Brendan Larkin, ASEAN market manager at the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. “To date the programme has reached over 150 stores in five countries across Asia, profiling the best Australia has to offer in high-quality, safe and healthy fruit. We are looking forward to extending the programme next year to include more countries and more products."   

Introducing the winner, Asiafruit Magazine editor John Hey said Now! In Season demonstrated the power of a collaborative and consistent approach to marketing Australian produce. The campaign has been well-supported in-market to ensure effective execution with retailers, and, by coming together under one banner, industries have been able to secure more consistent shelf space for Australian produce and maintain a dialogue with retailers, he noted.

Importer of the Year: Golden Wing Mau (China)

Chinese group Golden Wing Mau (GWM) won the Importer of the Year Award for the impressive strides made by its import business.

Established in 1998, GWM has evolved rapidly from its origins as a small Shenzhen-based trading company to become an integrated fruit group with operations in production, packing, storage, import-export, wholesale and retail distribution. An early mover to develop its retail distribution business in China, predominantly with domestically-grown fruits, GWM’s network of supermarket customers has increasingly come into play for its imports in recent years. The company has also developed a strong network of wholesale market-based operations, as well as supplying emerging retail channels, such as e-commerce and specialist fruit shops.

On the import procurement side, GWM has built its international sourcing relationships, aided by Capespan’s acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in the company in 2010. The company has also become a leading distributor for Zespri kiwifruit in eastern and southern China as well as handling key national retail accounts.

 “We are very honoured and exalted to accept this award,” said president and CEO of GWM, Mau-Wah Liu. “This is the best affirmation and encouragement GWM has received from the global fruit industry. I’d like to extend my gratitude to all our overseas partners, and thank them for their trust and support. I’d also like to express my sincere thanks to our GWM people for their persistence and hard work.”

Produce Retailer of the Year: Pagoda (China) 

Chinese fruit retailer Pagoda Orchard Industry Development Co clinched the Produce Retailer of the Year Award.

Specialist fresh fruit retail stores are a fast-expanding sector of China’s food retail market, and Pagoda has been a trailblazer in the segment, said Hey. 

Having opened its first store in 2001, Pagoda has spread its wings in the past few years, and recently opened its 1,000th store in China. 

The boutique retailer, which sells premium local and imported produce, was commended for its assiduous efforts to select the best product for its customers, underpinned by work with growers and supply partners and its direct import sourcing efforts.

Pagoda was also singled out for the quality of its in-store execution, which is supported by strong management and staff training programmes. The retailer has worked successfully to educate consumers and introduce and develop a wider range of products, said Hey.

“Winning the Produce Retailer of the Year at the Asia Fruit Awards today is an honour for Pagoda,” said Huiyong Yu, chairman of Pagoda Orchard Industry Development Co. “It also shows that the fruit chain store business model in China is well regarded in the global industry.

“I feel proud and happy and I want to thank everyone in the business for your help and encouragement, and for pushing us forward all these years. I hope that one day Pagoda stores can be seen all over the world.”  

The three winners of the Asia Fruit Awards were presented with their trophies and certificates by Gérald Lamusse, managing director of Asia Fruit Logistica organiser Global Produce Events, and Chris White, managing director of Market Intelligence, which publishes Asiafruit Magazine and organises the Asiafruit Congress.

The Asia Fruit Awards were presented before the Networking Lunch at Asiafruit Congress, Asia’s premier fresh produce conference event held in Hong Kong. The conference sets the scene for Asia Fruit Logistica, which takes place on 2-4 September at AsiaWorld-Expo Center.

Well over 8,000 visitors from more than 60 different countries are expected at Asia Fruit Logistica over the coming days. Those visitors will find a show that has grown by a third, with more than 550 exhibitors from 40 different countries and all six continents registered to showcase their products and services.


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