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Belgium steps up exports of Conference pears to China

In November, the largest Belgian trade mission ever travelled to China, in part to promote the country’s exports of Conference pear. Despite China being the world’s largest producer of pears, Chinese consumers love Belgian Conference pears, which were first introduced to the country in 2010, with export volumes rising steadily.

This growth has come off the back of a series of promotional initiatives aimed at familiarising the Chinese with Flemish pears, including tastings, as well as a specially designed red packaging for the Chinese market. These boxes are smaller, so the freshness of the product is not compromised.

In 2010, around 19 tons of Belgian pears were exported to China. By 2018, the volume had reached around 3,324 tons (€4.4 million). This makes China Belgium’s second market after Norway. In 2018, VLAM organised tastings in 18 different Chinese cities. The majority of these took place in Shenzhen and Beijing. There were also campaigns in other major cities such as Guangzhou and Shanghai. For the tasting sessions, VLAM collaborated with 8 different supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Walmart, Sam’s Club and AEON. In total VLAM planned 2,588 tasting days in 2018, with which 517,146 consumers were reached. In the first half of 2019, VLAM held 2,423 tastings.

 

 

(Photo credit: Pxhere)
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Belgian pears closer to Brazil entry

Earlier this month an extensive delegation from Brazil, led by Minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi, visited Belgium. Among items on the agenda for the visit was market access for Belgian pears.

The Belgian Fruit Auction (Belgische Fruitveiling/BFV) is optimistic about soon gaining market access for its pears in Brazil.

Earlier this month an extensive delegation from Brazil, led by Minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi, visited Belgium. Among items on the agenda for the visit was market access for Belgian pears.

During a breakfast meeting in Brussels, Marc Evrard, commercial director of BFV, which is Belgium’s largest top fruit cooperative, made the case for admitting Belgian-grown Conference pears into Brazil.

The BFV is understood to anticipate shortly gaining market access.


While making the case for allowing imports of Belgium’s Conference pears into Brazil, BFV commercial director Marc Evrard (left) gifts a box of Truval pears to Blairo Maggi (middle), Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture, and Mr. Odilson Silva (right), Secretary of Agribusiness International Relations to the Minister of Agriculture.

According to a recent USDA Gain report, EU pear exports to Brazil were down in the 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) due to lower production in Portugal. Despite the low harvest of Rocha pears in Portugal last year, EU exports to Brazil in 2016/17 are expected to slightly increase, it said.

Three years ago, Dutch Conference pears gained access to the Brazilian market. Although still small scale, exports tripled to 200 tons in 2015/16 and are expected to grow further this year, the report said.

Table from USDA Gain report ‘EU-28 Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual 2016’