Fruit Attraction and ICEX organised an online China Market Forum to reflect on the sector’s strategies for cooperation. Experts at both ends of the fresh produce chain (Spanish exporters and Chinese importers) shared insights into the world’s biggest market. Europe is currently the destination for 80% of Spanish fruit, but the advice for exporters is to diversify sales and consider other markets, most notably of all, China. “Few products can be exported to China,” said Emilio García Muro, deputy director of MAPA. “So far, China has signed protocols permitting the export of European citrus fruit (in 2006), stone fruit (in 2016) and grapes (in 2018), and while the latter products have just begun to penetrate China, citrus is a well-established category.”
To start the process of trading with China, Spanish exporters must be aware of the regulatory and phytosanitary requirements, including conditions of packaging, logistics, etc. The next step is to submit all of the compulsory documents, provide traceability of produce, and guarantee that all exported goods are in compliance with the mandatory requirements. Finally, when the goods are ready, the certified authorities will carry out an inspection, before the fruit is forwarded to China. As the whole process is very different from exporting to Europe, exporters need to become experts. However, to facilitate the process, MAPA has created an online platform that allows all the steps to be conducted online. Spain ranks 3rd and 4th respectively among the largest peach and plum suppliers to China.