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"Filip: "We are in a good position to do faster business"

First electronic auction clock opened in Shanghai by Filip Fontaine

At 10 o'clock on the the 23rd of October the official introduction of the new auctioning system in the Shanghai wholesale market took place, in the Shanghai Xijaio Interal Central. This is the start of a shift in the traditional trading on fruit and vegetables and other agrarian products in China. The use of the auction clock will have a huge impact on the way in which Chinese fruits and vegetables will be marketed.

Left: the opening and right: Filip checks the Belgian apples on the wholesale market

Start and opening
Filip Fontaine was invited last year to help with the start and was was present last week to officially open the new system. He was present there as the president of the board of directors of Aucxis, global market leader in electronic sales systems. "It is a project that has been running for a number of years, but is now being brought into practice. Of course I was there as the president of BelOrta to strengthen the trade relations. it is an art to find good contacts there, but vice versa the Chinese don't always know who to go to in Europe. However, business is in the air in Shanghai with its millions of inhabitants. People are very open to new and innovative initiatives. It's great to be there and taste the atmosphere." 

Filip Fontaine shakes hands with a large top fruit importer. The man in the middle is Vincent Tan, owner of APC.

Doing business
He indicates that due to the contacts that have now been made there is a positive influence on the trade with this country. "If everyone cooperates more will be able to be exported soon. The Chinese see Belgium as a gateway to Europe. Of course, we already export top fruit there, but they are interested in other products too. We are in the starting position to do faster business."

Visits to the wholesale market
Filip conducted various interviews in Shanghai and was given a tour of the wholesale market. "The wholesale market is certainly worth a look. I was really impressed. It's the size of a square kilometre. Around 20 to 30 people sell their fruit and vegetable there. It's all identical warehouses and it looks very neat. A lot of Western companies could take a leaf out of their book. At the moment most of it is still fruit and vegetables, but meat will soon be added. They have the opportunity to process around 2000 more containers per day." The import products that are sold on the wholesale market arrive through the port of Shanghai. "All facilities are present there. There are huge storage warehouses, in which neatness and order prevail."

Filip was interviewed by various media

Advanced Produce Centres (APC) is company with global experience in the area of auctioning systems. Seeing huge potential in the Shanghai market, APC made the decision to start the first agrarian auction in the central wholesale market in Shanghai. Filip: "They view this as their first try out and want to roll out a franchise concept all over China. They are supported by the government in this. They agree that auctioning fruits and vegetables is a good way to trade products through a system that provides fair and transparent price formation."

The wholesale market from outside

China is the largest fruit production country in the world. Well known fruit exported around the world includes Fuji apples, Chinese pears and citrus. With a population of 27 inhabitants the annual consumption of fruit in Shanghai is 1.8 million tonnes, of which 450,000 tonnes is imported fruit.

Left: high tomato prices. Right: just before the opening

For more information:
Filip Fontaine
Mechelsesteenweg 120
2860 Sint-Katelijne-Waver - Belgium
+32 15 55 11 11
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