Asia Fruit Logistica 2016 Shows Opportunities Abound

09 Sep 2016

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The value of focusing on the Asian markets for New Zealand’s horticulture exports is strongly illustrated at Asia Fruit Logistica 2016 in Hong Kong this week.

Although this is my first time here, the exhibitors that have been coming for many years have told me that each year this trade exhibition is getting bigger and brighter. They see China as a long-term investment and the likes of Macau, Vietnam and the Philippines are expanding markets with demand for high quality fruit and vegetables and many opportunities. Hong Kong alone imports 2.5 million tons of fruit and vegetables a year.

Consumer demands centre on healthy eating, organics, and exotic fruit and small vegetables that have some novelty factor. Packaging is very important and comes at a premium, which people will pay for. Not surprisingly, as technology continues to advance rapidly, e-sales are increasing and present new channels to explore.

While consumer demand is high, one of the biggest problems facing New Zealand exporters is market access preventing our fruit and vegetables being sold in that country. While the New Zealand Government has made significant gains with free trade agreements, access is critical to increasing horticulture’s export performance in Asia. This is significant given the shift in focus for New Zealand exporters from what were traditional markets in Europe and the United States to now, when up to two-thirds of their business is in Asia.

The real benefits for New Zealand exporters attending Asia Fruit Logistica are the opportunity to meet in one central place with their existing customers, while also being able to make new contacts and potentially, new customers. Additionally, the event gives fantastic access to market intelligence, some of which I have shared in this blog.

- Mike Chapman, CEO