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Why Exhibit?

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1. The Market: A New Phase.

Since approximately two years, Chinese horticulture (especially the production of high-value vegetables and fruits) is clearly entering a new phase. Keywords are food safety, quality improvement, management/training and production-oriented investment.

For the past 30 years, while China was being transformed into the second largest economy of the world, showing the highest growth rates on the planet nearly every year, agriculture (together with most food processing industries) was known as “the forgotten sector”. Efforts in greenhouse horticulture focused on research- and ‘demo projects’, with low or negative profitability. Vegetable and fruit production was (and often still is) mostly in the hands of small scale, low-tech farms with very low production figures per m², hardly any application of modern cultivation methods and high use of pesticides and other harmful substances.

Small, often family-owned farms supply produce to large, often government-funded wholesale markets without proper cold chain facilities, leading to high losses of produce and rapid deterioration of product quality. Wholesalers and traders ship badly packed  ‘bulk’ produce from these collection points to major consumption areas (cities) in open, old fashioned trucks, causing more losses and lower profitability. Supermarkets and other major retailers are missing the necessary knowledge and management capability to strictly maintain a cold chain supply of fresh produce; they focus far too much on pricing and discount policies, without noticing that a new generation of middle class families is both willing and able to pay a fair price for better quality and food safety, as long as they are convinced that the quality is ‘real’.

The above status quo is changing now: as an example, for the first time in 25 years we see Chinese investors ordering turn-key greenhouse projects from professional (often Dutch) greenhouse design & construction companies. Chinese suppliers conclude long term practical cooperation agreements with foreign tech companies (whereby they are now looking for a real ‘win-win situation’, unlike the JV system used from the 1980’s until the 2000’s..). Other Chinese players focus on certain products they are really good at (like irrigation tubes, glass or plastic for greenhouse cover etc.), without compromising on quality.
In the fruit market we see a more and more liberal trade policy, leading to a huge increase in imports of high-quality and ‘safe’ fruits to wealthy regions like Shanghai, Beijing/Tianjin, Guangdong and South Jiangsu. Trial projects and testing deliveries indicate that the same is going to happen with high-value vegetables like cherry tomatoes and avocados, and even with cut flowers. Furthermore, increasing trade contacts with international markets also lead to great opportunities for those Chinese growers/producers who are willing to modernize and invest in quality: for almost any product that meets international and country-specific norms on quality and safety, huge markets like Japan and South Korea are literally ‘next door’, and eagerly awaiting more supply from reliable Chinese sources.
Finally and maybe most importantly, demographic and ‘cultural’ changes can lead to only one outcome, if China wants to remain largely self-sufficient in fresh food production and possibly also expand exports in this field – and that outcome is: fast and nation-wide increase of the scale of production units (farms, distribution centres and processing factories), a huge increase in automation, and most of all a coordinated approach, with essential foreign assistance, of vocational training of a new generation of modern farm production unit operators and managers. The reason why this development is inevitable is primarily demographic, and secondarily cultural: the present generation of small-scale, low-tech farmers will be retiring in huge numbers soon, and to a large extent they will not be replaced by new generations, as they look down on the profession of  ‘farmer’, which is associated with hard work in the cold/heat/rain/dust, in unhealthy conditions, for a low income. The only way to secure China’s food production will be modernization and transformation, so the country will be able to produce much more, reach much higher quality standards, using much less people and putting much less of a burden on water and other resources and on the environment. All of this can be made possible, with today’s technologies, and within reach of today’s available financing sources and investment budgets!     

This new market situation taking shape before our very eyes calls for a new strategy in promotion and market positioning. Those of you who were already around in the sector in the late 1980’s and 1990’s will remember that during the first decades, agri- and horticultural business contacts were mostly established with national, regional and local government authorities, and projects were funded by government subsidies and financial loans issued by state-owned institutions. Later on, more private companies and some foreign investors joined the landscape (at first mostly in flowers and other ornamentals, because of their higher added value per invested Euro, Dollar or RMB), and efficiency gradually but slowly increased. Now -or let’s say since 2015- we see a boost in both private and government investment, and the entry of many new players (mostly Chinese but step-by-step also foreign) on the investment side. These new players will seek out every opportunity to expand their network and knowledge, and HORTI CHINA 2017 is an ideal occasion for this! Horti China and Conference in Shanghai in November is a unique combination of existing and new elements (see 2.), which will have a mobilizing effect on both the present Chinese horticultural community and these important new players/investors. Therefore, “no professional supplier, producer or buyer/trader in horticulture can afford to miss out on this occasion, they should be present as exhibitors at Horti China, regardless if they are ‘new’ to the Chinese market or have been established in the country for many years”

2. The Organization: Proven Experience, Chain Approach, Business Partners, Official Support.

The Organization: Proven Experience, Chain Approach, World-Wide Network of Business Partners, Official Support.

The above changes and ‘inevitable’ developments in the market increase the need for a professional exhibition and trade fair focusing on the huge transformation of the Chinese fresh vegetable and fruit business and the huge business opportunities related it’s bringing along. HORTI CHINA 2017 (from this year on an annual event) is the ideal platform for this, not in the least because of the great experience and professionalism of its organizers. To highlight our main initiators and business partners:

VNU Exhibitions Asia Ltd. (Shanghai, China)
VNU Exhibitions Asia is a joint venture of Royal Dutch Jaarbeurs and Keylong Exhibitions Service Co., Ltd.. As one of the earliest exhibition companies in the country, VNU Exhibitions Asia has been a leader in China's exhibition industry for more than two decades. As an important member of Jaarbeurs, VNU Exhibitions Asia has a wealth of operational experience in domestic exhibitions, and has been widely praised by industry partners by virtue of its good international resources and brand influence.

Richland Sources Ltd. (Beijing, China): a very well introduced Marketing and Information organization focusing on the horticultural supply side (greenhouse construction and equipment, machinery, seeds and plants, etc.). Organizers of the ‘Greenhouse Conference China’, a yearly meeting of professional suppliers, growers and financing parties in the Chinese horticultural industry. Foreign companies established in China send their Chinese staff there; it has gained a reputation as “an event where business is done”, as one Dutch participant put it. Richland and VNU Exhibitions have formed a joint-venture company for the organization of Horti China.

International Fruit & Vegetable Expo] (Shanghai, China)
International Fruit & Vegetable Expo, one of the largest exhibitions of its kind in Asia, covers a total area of more than 12,000 m2. It has conglomerated more over 450 exhibitors and nearly 500 professional procurers from more than 40 countries and regions, including Portland, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Egypt, South Korea and Taiwan.
International Fruit & Vegetable Expo is the largest and most professional B2B trade fair with the biggest volume of business and the most efficient trade matching in Mainland China. Its on-site contract rate hits 75%, with trade volume of 27.9 billion RMB. It specializes in trade matching and demonstration of product and technique for the whole chain of fruit and vegetable industry. It helps quality and reliable domestic and foreign growers, processing companies and dealers with introducing their products to major purchasers. It also assists suppliers of plant and auxiliary technique and equipment in presenting their advanced and highly-efficient production concepts and methods to professionals.

Mac Fruit Attraction China
With the birth of Mac Fruit Attraction China, there is the plan to carry out activities in Shanghai from November 22 to 24, it is the prove that the Italian fruit and vegetable industry has become a strategic axis in the sector.

IFEMA (Institución Ferial de Madrid) and FEPEX organise Fruit Attraction, the International Trade Show for the Fruit and Vegetable Industry, which attracts more than 1,500 companies from throughout the fruit and vegetable value chain, and 60,000 trade professionals from 110 countries to Madrid every year. The 9th edition of Fruit Attraction will be held from 18 to 20 October 2017.

CoHort Consulting (Beijing, China / Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Consulting services, interim management for the horticulture industry. Business development, investment valuation, formation of supply consortia, human resources, training and education. Permanent presence in China for 6 years, experience with Chinese horticulture since 1995. World-wide network, active track record in China for leading companies in greenhouse automation, vegetable seeds and breeding/cutting sales in ornamentals, as well as for the Dutch Embassy and Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

The diverse and world-wide experience of HORTI CHINA’s organizers enable us to use a Complete Chain Approach, as well in attracting participants and visitors as in planning seminars, media happenings and other events prior to and during the Fair. Some trade fairs in Agribusiness face the challenge of being too much focused on one or several ‘links in the chain’ (like farm and greenhouse equipment, or trade of fruits and vegetables) but missing out on the other ones. HORTI CHINA will avoid this potential bottleneck by covering the entire chain, from design and construction of a new greenhouse project to branding and (internet) marketing of complete lines of vegetables and fruits. No matter which link of the chain you’re in, at HORTI CHINA you will meet colleagues from your own and all other links!

Finally, realizing the importance of government support in a strategic sector like fresh vegetable and fruit production, we are very pleased to see the increasing and successful efforts of the Chinese Government, both on the national, provincial and municipal levels, in modernizing and transforming horticulture and other sectors of the Agri- and Food Business, creating the framework for development of an efficient, technologically advanced production, distribution and marketing industry.

These organizational elements once again lead to the same conclusion: HORTI CHINA 2017 is a not-to-be-missed event. International companies already active in China, or willing to enter the market, simply must participate!

3. No matter which link of the chain you’re in, you will meet colleagues from your own and all other links!

No matter which link of the chain you’re in, at HORTI CHINA you will meet colleagues from your own and all other links!


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