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November 22-24, Shanghai

Get connected with Chinese horticulture

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.

In the past 30 years, China was transformed into the second largest economy of the world, showing the highest growth rates on the planet nearly every year. Amidst all this frantic growth, agriculture (along 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 low production figures per m², hardly any application of modern cultivation methods and high use of pesticides and other harmful substances.

But this is changing now: in recent years, Chinese and foreign investors are looking at modern agriculture (especially greenhouse horticulture) as a promising new business, as the growing Chinese middle class demands food safety, more variety in fruits and vegetables and a more mixed diet with room for ‘Western’ fresh products like cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes and different varieties of apples, pears and other fruits. Both investors and growers are eager to apply modern technology and use plant varieties developed for the Chinese market by Western breeding companies.

At the same time, the European fruit and vegetable market doesn’t show much growth in recent years. The graph below indicates an ‘up & down’ movement in total European fruit and vegetable consumption since 2003, with a negative trend from 2009 (when the economic crisis really hit) and an upward trend since 2012. In the long run the European market volume is expected to stabilize but not show serious growth.

Against this background, China is now considered a ‘booming market’ for companies supplying horticultural technology and expertise from Europe and the rest of the world. Ambitious local entrepreneurs are eager to extend their knowledge and interact with parties who have been active for years in the horticulture industry world-wide, e.g. suppliers and breeders from Holland. To facilitate this interaction, a new Trade Fair & Conference event, Horti China, has been launched in 2017.

In early 2017, VNU Exhibitions Asia officially launched Horti China, while at the same time establishing collaboration with IFEMA and Cesena Fiera, the organisers of the major trade fairs for fruit and vegetable producers and exporters in Spain and Italy respectively. 

The government of Holland has authorized VNU Exhibitions Asia to use its official channels to promote the Horti China expo brand, and supports the setup of an official “Holland Pavilion” at the Trade Fair & Conference. This signifies recognition and encouragement for the organizer VNU Exhibitions Asia, and is seen as a symbol of having met Holland’s quality standards. In order to promote the Horti China on a global scale, VNU Exhibitions Asia will tap into collaborations with a number of international institutions as well as the many international resources of its parent company Royal Dutch VNU Exhibition Group.

The Horti China Trade Fair & Conference presents two main showcases:
  • Horti Tech features horticulture equipment and technologies for vegetable, fruit and flower production including seeds and young plants (“pre-harvest”);
  • Horti Fresh features technology and systems for fresh produce processing, packaging, marketing, trade and distribution (“post-harvest”).
For both the pre-harvest and post-harvest sections of the Fair, new and promising developments will be highlighted by the Horti Innovation theme show. The collaboration with its leading partners from Spain and Italy has resulted in the Mac Fruit Attraction China Expo, a proven concept for highlighting fruit and vegetable industry products and new technologies for preserving freshness. 

As a platform for professionals from home and abroad coinciding with Horti China, VNU Exhibitions Asia will host the China Green Week, a unique content and communication event in its field in China. Conferences, seminars, company visits and many other events will be organized during China Green Week; a detailed program of events and names of key participants will be available soon.

The vision behind China Green Week is to develop a face-to-face sharing experience by promoting exchange of technical knowledge and providing a connection platform for the whole horti-industry supply chain, with the aim of becoming the main gathering point in China for local and international industry professionals. The Green Week’s main contents cover the entire horticultural chain, from plant breeding (seed and young plant companies) to professional end users (retail and related institutions) of fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and related products and services. China Green Week’s focus principles are Growth, Value Creation and Sustainability. 

Special attention is given to:
  • Potentially “disruptive” innovations in the horticulture industry;
  • Development, production and marketing of organic products;
  • Revolutionary developments in e-commerce and other forms of New Retail.
China Green Week will present an ideal occasion for new and ambitious market players. The Week will take place in the National Exhibitions and Convention Centre in Shanghai, from 20 to 24th November, coinciding with the Horti China Trade Fair which runs from 22nd to 24th November. The Week and the Trade Fair 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, whether they are ‘new’ to the Chinese market or have been established in the country for many years.

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