Charif Christian Carvajal

SHAFFE president Charif Christian Carvajal

The Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Exporters Association (SHAFFE) and The China Chamber of Commerce for Food and Native Products (CFNA) held their first-ever joint board meeting, since signing their collaboration agreement last March.

The virtual meeting was attended by nearly 50 representatives of both associations.

“SHAFFE is an association of associations, and our goal is to establish collaborative networks with different organisations worldwide, so this first meeting with the CFNA is key in this process,” said Charif Christian Carvajal, SHAFFE president and marketing director for Asia, Europe and Middle East at Asoex.

The eight countries that make up SHAFFE account for almost a quarter of global fruit supply. Together they exported 11m tonnes of fresh produce worth US$14bn last year.

Regarding the China market, SHAFFE countries represent 33 per cent of all imports to China. Its exports have grown by an average of 11 per cent over the past five years, reflecting the growing importance of the Asian market for Southern Hemisphere exporters.

At the meeting, SHAFFE representatives presented issues of interest for further development and growth in China, with logistics, duties, and market access being the most important ones.

“We look forward to the support of CFNA members on these issues,” said Marta Bentancur, SHAFFE vice-president and a representative, Uruguayan fruit association Upefruy.

CFNA members expressed optimism about a better imported fruit season due to improved pandemic control and growth in fresh produce sales, where quality remains a key issue. However, they said inspections and disinfections remain a challenge.

SHAFFE members are very important suppliers to China, and China is a very important market for SHAFFE, so working cooperatively and together is key for both organisations,' said Kurt Huang, deputy secretary general of CFNA's fruit division.

Finally, Nelli Hajdu, SHAFFE’s secretary general, commented: “we are very excited about the results of this first meeting with CFNA, as it opens collaboration opportunities for all our members.

“We will continue to seek new collaborative alliances to further enhance exports from the Southern Hemisphere”.