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Fair strengthens its position

Busy start for Asia Fruit Logistica

More metres are covered at the Asia Fruit Logistica this year. The fair, which started in Hong Kong on Tuesday, has grown by 25 per cent. The second hall is completely booked, and that has also been noticed by the higher number of visitors. 

That the fair has become more important is inextricably linked to the growing interest in the Asian market: at the fair, people are diligently looking for opportunities in this part of the world, and a stand also serves as a meeting point to that end.

Philip Fontaine from BelOrta sees a number of BelOrta products with Claas van Os from Levarht.  

From bell peppers to pears
This edition features 665 stands from 37 different countries. The crowds started arriving in the Dutch and Belgian halls early, especially compared to previous years. Dutch and Belgian pear exporters expect that the breakthrough on the Asian market is imminent, and that results in a hopeful mood. Especially because the bell pepper export to China experienced a long run-up, but after a sample stage, it has also seen some commercial orders by now. 

From China, people also eagerly awaited the fair. The country isn’t just interested in import products, but is also looking for a way to show their own products to existing and new partners, both domestically and abroad. This year there are 180 Chinese stands, compared to 75 last year. Noticeable too is the increase of companies with a wide range of services: from import to logistics to sales, but also online shops and larger brands like Miss Fresh and Joy Wing Mau. Moreover, thanks to support from local governments, more smaller export companies are also participating.

The strategy with which American companies are on the Asian market is remarkable. They emphatically look for cooperations with supermarkets, and want to work on their brands online in Asia. 

Rijk Zwaan’s team cannot be absent as winner of the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award. Moreover, this week they’ll introduce a new type of lettuce to the Asian market. Crystal can also be used in hot meals without losing its crispiness.

Seasonal Asian products
The number of Asian pavilions is also larger than last year. There are quite some representatives from especially Korea that promote seasonal products such as pears and peaches. The increase of Egyptian companies has also been noticed. Furthermore, large shipping companies such as APL and Maersk are at the fair – major players in Asia. Also remarkable is the presence of a Jordanian company to promote Medjoul dates in Asia, and African Blue, the only Moroccan representative, has brought blueberries.

Latin America
Looking at the exhibitors and visitors, Latin America has also found its way. Mexican and Chinese delegations make use of the opportunity to become acquainted, which is important, because they’re hoping the market will open to them this year. The Costa Rican companies have already seen the Chinese market opening for pineapples, which is why a group of exporters is present.

The Costa Rican pineapples are cheerfully marketed in China.

The growth of the fair can also be seen in the number of innovations presented. Cold-pressed apple juice from Jazz and Envy apples stand out, a product from the New Zealand company The Apple Press. Another tasty one: the cherries from Styx River, covered in chocolate and in a nice gift pack. Love Beets has a convenience product: ready-to-eat potatoes with natural marinades.

Cold-pressed apple juice from Jazz and Envy apples from New Zealand company The Apple Press.

Chocolate-covered cherries from the Tasmanian company Styx River.

Potatoes and convenience – ready-to-eat potatoes with natural marinades.

Prizes awarded
The Asia Fruit Logistica wouldn’t be a Fruit Logistica without awards. These were therefore awarded yesterday. The BFV (Belgian Fruit Valley) received the award for marketing campaign of the year for their efforts with Conference pears in Asia. Freshmart Singapore won the importer of the year-award. Dutch company HEMA received the price for fresh produce retailer of the year because they were successful with their concept of becoming a strong player both online and offline. They achieved this by working with Alibaba.

Fair report
Together with our Chinese and international editors, we are also in Hong Kong this week, and we’ll report about the fair every day. The photo report of the Consul reception will follow tomorrow, and on Monday the photo report of all exhibitors will be published. If you want to share something about the fair, please feel free to send us an e-mail.

Publication date: 9/6/2017


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