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Asia Fruit Logistica Concludes Day One of "Biggest and Best Edition Yet"

September 05, 2018

The Asia Fruit Logistica (AFL) fruit industry trade show was buzzing with activity as it opened today in Hong Kong, with organizers promising, “its biggest and best edition yet,” and Produce Report was on-hand to check out what’s new and hot in 2018. AFL is the top destination for exhibitors and visitors from around the global who are interested in the trade of fruits and vegetables among Asian countries and from global suppliers to Asian markets.

With an official count of 827 exhibitors, the 2018 edition is showing a modest rise in the total number of exhibitors compared to 813 a year earlier. It remains to be seen if official post-show attendance figures can surpass the record of more than 13,000 visitors set last year.

Exhibitors often use the occasion of trade shows like Asia Fruit Logistica to highlight new products and services, and this year is no exception. Chinese imported fruit supplier Shenzhen Kingship Co Ltd this morning held the Kingship Brand Global Release Conference this morning promoting its KingCherry and King Blueberry brands.

Global producers and suppliers brought quite a number of new products they are hoping will catch on in Asian markets. For example, the Washington Apple commission is highlighting the Cosmic Crisp brand WA-38 apple cultivar and kiwifruit supplier Jingold of Italy is showcasing its Exotic Red kiwi—the Jingold brand’s first ever red-fleshed offering.

Equipment and packaging suppliers are also exhibiting new products. Unitec Group is using AFL for the unveiling of its Blueberry Vision 2. Unitec says of Blueberry Vision 2, “it’s the first system that allows 100 per cent inspection of blueberries.” Furthermore, packaging company Stepac is exhibiting, “a range of bulk and retail modified atmosphere (MA) and modified humidity (MH) packaging solutions,” say show organizers. This includes Stepac’s, “MA/MH resealable lidding film for various types of produce packed in PET or PP trays, which the company says are being successfully used for preserving the quality of cherries during seafreight from Chile to China.”

Two other technology-related exhibitors are also making their first ever appearances at Asia Fruit Logistica this year: JD.com and Alibaba-invested Yiguo Group. Both JD.com and Alibaba (including through its investment in Yiguo) are putting significant resources into building up their fresh ecommerce, omnichannel retail, fresh logistics and supply chain capabilities in mainland China. Both are also starting to branch out internationally, especially into Southeast Asia. There is good reason to predict these two ecommerce giants will play an increasingly important role in the fresh fruit trade in Asia, and certainly at least in China.

This year’s AFL also features the first ever dedicated British and Irish pavilion, as well as the first time ever companies from Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan have exhibited here.

Running concurrent to Asia Fruit Logistica are the Asiafruit Business Forum at Hall Forum 1; Cool Logistics Asia, taking place each morning at Hall Forum 2 with a focus this year on lack of adequate cold storage; and Smart Horticulture Asia, taking place each afternoon at Hall Forum 2 and, “looking at the latest disruptive technology and digitalisation of the supply chain.” The whole show and concurrent events were kicked off yesterday with the 20th anniversary edition of the Asiafruit Congress.

Photos: MZMC

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