From 1 to 3 March, an international conference was held in Lishui-Nanjing, China for the professionalization of the Chinese strawberry sector. It happened that the only two Dutch attendees, Jan Robben and Oscar Niezen (consultant in the field of business management and formerly, among other things, General Manager for Priva in Asia), were invited to receive an award as representatives of the 'innovative Dutch strawberry sector'.
Oscar Niezen during his presentation on marketing and the marketing of strawberries as a brand
Jan Robben spoke about the importance of the short chain, whereby good cooling helps to preserve the quality of the product. But not too long, because in the end strawberries are for eating and not for endless storage.
"The Netherlands really is playing an important role in the modernization of the Chinese sector. Climate computers, greenhouses, now sometimes even plant material, but also all sorts of other tools and advice are eagerly purchased," says Jan Robben, having traveled on to Thailand. "Incidentally, not only in China, but actually in all countries that I visit."
China is responsible for forty percent of the world production of strawberries compared to about 0.5% Dutch share in that production. The aim of the event, after 2018 this was the second edition, was initially to professionalize the Chinese strawberry sector. But sharing knowledge was also important. "The Chinese know that this is the best way to advance that professionalization."
The prosperity in China is rising rapidly and the interest in strawberries is increasing as well. "Hardly anything from the fresh produce is being exported and the prices for good strawberries are high. Sometimes up to 1 euro per strawberry. Strawberries of less than 20 grams are less marketable and are usually processed.”
Three-quarters of the visitors to the event were Chinese, who in one way or another were affiliated to the sector. Among them both scientists and representatives of sales organizations and growers. Other visitors and speakers mainly came from Australia, Japan, the United States, Poland, Italy, Colombia, Malaysia, Thailand and Russia.
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