On March 20, 2014, members of the Chinese and global fresh produce trade gathered in Shanghai, China to network and gain insights from key produce industry leaders.
The second annual Fresh Connections: China concluded on March 20, 2014 having attracted close to 140 attendees from 8 different countries, over 20 of which were international visitors. Countries represented included Australia, Canada, Chile, China/Hong Kong, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. From the opening remarks to the final networking break, attendees were highly engaged by the speakers and panelists representing the largest and fastest growing Chinese and global fresh produce businesses.
The conference was opened by Richard Owen, PMA Vice President of International Marketing, and followed by welcome remarks from Chilean, American, and Chinese government officials:
• Luis Schmidt, Chilean Ambassador to China
• Keith Schneller, Director of the Agricultural Trade Office at the U.S. Consulate, Shanghai
• Bai Zhang Hong, Director of Animal and Plant Quarantine Supervision, Shanghai CIQ
Opening remarks were followed by a series of lectures and panel discussions featuring representatives from leading businesses and organizations such as: Cityshop, FruitDay.com, Wal-Mart China, C.R. Vanguard, Joyvio, Sunkist, C.H. Robinson, Goodfarmer, Hortifruit, Rucaray S.A., Sysco, Shanghai CIQ, and PMA.
Topics covered included:
• An Overview of China’s Fresh Produce Industry and Distribution System
• Quarantine Requirements and the Process for Import into China
• Global Production Trends for Key Fruits Permissible into China
• Global Standards for Produce, PLU Codes, and the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI)
• China and the World: Retail, E-Commerce, and Foodservice Trends
During the Q&A sessions, the most memorable question was from a Chinese attendee to the e-commerce representative:
“Do you think you’ll put the two guys [brick and mortar retailers] beside you out of business?”
Although the question made the audience laugh, it was a very fair and insightful. The speaker responded that his company would never completely take over because some customers will always prefer face-to-face business.
Between presentations and panel discussions, networking sessions were held where attendees could freely interact, exchange business cards, and talk with the speakers and panelists.
Within only two years, Fresh Connections: China has already successfully established itself as the premier global fresh produce event focused on mainland China. The unparalleled quantity and quality of speakers and attendees left participants with no doubts that PMA is a valuable resource for making connections and staying ahead of global trends.
Here are just a few of the comments received by participants:
William Wang, Director of Fresh Products, Eastern China, Walmart, rated the conference 9 out of 10, commenting that he gained valuable information and resources from the event, which provided great insight regarding retail trends.
Ms. Pengwei Gao, General Manager of Organic and Beyond, Shanghai, the leading organic company in China, gave a rated the conference 10 out of 10, commenting that it was a very helpful and a good platform for learning more about fresh produce production and global trends.
On the following day, international attendees participated in a wholesale and retail market tour to gain a first-hand understanding of how fresh produce is distributed throughout various channels in China. Tour stops included the newly opened Huizhan imported fruit wholesale market, and the full spectrum of Chinese fresh produce retail outlets including a traditional wet market, a typical Chinese Walmart hypermarket, and the luxurious Ole supermarket. The more than 20 visitors on the tour were in constant awe observing the scale and speed of distribution about which they had learned in the previous day’s sessions.
Full event details and selected presentations can be viewed publicly on the event website.
A gallery from the 2014 event can be viewed here.
For all other questions and inquiries, please contact the PMA China consultant:
M.Z. Marketing Communications
311 Siping Road
Hanson Mansion, Building B
Shanghai, China 200081
Tel: (+86) 21-6521-6751
Fax: (+86) 21-6521-3459