28 August 2019

What role will vertical farming play in feeding Asia’s growing demand for safe, high-quality fresh produce? How is the in-store retail experience changing for consumers in Asia with the introduction of innovative technologies? How is the US/China trade war reshaping the landscape of the fresh produce business in the region?

These are some of the big questions for Asia’s fresh produce business that will be answered by a high-powered panel of speakers at next week’s ASIAFRUIT CONGRESS in Hong Kong. Taking place at AsiaWorld-Expo on Tuesday 3 September, the day before ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA (4-6 September), Asia’s premier fresh produce conference provides a big picture view of where the market is headed – across production, marketing and trade – helping delegates to ready their businesses to capitalise on the opportunities.

The A2B: production
Fresh fruit and vegetable production will see many disruptive innovations in the years to come as science and technology give rise to ‘a new age of agriculture’. Bram Koppert, general manager of Asia for Dutch horticultural tech specialist Priva, will open ASIAFRUIT CONGRESS with a look at the big forces driving moves towards smart, sustainable production systems. Joining Koppert for the panel discussion to the opening session ‘Farming for the future: feeding Asia’s growing demand’ are Harry Debney, chief executive of leading Australian grower-marketer Costa, Bruno Libbrecht, global produce business insights lead at Bayer, and Michelle Jones and Ron Geritz from Chinese horticultural group Orisis, which is constructing what the company describes as the first indoor vertical farm in Shanghai.

The B2C: retail and consumers
The second general session ‘Retail and consumers: marketing moves’ zones in on some of the latest trends in Asia’s fast-moving retail and consumer markets. Fruitday’s head of supply chain, Huang Jing, discusses how the in-store experience is changing for shoppers in China with the introduction of innovative technologies, and she looks at where e-tailers can go next to grow further. Delivering a case study on marketing around health benefits, Toshihiko Shoji of NARO and Tomisato Miura of Hiroasaki University Graduate School of Health Sciences, discuss the development and marketing of the ‘anti-obesity’ Prime Apple!, which is commanding significant premiums in the Japanese market. Asia consumer and digital expert Jerry Clode of The Solution wraps up the session with a look at changing demographics in Asia, and provides practical advice on how fresh produce marketers can connect with their future brand consumers.

The B2B: trade
ANZ Bank’s chief China economist, Raymond Yeung, kicks off the final general session ‘Trade talks: adapting to a shifting landscape’ with his expert analysis of how geopolitics is changing the global trade landscape. Wayne Prowse of Fresh Intelligence Consulting and Randy Eckert of major US grower-shipper Yakima Fresh discuss the impact of US-China trade tensions on the fresh produce business. The focus then shifts to China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) project, with David Harrity, head of growth propositions for HSBC Commercial Banking in Hong Kong, explaining what the project means for doing business in the region, and Joy Wing Mau president Jason Zhang providing his perspective on the opportunities the GBA will create for fresh produce marketers.

Afternoon workshop sessions at ASIAFRUIT CONGRESS go into more detail on exciting growth areas of the business. The first concurrent pair of workshops looks at the growing influence of intellectual property varieties, and at Spain’s emergence as a supplier to Asia. The second pair of workshops explores the future of Asia’s booming cherry market, and the growing influence of e-commerce and New Retail on the fresh food market in South-East Asia.

As well as gaining expert insights, delegates to ASIAFRUIT CONGRESS get plenty of time to network with high-level decision makers from across the global fresh produce business during Networking Breaks, the Networking Lunch and evening Welcome Reception to ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA.

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