To propose a conference topic or to take part as a speaker or expert panelist in Asiafruit Congress 2018 please contact:

Chris White –
John Hey –


Tuesday 5 September 2017

07:30 - 09.00 – Delegate Registration and welcome refreshments

Sponsored by Grapes from California

09:00 - 09:15 – Welcome to Asiafruit Congress 2017

09:15 - 10:30 – General Session 1

Fresh focus on food retail

­­Asiafruit takes a tour of the key trends and developments in fresh food retailing across Asia, tracking everything from shifts in consumer behaviour to new retail formats. What are the learnings for fresh produce marketers? How can they be applied?

10:30-11:30 – Networking Break

Sponsored by Del Monte


11:30-12:30 – General Session 2

Global brands for local consumers

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Zespri has become an iconic brand in the international fresh produce business. How does the single-desk marketer make the global brand resonate with local consumers across diverse markets and demographics? How is Zespri bidding to take fresh produce marketing down the FMCG path to make a stronger emotional connection with consumers?

12:30-13:00 – Presentation of Asia Fruit Awards 2017

13:00-14:15 – Networking Lunch  

Sponsored by Chilean Cherry Committee  - Celebrating Cherries from Chile.

14:15-15:15 – Breakout Session 2

EU exporters: strategies for success in Asia

US and Southern Hemisphere producers have many years head-start on their European competitors in Asian markets, but EU exporting countries are working hard to make up ground. In this special session, expert speakers offer their advice on the best market entry and development strategies, while we also showcase some of the success stories.

14:15-15:15 – Breakout Session 1

Vietnam: Market Insight  

Vietnam is one of East Asia’s most dynamic emerging economies. In this market spotlight session, industry experts deliver an insight to the opportunities and challenges for fresh produce marketers.  

15:15-16:15 – Breakout Session 3

E-commerce goes B2B

E-commerce has already displayed its powers as a consumer-direct channel for Asia’s fresh produce business, but business-to-business (B2B) models look set to drive the next wave of e-commerce growth. This session examines the rise of B2B e-commerce. How is it going to change the fresh produce supply chain? How can suppliers and buyers best use this new channel?   



15:15-16:15 – Breakout Session 4

Protecting IP varieties in China

China has great potential as a production base for new varieties to meet the ever-increasing demands of domestic consumers as well as export markets. What are the opportunities and challenges to introducing and commercialising production of intellectual property (IP) varieties in China? Legal experts and varietal management companies discuss the regulatory landscape and the changing environment. 

16:15-17:00 – Networking Break

17:00-18:00 – General Session 3

Mapping the new trade landscape

China is extending its global influence as a political and economic superpower, the US is charting a new trade course under the Trump administration while Russia continues its embargo on food imports from several Western countries. This session looks at the changing global trade landscape, and examines the implications for Asia’s fresh produce business.

18:15-20:00 – Asiafruit Congress & Asia Fruit Logistica Welcome Reception


Winstone Chee, Walmart (China)

Winstone Chee is vice-president of fresh food merchandising for Walmart China. He joined Walmart from pan-Asia retailer Dairy Farm, where he spent 22 years working across a range of countries and positions. Born and raised in New Zealand, Winstone’s retail experience began at a young age when he worked part time in a supermarket while continuing his schooling. He worked for Woolworths Australia where he was involved in the early development of the national buying programme. He also spent two years with Coles in Australia, where he was general merchandise manager for the fruit category, helping to turn the business around.

Siebe Van Wijk, Fresh Studio (Vietnam)

Siebe van Wijk is the founder and owner of Vietnam-based companies Fresh Studio and The Fruit Republic. Siebe is a Dutch national who has been living in Vietnam for 14 years. Over the past ten years, Fresh Studio has developed into a leading consulting and R&D firm for the sourcing and marketing of sustainable food.  The company has four offices in Vietnam, one office in Myanmar, three applied R&D farms and one consumer FoodLab. The Fruit Republic (TFR) is one of Vietnam's largest fruit companies, with unique year-round exotic fruit production programmes, backed by GlobalGAP and organic certification. The company also opened the first BRC grade 1 certified fresh-cut fruit facility in Vietnam, serving the domestic and Asian market with year-round tropical fresh produce.

Antonio Palanca, HiveXchange (Australia)

Antonio Palanca is chief executive and co-founder of the HiveXchange, a digital marketplace for trading commercial volumes of fresh produce. Designed and built in Australia, HiveXchange is expanding into export markets and connecting Asian buyers directly to Australian farms. Antonio has previously co-founded successful e-commerce and supply chain companies both here and in Asia with China Direct Partners. He is also an experienced commercial executive having held senior management roles in IBM, Sun, and Optus communications. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics and a Degree in Psychology.

Michael Every, Rabobank (Hong Kong)

Michael Every is senior Asia-Pacific strategist for Rabobank. Based in Hong Kong, he analyses major developments in the Asia-Pacific region and contributes to various economic research publications for internal and external customers and to the media. Michael has more than 18 years of experience working as an economist and strategist. Before Rabobank, he was a director at Silk Road Associates, a strategy consultancy based in Bangkok. Prior to this, he was senior economist and fixed income strategist at the Royal Bank of Canada based in both London and Sydney. Michael holds a Masters Degree in Economics (with distinction) from University College London and speaks Thai.

John Piper, Food Asia Marketing (Hong Kong)

John Piper is the founder of Hong Kong-based Food Asia Marketing (FAM). Over the last 30 years FAM has represented clients in America, Europe and Australia, providing them with on-the-ground sales and marketing support throughout the Asia-Pacific region. John's wealth of experience in the fresh produce trade, in both retail and wholesale market sectors, has helped the company to develop an extensive knowledge of the business and to gain invaluable insight into its future direction.  

Andrew Common, Zespri International (Singapore)

Andrew Common is Zespri’s regional market manager – East & South East Asia & Australia. His responsibilities extend to the management and oversight of Zespri’s South East Asian markets, as well as Korea, Taiwan and Australia. Andrew joined Zespri in 2015 following a number of leading roles within the fresh produce industry. After gaining a Degree in Agriculture and Business at Massey University in 2000, Andrew travelled to the UK for two years where he worked for a locally based produce company. Returning to New Zealand in 2002, he joined the Freshmax Group in an operations and logistics role. In 2007, Andrew joined Kiwi Crunch, a large New Zealand apple exporter. He became general manager of Kiwi Crunch in 2010, during which time he spent extensive periods in global markets.

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Yoep Man, Sam's Club (China)

Yoep Man is chief merchandising officer of Sam’s Club China, which is part of Walmart. He heads up merchandising for the omnichannel retailer, which is aiming to have 40 high volume club stores by 2020. Prior to joining Sam’s Club China, Yoep worked for a major international retailer with a presence in 44 countries. During his 12 and a half-year career, Yoep has led market entries into China, Thailand and Mongolia. His most recent role before joining Sam’s Club was managing director of the international retailer's operations in China, where it operated 360 hypermarkets and supermarkets.

Marc Evrard, Belgian Fruit Valley (Belgium)

Marc Evrard is the commercial director at Belgian Fruit Valley (BFV). Marc has over 25 years of experience in the fresh produce industry and has spent the last two decades growing Belgium's fruit and vegetable export trade. His former role with BFV focused on negotiating market access protocols. Marc played a significant role in opening up the Indian market for Belgian pomefruit exports in 2009 and achieved market access for Belgian pears to the Chinese market in 2010. Currently he is overseeing all commercial activities at BFV. BFV is Belgium's largest top fruit growers association, representing over 50 per cent of the country's fruit producers. 

Paul Sheh, Hema Supermarket (China)

Paul Sheh is senior merchandising director for Hema Supermarket, a new online-to- offline (O2O) retailer which has opened ten stores in Shanghai. Paul joined Hema Supermarket earlier this year after spending fifteen years with Sam’s Club China, Walmart’s high-end membership-only warehouse club chain. Paul was merchandising director for Sam’s Club’s national fresh department, and prior to that merchandising director for Sam’s Club’s north region. He is a graduate of the Business School of Renmin University.

Filip Fontaine, BelOrta (Belgium)

Filip Fontaine is general manager of Belgian cooperative Belorta. As Belgium’s largest fruit and vegetable auctioneer, Belorta has a wide portfolio of fruit it markets domestically and internationally through its export partners. Filip has also served as an advisor on a number of auction projects in Shanghai since 2013. He is chairman of VDT, the association of fresh produce auction CEO’s in Belgium and the Netherlands, and also a board member of B3F, which focuses on breeding new apple-varieties.


Alberto Garbuglia, origine group (Italy)

Alberto Garbuglia is the managing director of Origine Group. Origine is a consortium of ten Italian and Chilean companies that work to market high-quality products under brand strategies across the world. This includes the Sweeki brand for kiwifruit. Prior to joining Origine in 2015, Alberto held a number of roles in international trading and marketing with leading Italian fresh produce companies Salvi Group, APO Scaligera and Spreafico. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Agricultural Economics and a Postgraduate Diploma from the University of London.

John Morton, Shennong Variety Management (New Zealand)

John Morton is managing director and shareholder of Shennong Variety Management, a New Zealand-based company that is operating in China. Established in 2006, SVM is an intellectual property (IP) management company involved with the introduction, development and commercialisation of new fruit varieties, both into and out of China. SVM's aim is to introduce new fruit selections to local farmers and business that are common to the rest of the world. With over 20 years' experience, the company believes that this is now possible as the environment has changed in China, with a greater awareness of the value of IP and the need for it to be protected.

Alice Wang
Haisheng Group (China)

Alice Wang is manager of the temperate fruit division for major Chinese agribusiness Haisheng Group. Alice joined the company eight years ago as the overseas sales representative for the juice business. In 2011, she became involved in the early development of the company’s farming business, helping to import high-density apple planting systems and new apple varieties to China. Well established as the world’s leading apple juice concentrate producer, Haisheng Group has evolved significantly over the past six years to become China’s leading modern agriculture company.

Shirley Zhu, IGD (Singapore)

Shirley Zhu is programme director at global food and grocery analyst IGD. Shirley leads IGD’s research programme in the South East Asia region from IGD's Singapore office. She has extensive research experience in the FMCG industry and has helped many multinational and local clients achieve their strategic objectives. Her role with IGD involves strategic planning, expanding research coverage in Asia and supporting the group's members in the region.

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Jiunn Shih, Zespri International (Singapore) 

Jiunn Shih is global general manager of marketing at Zespri International. He joined the kiwifruit marketer in September 2016, following a career in sales and marketing in the FMCG industry. As general manager of marketing, Jiunn directs Zespri’s marketing communications, shaping strategic direction and guiding execution across all marketing channels. His responsibilities include Zespri’s advertising, PR, media, brand, digital and consumer insights. Prior to joining Zespri, Jiunn was a senior global category director and member of the global beverages executive team at Unilever, where he led brand development work for global brands such as Lipton and Carte D'Or. Jiunn has worked in a variety of marketing roles across Latin America, Asia and Europe, performing local, regional and global roles for various billion-dollar consumer goods brands. Jiunn holds dual Taiwanese and Brazilian nationalities. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from The State University of Rio de Janeiro and an MBA from INSEAD.

George Liu


George Liu is founder of Frutacloud, the Shanghai-based B2B online fruit company. After graduating from Northwestern University with a Master's Degree in Computer Science, George worked for both Amazon and Google, spearheading e-commerce and payment projects. In 2016 he established Frutacloud as a subsidiary of Kingo Fruits Group to serve emerging e-commerce and 'new retail' segments in China. Combining George's expertise in technology with Kingo's 30 years' experience in the fruit industry, Frutacloud has become a leading platform to procure, market and distribute fresh fruit from around the world to the China market.

Andy Zhang

Andy Zhang, Dole International (China)

Andy Zhang is commercial director of Dole China. He has around 20 years' experience in the fruit and vegetable retailing and FMCG industries, with particular strength in sourcing of perishable products.

José Antonio Gómez, Camposol Trading (USA)

José Antonio Gómez is CEO of Camposol Trading. He has extensive experience in the food industry and international trade. In addition to heading up Camposol Trading, José Antonio currently serves as a board member of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and as vice-chairman of the Peruvian Avocado Commission. He has also served as chairperson of the Peruvian Institute of Asparagus (IPEH). Prior to joining Camposol, José Antonio held senior management positions at Chiquita Brands in the US, Costa Rica and Europe. He was formerly director of corporate banking at Banco de Credito del Peru and project manager at IBM Peru.

Matthew Murphy, MMLC Group (China)

Matthew Murphy is the founder of the MMLC Group, a leading boutique law and consulting group, based in Beijing, that is focused on intellectual property, corporate and trade. Matthew has over 20 years of China and Asia Pacific legal and business experience, gained with major law firms Freshfields and Simmons from 1997, and then with MMLC from 2002. Agriculture and plant varieties are a large part of Matthew’s practice. He is active in PVR and trademark registration, agriculture licensing, and associated corporate transactions. Matthew is a contributor of articles on Chinese and IP law to major journals, and teaches international IP law at the post-graduate level at a number of leading universities.  

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Wayne Prowse
Fresh Intelligence Consulting (Australia)

Wayne Prowse is principal and senior analyst at Fresh Intelligence Consulting. With a 30-year marketing career in the food industry, Wayne has analysed domestic and international trade data for Edgell Birdseye, Horticulture Australia, the Australian government, and various fresh produce industry groups and businesses. Wayne has prepared the market analysis for five editions of the Asiafruit Congress Statistics Handbook.

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