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Fanfare greets launch of Dazzle apples in China

Fanfare greets launch of Dazzle apples in China © Dazzle

© Dazzle


New Zealand’s newest apple variety Dazzle has arrived in China with large celebrations at wholesale markets as importers and retailers race to get a taste. It’s the first year that there have been large volumes of Dazzle apples available for Chinese customers and they weren’t wasting any time to get their hands on the delicious, red, sweet apple from New Zealand.

Joy Wing Mau’s International Buyer Li Bin was involved in the launches at Guangzhou and Shanghai wholesale markets and says it is very exciting to have access to larger volumes of Dazzle Apples for Chinese consumers this year. “We are so happy and very excited to introduce Dazzle apples. Dazzle is a variety which we know has been specifically developed for the Asia market, with its sweet, crunchy and delicious taste, as well as good storability. There is a strong brand and it’s great to be part of a successful launch which will help us promote Dazzle to Chinese consumers. We value our strong relationship with New Zealand apple growers and suppliers,” said Bin.

© Dazzle


The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Trade Commissioner, Pete Frost presented at the celebrations and cut the ribbon, officially launching Dazzle apples to the China market, saying New Zealand’s apple industry is rated the best in the world. “New Zealand apple growers are agile and innovative. They use world-leading science and technology to deliver to ever-changing customer demands. The New Zealand horticulture industry is investing in new varieties, which are earning premium prices in the global marketplace,” said Frost.

Dazzle Apples were developed over 20 years by Plant and Food Research – a New Zealand Government Crown Research Institute. They are exclusively available from a selected group of exporters and are set to be one of the most popular and largest volume apples coming from New Zealand.

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India set to exhaust cold storage for potatoes

India set to exhaust cold storage for potatoes

India is reportedly on the brink of exhausting all of its cold storage space for potatoes. Due to low prices across the country, India’s growers are opting to place their potatoes in cold storage as they wait for the market to rebalance. 

Ashish Guru, senior vice-president of the Federation of Cold Storage Association of India, said, “Arrivals have flooded markets in various parts of the country such as Gujarat, Bengal, Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Most of the arrivals have been diverted to the cold storages.”

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Asia Fruit Logistica 2021 returns to Hong Kong in September

Asia Fruit Logistica 2021 returns to Hong Kong in September © Asia Fruit Logistica

© Asia Fruit Logistica


Asia Fruit Logistica is back to the face-to-face format of a physical trade show next September. Asia’s premier fresh produce trade show returns to AsiaWorld-Expo Centre in Hong Kong on 28-30 September 2021. It takes place together with Asiafruit Congress, which meets on 27 September 2021.

Asia Fruit Logistica’s commercial director, Will Wollbold, said: “We have very bold plans for 2021. Our ambition is to welcome our clients back into the halls next September and open our doors in Hong Kong at the right time for Asia’s fresh fruit and vegetable business to meet conveniently and productively.”

Surveys of Asia Fruit Logistica visitors and exhibitors underline a strong preference to meet in person at the first viable opportunity, so the return to the physical trade show at Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo next September is the best platform.

“Our face-to-face format lets customers meet and interact in person so they can maintain their relationships and make many new ones with trade partners in Asia. Ours is the best-quality trade show experience in the halls of AsiaWorld-Expo. Hong Kong is also a highly advantageous location because of its global connectivity,” said Wollbold.

Asia Fruit Logistica ON, the digital edition of the trade show, connected Asia’s fresh fruit and vegetable business with suppliers and buyers across the world when it took place on 17-20 November 2020. Feedback from exhibitors underlined the importance of face-to-face meetings.

Asia Fruit Logistica’s return to a physical format in 2021 also benefits from key features of this year’s digital edition. The trade show will continue to offer its easy-to- use business matching and meeting technology to enable clear scheduling of productive business meetings. It will also provide a virtual content platform to enable visitors and delegates who cannot attend in person to join sessions live or view them on-demand.

“Our network of international sales representatives continues to support clients and suppliers who come from across 40 countries worldwide, and we expect to attract attendees from over 70 different countries as we have done in previous years,” said Wollbold.

Exhibitor registrations for Asia Fruit Logistica open in mid-January 2021.

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First Polish apples land in Taiwan

First Polish apples land in Taiwan © Eurofresh Distribution

© Eurofresh Distribution


Taiwanese consumers are to get their first taste of Polish apples, following the arrival of a trial shipment last week. Head of sales of Polish fruit exporter Galster, Mateusz Wajnert, said: “On Wednesday 9th December, the first trial box with apples from our orchards, containing Gala Royal apples arrived. After the arrival, the produce was checked for flavour and the feedback has been positive. This means the next thing on our list is to send an actual container shipment to Taiwan and find some good cooperation with Taiwanese fruit importers. It’s been a lot of hard work, wading through a series of phytosanitary documents, but we hope this will all be worth it in the end. We would like to slowly start, trying a couple of containers to get to know the expectations of our Taiwanese customer a little better.”

If all goes well, more containers will be sent next season.

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Brazil to step up fruit exports to Middle East

Brazil to step up fruit exports to Middle East © Réussir Fruits et Légumes

© P. Gaillard, Réussir Fruits et Légumes


Brazil’s fruit sector has its eyes firmly set on Asian and Middle Eastern markets. In the first 10 months of 2020, Brazil’s fruit exports were up 2.8% to 725,000 tons, compared to the same period of 2019. Shipments to the Middle East accounted for about 15,000 tons in 2019, with the UAE being the largest market. The main products shipped to these markets are melons, table grapes, mangoes and limes. This growing interest has led to a growing number of Brazilian operators to become halal certified. Omar Chahine, commercial manager of Brazilian certifier Cdial Halal, said the certification has been increasingly required in Arab countries and beyond. China and South Korea are also becoming major markets for Brazilian fruit exports.

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South Asian countries encouraged to collaborate to combat impacts of climate change

South Asian countries encouraged to collaborate to combat impacts of climate change © Matthias Silveri, IIASA
© Matthias Silveri, IIASA


The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has called on countries in South Asia to work together to reduce costs, soil pollution and water stress by forming joint plans for developing water resources, electricity and food production. An IIASA study focused on food, energy, water and climate change in South Asia’s Indus River Basin (Afghanistan, China, India and Pakistan), which has a population of around 250 million people, who are already suffering the impacts of climate change.

IIASA researcher Adriano Vinca, said, “The Indus basin countries are not currently on track to avoid critical issues – water scarcity in particular. Under a business-as-usual scenario, the water demands in the Indus Basin will exceed the available water resources by 2050 and put the system at risk of collapse. This risk could be exacerbated by climate change.”

According to the study’s recommendations, an estimated US$10bn is needed each year to mitigate water scarcity issues and ensure improved access to resources by 2050. However, collaborative policies could lower this amount to US$2bn a year.

The study was conducted by scientists from China, India, Pakistan, Austria, Canada and the US, as part of the Integrated Solutions for Water, Energy and Land (ISWEL) project.

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Tesco continues sell-off of Asian assets

Tesco continues sell-off of Asian assets © Irish Times
Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy © Irish Times


UK retailer Tesco has announced it will complete the £8 billion sale of its Thai and Malaysian business to CP Retail Development Company. The purchase was approved by Thai authorities last month and CP Group has now confirmed it is satisfied with the formal notice of approval. The deal should be formally completed by December 18th.

Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy said, “I would like to thank all our colleagues in Asia for their hard work and dedication to our customers over many years. They have built a very strong business. I’m confident that the agreement with CP Group will ensure that they are well setup for continued success. This sale allows us to focus on our businesses across Europe and to continue delivering for customers, make a significant contribution to our pension deficit and return value to shareholders.” 

Tesco has sold off a series of overseas assets since 2014, including Homeplus in South Korea and the retailer’s Poland operations earlier this year. Tesco continues to operate stores in Central Europe across Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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SunMoon’s parent company declares bankruptcy

SunMoon’s parent company declares bankruptcy

International fresh produce specialist SunMoon Food Company has announced that its parent company has been placed under voluntary bankruptcy reorganisation in China in a statement submitted to the Singapore Exchange on 12th October. Shanghai Yiguo E-Commerce, the holding company of Yiguo General Food, holds a 59.9% stake in Singapore-based SunMoon. On 30th July 2020, three Yiguo entities were placed under voluntary bankruptcy reorganisation under Chinese law on 30th July: Shanghai Yiguo E-Commerce, Shanghai Winchain Supply Chain Management and Shanghai Exfresh Logistic.

The announcement said: “In view of the bankruptcy re-organisation relating to the Yiguo-related entities (in particular, the three YG entities), the board takes the view that there will be a material impact on the group’s ability to continue operating as a going concern.” 

The company’s shares on the Singapore Exchange dropped 22% on 12th October before trading was halted. In response to the developments, SunMoon said its board has been and would continue to explore various options to address the issue including seeking to raise funds from investors. An executive committee has been set up to take over the day-to-day management and operations of the company.

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European apple leaders set sights on Asia

European apple leaders set sights on Asia


Apples took centre stage this month at the Asia Fruit Logistica ON virtual conference. Speakers from across the sector noted that demand is constantly increasing in Asia for European apples, with predictions of a significant expansion in the next decade. According to Wayne Prowse of Fresh Intelligence Consulting, ASEAN markets imported 900,000 tons in 2019, with India leading the way, importing 250,000 tons (-11%). China remains the largest apple supplier to Asia, exporting 915,000 tons in 2019, up 37%. Europe exported 179,000 tons to Asia in 2019, mainly to India and Malaysia. Tariffs on US fruit and bans on Chinese apples mean that Europe is now the number-one apple exporter to India.

Marc Peyres of Blue Whale said that European suppliers are focusing more on new varieties that are tailored to the specific tastes of Asian markets, such as Candine. Meanwhile, Italy’s leading apple exporters have created the FROM partnership to join forces in certain markets such as India. Nicola Zanotelli, director of FROM, noted that they were developing a specific taste for the market, while promoting brands, enhancing storable quality and shortening transit time.


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Melinda apples to debut in Asia 

Melinda apples to debut in Asia 


Italian apple brand Melinda is to market its fruit in Asia for the first time this season. The move is part of a collaboration with Italian export marketer Naturitalia. Rising demand for high-quality fresh produce among Asian consumers and the signing of export protocols are opening up growing opportunities for Europe’s leading fruit companies. During this season, Melinda apples will arrive in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan – the last three only opened to imports of Italian apples this year.

Marketing and communication manager, Andrea Fedrizzi, said: “We believe the Asian market can offer the right value to a premium brand like ours, and we expect this market will demand premium-quality products like Melinda, which of course will create economic benefit for our farmers.” 

Melinda has 4,000 growers producing half a million tons of apples every year and generating €300m in turnover. In recent years, the consortium has looked to open up new markets beyond Europe.