The tenth edition of Asia Fruit Logistica took place in Hong Kong last week, with a 22% growth in visitor numbers and more than 11,000 industry professionals from 74 different countries attending the trade show. Exhibition space expanded by 18% on last year.
Altogether, some 665 companies from 37 different countries exhibited their products and services at the trade fair, an increase of almost 100 on the 2015 edition.
“We are delighted with this year’s attendance to Asia Fruit Logistica,” said Wilfried Wollbold, commercial director of event organiser Global Produce Events. “The results underline Asia Fruit Logistica’s position as the unique pan-Asia event for this business, and also the growing global interest in Asia from leading buyers and suppliers.”
Australia/ New Zealand
Australia in particular had a much bigger presence than in previous years with a very impressive pavilion. Australia has just gained entry to China for nectarines and there were a few new varieties on show. New Zealand companies were also promoting new apple varieties for the Asian market. It seems that the Australians and New Zealanders are moving away from European markets and focussing more on Asian markets.
South/ Central America
The number of South American stand holders was also slightly up on last year, with a presence from Colombia for the first time. Ecuador, Mexico and Argentina also had more companies present this time. The south and central Americans see Asia as the future market for them, it is a new market willing to explore different tastes and new fruit. Colombian companies, Ocati and Tropical Bite, presented their dried physalis as a new product.
This year, there was a larger number of Chinese exhibitors and visitors compared to previous years. Chinese brands are becoming more visible and explicit, and the stands are visibly more internationally orientated.
Goodfarmer was exhibiting the company’s primary import and export products, including special banana varieties and a large number of Chinese apple varieties in a large and airy display. Yumsun is the new brand from Shenzhen Yuanxing Fruit, the company’s history and focus was displayed in a bright and open stand. Qifeng’s kiwi varieties were on display, attracting attention from international visitors to the company’s red hearted domestic kiwis. Chinese citrus grower Yang’s showcased its branding and orange citrus packaging. The Xing Ye Yuan Group branched out with a large display to host its international buyers and suppliers.
The Chinese market is far from consolidated, and foreign companies are eager to land partnerships with Chinese importers and distributors. A number of developments have recently taken place. Jaguar the Fresh Company has launched Leopard Fruit this year, a Chinese company based in Shanghai. Leopard Fruit will focus on the import of produce into China, including South African citrus, and export from China to Europe. Goldanda and Australian Nippys Waikerie Producers have announced a new partnership, in which Goldanda receives exclusive rights to promote the Nippys citrus brand in China.
The Europeans were also out in force with more stand holders from Holland, Spain and Italy and also a few new faces from the UK.
Among the Dutch participants, the Conference pear, bell peppers and tomatoes were on proud display. After a two week trial period in July, participants are hopeful that the bell pepper will receive full market access in 2017.
Differentiation is key. In China, the Greenery is promoting two pear varieties. Next to its Conference pear, the company also exports the Sweet Sensation pear. FruitMasters is marketing its Migo pear, with a bright coloured logo, in addition to a wide range of soft fruit. Levarht’s red and yellow coloured peppers is attracting awe from Asian visitors, introduced to the crowds by the company’s Japanese and Chinese team.
Rijk Zwaan was exhibiting with a large international team. The company already has a considerable presence on the Chinese market. The Asian ready to eat market is growing, and in that perspective the company’s Knox lettuce received plenty of attention.
A number of Belgian participants were present, including Truval and Calsa. Truval has been marketing the Conference pear in China for a while now, including courses on explaining the fruits ripening. Finally, Enza Zaden was promoting a number of different tomato, pepper and pumpkin varieties in a bright and colourful stand.
Many Asian companies chose to visit rather than exhibit this year. For some, it gives them more opportunity to make appointments and offer their products.
Korea and Japan had pavilions with more exhibitors than last year. Although there were less Pakistani and Indian exporters present this year. Malaysia and Vietnam are looking for opportunities in North America. There were more Turkish exhibitors this year focussing on figs and citrus.
Africa/ South Africa
As always the South Africans presence was felt with most companies choosing to do business from the South African stand.
Egypt had more exhibitors than last year, probably due to the upcoming citrus season and China approved the entry of Egyptian grapes this year.
Egyptian exhibitors were not happy to be separated from the other Egyptian exporters. The Egyptian pavilions were not entirely connected to each other which made other Egyptian exhibitors unhappy. They said that the visitors tended to go to only one pavilion which was located at the centre of the hall.
Most standholders agreed that there was a lot of high quality of visitors to the stands with many potential new business relationships being formed.