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PMA Fresh Connections: China Opens in Shanghai

March 17, 2016

The PMA Fresh Connections: China conference, an annual business network, opens today at the Westin Bund Hotel. This is the fourth FC China conference to be held in Shanghai, following successful events over the past three years.

Around 200 Chinese and overseas importers, exporters, growers, e-commerce owners, and business consulting firms participated in this event and had the opportunity to engage with Chinese government officials and trade experts.

At the opening ceremony, Richard Owen, Vice President of Global Business Development at PMA US, said: “PMA now has members in 50 different countries, which demonstrates the rising interest in the market. We offer expertise to help our members to have global connection.”

During the day, speeches and panel discussions are categorized into six themed sessions: State of the Global Fresh Produce Industry, Overview of the China Market, Food Safety Made Simple Through Supply Chain Efficiencies, Think Like a Global CEO, Leading Trends in Production and Varietal Innovation, and Global Sourcing: Diversifying Your Imports.

With a huge and lucrative consumer market, China is already key to succeeding in the dynamic global fresh produce marketplace. Bruce Zanin, Director of the Agricultural Trade Office at the US Embassy in China, agrees:

“It is a pleasure to participate in this event,” he said at the opening ceremony. “The US is the fifth largest exporter to the China market. Cherries, apples, table grapes, etc. More and more fruits from the US find their way onto the China marketplace and become more and more popular in China. PMA Fresh Connections: China is a great platform for people in the industry to mingle and to understand more the China and the world market.”

During the conference, participants enjoyed opportunities such as learning about the most in-demand products and discovering new sources for those products, gaining strategic advice from industry leaders on growing their businesses, and exploring new technologies that can improve product development and food safety initiatives.

As Vladimir Kocerha, Economic and Commercial Counselor of Peru in Shanghai, said, “for us it is a great opportunity to be one of the key players in the China market.” Ten years ago Peru gained access to the Chinese market for their table grapes with just five containers of fruits and, last year, 4000 containers were exported to China. Furthermore, he said, this is just the beginning.

Moreover, the Chinese government has been making an effort in recent years to ensure that more safe and high-quality fruits find their way into Chinese shopping baskets. As Teng Kai from Shanghai CIQ said during the conference, “the Chinese government is trying to make the quarantine check more efficient during recent years, and at the same time put more concern on the risk control and analysis. There is a 30 percent increase in the import of fruits in Shanghai alone and 10–20 percent in the whole China area.”

Despite being a lucrative market, the fruit market in China is still facing a lot of challenges such as mergers, bankruptcy, and the rise of e-commerce. As Mabel Zhuang, PMA China representative, said during her speech, more win–win cooperation will help to make the industry stronger and, alongside the challenges, more opportunities are waiting ahead. This is the key age for fruits in China and around the world.

About PMA

The Produce Marketing Association is a leading trade organization representing companies from every segment of the global fresh produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption.

Image source: MZMC

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