Little interest China export from Dutch Conference pear growers

“We started with the export of Dutch Conference pears to China in the beginning of 2015. Market opportunity is huge. In 2014, China imported fruit from over 35 countries. In 2012, total fruit import amounted to 290,000 million tons. By 2014, this has increased to 340,000 million tons. It puzzles me why export from Europe is getting up to speed so slow. In the top ten fruit exporting countries to China, none of them are from Europe. Kiwifruit from New Zealand, cherries from Chile: all these fruits are doing so well on the market,” say Yvonne Qiu of Van Horten.

“We are actively searching for Conference pear producers to cooperate with. Our challenge in the Netherlands is to find the right supplier. Since last year we are actively searching online and reaching out to companies. It is not easy for overseas buyers to access the Dutch market.”

Premium and import fruit on display on a wholesale market in China

“It is important to us is to make a package deal. We want to work with a producer that can arrange the packaging and has the licenses to export. Maybe the reality is that there are not that many growers that are able to do this. We have the sales channels in China to market the product. Imported and premium fruit is often sold via online sales channels, particularly in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing. It is convenient and up to 20% cheaper than sales via supermarkets. Chinese are willing to invest in fresh fruit and vegetables. The market is more dynamic than in Europe. I believe Dutch Conference pears meet a growing demand”.

“Currently, fruit export from the Netherlands to China is limited, but we believe the market is there. We realised that not many producers or exporters show interest in exporting pears to China. A problem might be that business in China is done differently than in Europe. In the Netherlands, down payments can cover 30% to 50%, or even the full amount. In China, import companies usually only pay a 20% down payment. They will pay the remaining 30% once the shipment has arrived. Only once the products have been checked and marketed, the remaining 50% will be paid. This can vary between one and three months.”

“Cold chain logistics in China has gone through a revolution in the last two years. It used to take over 60 days to bring fresh products from Europe onto the Chinese market. Now, with air freight, this can be brought back to 3 days. Custom clearance in Shanghai, in the free trade pilot zone, have invested in fast clearance procedures for fresh produce. Once the products arrive, the aim is to have them checked immediately. Inspection time is brought back to 5 or 6 hours. Other big logistic hubs in Ningbo, Chongqing and Hangzhou have also introduced free trade zones. In the coming years the market will develop further. The market is young, but growth rates are impressive.”

For more information:

Yvonne Qiu
Van Horten
Tel: +31 6 4447 6659+31 6 4447 6659

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