Today Shenzhen was the scene of the sixth PMA Fresh Connections: China. It was the first time the conference has been held in this city in South China.
The day was filled with a combination of Chinese and international speakers from across the industry covering a wide range of topics that reflected on the fast-growing Chinese and global fresh produce market and its latest trends.
Among other panel discussions, a panel headed by Patrick Vizzone of ANZ Bank and supported by Eric Li from Shanghai Yiguo and Mike Li from JD.com discussed the future of retail and e-tail in China, an industry that is currently developing at neck-breaking speed. Both companies are influential in this segment of the market.
Challenges and opportunities for blockchain technologies in the fresh produce industry where explained and discussed by Ed Treacy and Dan Sun.
The afternoon started with an in-depth discussion of how a premium can be achieved, in China and abroad, by branding and the introduction and promotion of new varieties. It was interesting to listen as Qidong Zhu of Pagoda and Jade Shan of Mr. Avocado, two Chinese companies expert in branding on the China market, exchanged views with Lisa Cork from Fresh Produce Marketing and Mike Preacher from Domex Superfresh Growers for a truly international perspective.
The afternoon session with Mr Liu, Chairman of the Board of the Joy Wing Mau Group and Jae Chun, Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific at Driscolls about development in Chinese fruit production and future potential, also drew attention. Expect Chinese fruit production to create increasing amounts of high-end and premium value and quality crops.
Darren Keating, CEO Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand, Jae Chun, Driscoll's and Mau Wah Liu, Chairman of the Board, Joy Wing Mau Group
'Thinking Like a Global CEO' was the final panel discussion of the day chaired by Cathy Burns, CEO of PMA. On the panel were Tim Riley of The Guimarra Companies, Steve Barnard of Mission Produce, David Marguleas of Sun-World and Adrielle Dankier of Nature's Pride. Relevant questions such as 'what is an important strategic choice you made and how did you benefit from this choice', 'what do you look for in a (retail) partner' and 'what to do in case of conflict' had the audience captivated until the end.
The event attracted a large number of Chinese and international attendees and feedback was enthusiastic and positive. Freshplaza will cover the event in more detail, including photos, in further publications early next week.