More than 200 participants from 15 different countries gathered at the Westin Bund Hotel in Shanghai, China, on March 17 to participate in the fourth annual PMA Fresh Connections: China.
Leading growers and exporters seeking to bring their products into China gathered with the country's fresh produce industry representatives and key government officials for three days of networking and education.
Market Tours – Seeing China in Action
Attendees experienced firsthand how fresh produce enters into and is distributed in China during a market tour held on March 16. The tour began at Huizhan Imported Fruit Wholesale Market, the second largest market for imported fruits in China. Next, attendees visited the Sam’s Club of Walmart Hypermarket – the third largest retailer in China and currently more than 10 percent of China’s hypermarket segment. The last three stops included the tour of Olé Supermarket Pudong Kerry Store, a luxury Chinese supermarket in China with special focus on imported fruit from around the world, Pagoda, the leading fruit chain store with 1300 outlets, and one of China’s traditional wet markets, locals’ first choice for daily fresh food purchase.
New for 2016: Business Roundtables
Making connections is key to growing your business in an expanding market such as China. The Business Roundtable, held on March 18, presented a unique opportunity allowing representatives from a buying company to meet face-to-face with representatives from a supplier company.
During the opening session, PMA’s Cathy Burns and Bryan Silbermann presented the state of the Fresh Produce Industry in China and around the globe. PMA’s China Development Representative, Mabel Zhuang, offered a ground-level view of the Chinese marketplace, sharing insights that helped attendees understand and overcome the country’s challenges to recognize new business opportunities.
Other sessions included:
Food Safety Best Practices Made Simple: Lessons from Around the World – Tim York, CEO of Markom USA directed a discussion with Richard Bennett, Technology Manager from PMA Australia-New Zealand and Keith Refsnider from Driscoll’s on the new technology developments in order to secure safer food safety in China and around the world. View Presentation
Think Like a Global CEO - Bryan Silbermann led a conversation with a group of successful CEOs including Liu Mau Wah, Steve Barnard, Shawn Harris and Michael Simonetta, who shared their views and experiences on key issues, biggest challenges to conducting business globally and creating a vision and plan for growth. View Presentation
Leading Trends in Production and Varietal Innovation - Moderator Jerome Chen, Executive Director at Joyvio Group (China) spoke with panelists Jose Antonio Gomez, Robert Kershaw, and David Marguleas about the latest trends in production and in-demand new varieties suited to the Chinese market. View Presentation
Global Sourcing for China: Capturing the Opportunities Import/Export – John Wang, CEO at Lantao Shanghai Great Harvest led a conversation with key retailers like: Oleen Smethurst from Costco Wholesale Canada, Andy Zhang from Dole China, and Neil Maffey from Sam’s Club, on ways to diversify sourcing and increase product offerings and sales. View Presentation (Costco Wholesale Canada); View Presentation (Sam's Club)
The Chinese Marketplace: What You Need to Know to be Successful - Mabel Zhuang, PMA's China Market Development Representative, gave an overview of the Chinese market. The global produce supply chain has begun to realize the benefits from building trust and loyalty among consumers who consume both domestic and imported fresh produce. View Presentation