The 24th edition of Food & Hotel China (FHC) began on the 10th of November. For the first time, the Flemish Centre for Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing (VLAM) organized a group stand at this three-day event. That was for five Belgian frozen potato product exporters. Tasting the fries and personal contacts with local representatives ensured a welcome, successful restart to export activities, even during these corona times. This event also marked the start of VLAM's new EU 'Go for Gold' project.
"Successful trade show, despite COVID-19"
The trade show drew considerable interest, despite the current corona crisis. There were 1,115 exhibitors and 127,454 visitors at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) in China. It was the first time VLAM showcased Belgian fries.
The corona crisis poses never-before-seen challenges. But VLAM is determined to continue its export mission. The Belgian frozen potato sector was efficiently and successfully represented in Shanghai. That's thanks to close cooperation with the FHC and FIT trade fair organizations.
Go for Gold
This challenging participation isn't only the first for Belgian fries since the coronavirus pandemic began. It was also the launch of the 'Go for Gold' campaign. This campaign is co-financed by the European Commission. The Belgian stand was decorated in the new "Go for Gold" concept. This confirms Belgium's position as the world's largest exporter of frozen potato products, directly from the heart of Europe.
"Go for Gold" refers not only to "Original Belgian Fries" as a premium product. It also refers to the perfect fries' golden color. Visitors could taste these fries at the Belgian stand. Then there were business discussions with local representatives. These were from Bart's Potato Company, Ecofrost, Mydibel, Agristo, and Clarebout. These conversations were held both live on-site and online.
Interest from the Asian market
VLAM was not the only European exhibitor at the event. There were also large Dutch and Italian stands. This shows the interest of the Asian market. The USA was also extremely well-represented.
VLAM is further rolling out its export promotion plans for China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. They want to participate in trade fairs and hold their own events.
The next Food & Hotel China will be from 9 to 11 November 2021.