The first instalment in a series of exhibitor spotlights from Asia Fruit Logistica focuses on North America. During last week's show, the Fruitnet team spoke to some of the region's leading players about key developments and future prospects.

Mission Produce (US)

A multi-year exhibitor at Asia Fruit Logistica, California-based Mission Produce was back again in Hong Kong for 2019, aiming to further expand its Hass avocado business in Asia. “We’re looking to grow our supplier base across Latin America to help grow the market – particularly in China,” explained sales and sourcing director Brock Becker. According to Becker, Mission Produce, which co-exhibited with its New Zealand partner Avanza, currently sources fruit from Mexico, Chile and Peru, with added production from Colombia expected once protocols are finalized. “The challenge is to grow (Chinese) consumption for avocados beyond smoothies and baby food. The other hurdle is developing logistics for supplying those third- and fourth-tier markets that really aren’t that familiar with avocados yet.”

Cravo Equipment (Canada)

Cravo Equipment, a company based in Brantford (Ontario), Canada, promoted its retractable roof systems to Asia Fruit Logistica 2019 attendees. “In the two and half minutes it takes to deploy our retractable roofing systems, growers are able to protect their high-value crops from the effects of heat, rain and hail and improve possibilities for a return on investment,” said director of business development for the Asia-Pacific region, Bede Miller. Targeted crops include berries, cherries and greenhouse vegetables. “Utilising Cravo roofing solutions increases yield of CAT I (grade) product, allowing growers to take advantage of market supply windows.”

Cravo_AFL 2019

Sun Pacific/Famous Vineyards (US)

Sun Pacific – one of California’s largest shippers of citrus, table grapes and kiwifruit – shared a stand with its affiliate Famous Vineyards at Asia Fruit Logistica 2019. “We are actually separate companies with our own marketing departments,” noted Sun Pacific’s export director, Brian Autenieth. “Our farming division manages production for Famous Vineyards and we’re co-exhibiting here in Hong Kong, accordingly.” This is the initial season for Famous Vineyards after acquiring the table grape acreage of Sun World International prior to the start of the 2019 season, which included many of the popular new varietals developed by that company.

CMI Orchards (US)

Although a new exhibitor at Asia Fruit Logistica this year, CMI Orchards has been attending the Hong Kong trade fair since its inception. “We felt it was time to take a higher profile (at Asia Fruit Logistica),” said CMI’s export manager Marc Pflugrath. CMI Orchards is one of Washington’s largest grower-shippers-marketers of apples, pears and cherries. “In addition to the fruit we grow ourselves, our export trading division procures a variety of fresh products year-round for supplying our international clients. We feel this service increases CMI’s value to our customers, which helps us do a better job for our growers.”

CMI Orchards_AFL 2019

Sunview Marketing International (US)

One of California’s largest vertically integrated table grape organisations, Sunview Marketing exhibited for the second time at Asia Fruit Logistica. Highlighted at its stand was the company’s new proprietary variety, Sweet Carnival. “We’ve received really positive feedback on Sweet Carnival from Asia Fruit Logistica attendees,” noted export sales representative Tennison Hoofard on the final day of the Hong Kong trade fair. “It has a unique flavour that is immediately pleasing to the pallet. Sweet Carnival is just starting to come into commercial bearing and will be increasingly available in the future for international markets.” Also on display from Sunview and receiving positive reviews were jumbo raisins in a handy, resealable pouch pack.

BC Cherry Association (Canada)

This is the sixth year for the BC Cherry Association (BCCA) exhibiting at Asia’s largest trade fair for fresh produce. The BCCA does not ship cherries but instead represents the British Columbia cherry industry as a whole to both North American and overseas markets. “Growers, marketers, packinghouses, brokers and suppliers all belong to the BC Cherry Association,” explained program administrator Beth Cavers. With sweet cherry production steadily increasing for their industry, the BCCA continues to work closely with Canadian agricultural authorities to increase market access across the Pacific Rim. “This was our first full season exporting to Japan,” noted Cavers. “And we’re getting closer to opening the South Korean market for our fruit.”

BC Cherry Asso_Beth Cavers