Last week from Friday till Sunday the China International Fruit and Vegetable Fair took place in Beijing. It was quite busy, visitors and companies from all over China and beyond came to participate.
The fair was divided in three different parts; the first consisted of foreign companies; the second Chinese companies and the third part was dedicated to companies from the wholesale market in Beijing, Xinfadi. During the fair, very interesting lectures and speeches were given about the current developments and innovations in the fruit and vegetable sector in China. For interested people, there was also an opportunity to join the Xinfadi tour, which was very popular with visitors from outside of Beijing.
During the show, some very special varieties were showcased. For example, Qu zhenqing from Guonong Baoxing Nongye Kaifagongsi had a very special apple variety which he showcased in this exhibition. An apple with the red colour inside and outside. This attracted a lot of attention from the participants passing by.
Elzette Schutte from African Hortgro company was also present. Their company is a big producer of blueberries and they are trying to sell them to the Chinese market as well. When asked what she thought of the exhibition, she said:`I really like this exhibition. The number of African companies that participate in this exhibition is lower than the yearly exhibition in Hong Kong, though what I really like about this one is that it is really China-focused. That is what we are looking for. We want to export our blueberries to China and we hope our two governments come to an agreement soon.`
Another blueberry association delegate was Deborah L. Payne from US Highbush Blueberry Council. "We are very happy to be present at this exhibition. It is a very good exhibition, with a lot of different products and a lot of opportunities to engage with interested customers. We export blueberries to China, frozen and dried. We hope to export fresh blueberries as well in the future, but for now there is no access."
Ian Locke from Fruit Growers Tasmania mentioned: "We participate in this exhibition, because it is a very good forum to meet with clients, it really gives us the opportunity to introduce our company well."
Australia does have access for asparagus and lettuce, but there is minimal trade to date. We do export carrots, potatoes, onion and broccoli to many countries, but not China. We hope to be able to export carrots to China in the future. Australia does have access for asparagus and lettuce, but there is minimal trade to date. We do export carrots, potatoes, onion and broccoli to many countries, but not China. We hope to be able to export carrots to China in the future.`
Saturday, during the second day of the China International Fruit and Vegetable Fair, it was much busier than the first day. More visitors came to the exhibition and this had to do with the fact that it was the weekend, so fewer people had to go to work and could join this exhibition. This day was again fully planned with a lot interesting discussions about China’s Fresh Retail and WeChat Fresh Business.
The exhibition is not only focused on commercial activities, but also on cooperation. For example, Mr. Johan Immelman from AvoOwner, a South African company, works together with Songming Zhang, a Chinese avocado company called ForAvo. Mr. Immelman said: “South Africa has many years of experience in growing avocados, while China is just starting in this business. In order to help the Chinese growers with their avocado industry, AvoOwner brings the African technology and knowledge to China, to work together and help Chinese growers to improve their business.” This cooperation is just starting, but it seems to be a very successful plan.
During the exhibition some companies also won special exhibition awards. Like the Xinping Regu Guimei nongye kaifa company - they received the ‘Best Fresh Award’ for their new product purslane. It's only been on the market for two months officially but already it's very popular. Mr Hu mentioned: “Our three focus points for every product are, that it has to be tasty, healthy and unique. We very much appreciate the award, it shows an appreciation for all the hard work we have put in.”
Another award, the ‘People’s Choice Award’, was won by Shaanzhou Yulu Xiangli. They produce pears in a pollution-free way and also use organic fertilizers. Mr. Wang was very happy to receive this award, his company works very hard to produce high quality, healthy and safe products for their customers, so it meant a lot for him.
One of the products that attracted a lot of attention was the hawthorn, from Beijing Xinmiaohui Technology Trading Co., Ltd. This little red berry is a drupe fruit with a hard kernel, thin flesh and a slightly sour taste, though also very refreshing. Wang Yanli explained: “This fruit can be eaten raw, or dried. When you eat it dried, it can be used as a Chinese medicine. It is a very healthy fruit.”
On the last day of the exhibition, it was still very busy with visitors, but quite a few companies had already left. The companies that were present with some products to sell, such as the booth of Xinjiang, Yunnan and other specialties, did good business on this last day.