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WAPA and China: Together at Last
The World Apple & Pear Association (WAPA), a Brussels-based global industry body, officially has a member from the world’s largest apple and pear producing nation. WAPA was founded 15 years ago, with a mandate to, “maintain the exclusive position of apple and pears in the minds of consumers and to increase the strength of apple and pear producers on the global political agenda.” But until now, among its 21 trade association members representing 17 countries, the world’s leading producer of apples and pears, China, has been absent from the membership roll.
That state of affairs changed on September on at the opening ceremony of the 2016 China International Fruit Conference (IFC) in the Chinese city of Xi'an, when the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA) signed a membership agreement with WAPA with support from the French Embassy in China.
The agreement was signed by CFNA Fruit Chapter Secretary General Mr Chao Junwen and WAPA President Mr Daniel Sauvaitre.
CFNA was established in 1988 and provides coordination, guidance, promotion, consultation and services to members from across the forestry, agricultural and food products sectors in China. CFNA’s membership includes more than 6,900 companies from across China.
WAPA president Daniel Sauvaitre told produce report that he was very happy to invite CFNA to join WAPA. He noted that China is the largest producer of apple and pears in the world, with annual apple production accounting for about 50% of total global output. But official data about China’s planting and production of apples and pears have historically been difficult to come by. Sauvaitre hopes that the new cooperation agreement between CNFA and WAPA can lead to a better understanding on the part of international parties of China’s apple and pear production and market.
Secretary General Chao Junwen of CFNA said it was honor to be invited to join WAPA. He hopes the agreement can enhance international exchange and cooperation and promote the transformation and upgrading of China’s apple industry with variety improvement and more international information collection, thereby further promoting China’s apple industry on the global stage.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Thibaut Nancy, Deputy Agricutlural Attaché for the commercial service of the French Embassy in China noted that cooperation between CFNA and WAPA will ultimately benefit the industry as a whole and consumers in China and elsewhere through increased trade and production and better quality products.
"It is a very important moment for WAPA to get the membership of such a country as China, one of the main producers of fruit in the world," said Mr Nancy. "Time after time, China takes the role and the place she deserves and we need. This is good news for the rest of the world."
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