Speakers include Kantar's retail, sales and shopper practice lead Annabel Robertson and Ernst van den Ende, head of Plant Sciences at Wageningen University

For the first time in its more than 20-year history, Asiafruit Congress is going digital this year. Asia’s leading conference event for fresh produce decision-makers livestreams to its global audience on 17 November 2020. Its high-powered programme primes the Asia business for new opportunities and challenges post-Covid, setting the scene for Asia Fruit Logistica ON.

Asiafruit Congress ON kicks off with a focus on how Asia’s fresh fruit and vegetable business is also going digital in 2020. Kantar’s retail, sales and shopper practice lead for South-East Asia, Annabel Robertson, shares her expert insight on the digitalisation of fresh food retail across Asia, and the evolution of digital routes to market during the pandemic. JD Fresh, the fresh food arm of e-commerce giant, is spearheading the charge to digitise physical retail in China, and the company’s purchasing manager Una Wang outlines its latest moves.

The focus then turns to digitisation of the supply chain upstream. Syngenta China’s head of vegetable seeds Zhou Qin details how the company is using digital platforms to launch new varieties to thousands of farmers across China. Rounding out the session, Dimuto CEO Gary Loh explains how blockchain technology can solve many of the issues in today’s fresh produce supply chain.

Green future: new production models

Fresh fruit and vegetable production faces increasing environmental pressures, and the session ‘Green future: new production models’ explores approaches leading the way to a sustainable farming future.

Head of Plant Sciences at Wageningen University, Ernst van den Ende, explains how a combination of technology and ecology can make horticulture more productive, efficient and sustainable. Jan Doldersum of leading global seed breeder Rijk Zwaan joins Jarno Mooren from partner Signify to outline the solutions vertical farming offers to feeding urban demand for leafy greens in Asia. Meanwhile, Gavin Ross of Plant & Food Research and T&G Global’s Peter Landon-Lane discuss the Hot Climate Programme, a New Zealand-Spain collaboration to develop apple and pear varieties ideal for hotter growing areas.

Shifting consumer and trade landscapes

Other sessions at Asiafruit Congress ON examine the impact of Covid-19 on consumer mindset and shopper behaviour, and on the fresh produce trade in Asia.

The unique macro conditions of a pandemic-driven economic recession are forcing consumers to rethink how they shop and what they buy. Nicole Corbett, director of Nielsen’s Intelligence Unit, shares her expert insight on how consumers are rethinking the way they shop, and what they buy, amid the constantly evolving retail landscape.

Wayne Prowse of Fresh Intelligence Consulting sets the scene for the session ‘The new shape of Asia’s trade post-pandemic’ with his analysis of key trends in trade across markets since the onset of Covid-19. Key global suppliers and Asian importers explain how their businesses are adapting and capitalising on new opportunities. Speakers include Konna Mu, importer manager of Joy Wing Mau, Wipavee Watcharakorn, CEO of Thai importer Vachamon, and Charif Christian Carvajal, director of marketing for Europe, Asia and the Middle East at the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (Asoex).

Asiafruit Congress ON also zones in on two exciting growth categories in Asian markets today – apples and grapes. Andrea Fedrizzi of Melinda and Augusto Renella of Naturitalia discuss the opening of new markets to Italian apples in Asia, and their plans for the premium Melinda brand. Meanwhile, Willem Bestbier, chief executive of South African Table Grape Industry (SATI), talks about the influence of new licensed varieties on the business, and South Africa’s plans to ramp up its presence in Asia in the years to come.

Asia Fruit Awards: celebrating excellence

Asiafruit Congress ON also hosts the presentation of the Asia Fruit Awards, the prestigious pan-Asia awards for Asia’s fresh produce business. The Asia Fruit Awards recognise the best companies in the fields of produce marketing, importing and retailing, while the Impact Award celebrates leading companies or figures in the development of the business. The winners of the 2020 Asia Fruit Awards are announced at Asiafruit Congress ON, and they are beamed in to accept their accolades from Asiafruit Magazine and Asia Fruit Logistica.

Asiafruit Congress ON livestreams from 2:00pm Singapore/China time on 17 November from the Asia Fruit Logistica ON platform, with all sessions available to view on-demand. Check out the full speaker-line up for Asiafruit Congress ON here.

Fruitnet organises Asiafruit Congress ON on 17 November and is also official media partner of Asia Fruit Logistica ON from 18-20 November.As a subscriber to Fruitnet Daily News, you’re entitled to a FREE registration to both events, with our compliments! Register here use codeFRUITNET20

N.B.Your code is valid until 15 November only.