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photo report HortiFlora Expo Shanghai

Everyone wants a slice of the Chinese pie

With the high population and a growing economy, the Chinese market is like a heavy chocolate almond pie: just a little piece of it will satisfy you. At the HortiFlora Expo Shanghai that was held last weekend, 900 companies cut their first slice, or went for a second serving.

With the HortiFlora Expo Shanghai being mainly a floricultural show, our team of was present to make a photo report. But since the exhibition is visited by the vegetable industry as well and since many horticultural suppliers are present we don't want you to miss out on this one - so here we go. 

Click here for our photo report.

When walking down the aisles and talking to the exhibitors and visitors, how do they think the Chinese market developing? In general, we hear that it really took off 5 years ago and the developments are visible in several industries. Below a small summary of what we heard.

In several areas, labor has become more expensive and/or scarce, and the fact that the government gives subsidies to the growers to invest in optimizing processes in the greenhouse, means that many growers are opting for more automation solutions. Step by step, more and more manual processes are being replaced by machines. And let's not forget quality is also becoming increasingly important, and this can be achieved through automation too.

Language/cultural barrier
Language is still one of the main barriers in the country. To enter this market, it is best to have a Chinese speaking person in the company. And preferably a native speaker that understand the culture. It takes time to create a relationship, but once forged, they are for the long term.

Growing the crop
Building a greenhouse and installing machines. It is a piece of cake and goes very fast nowadays in China. But then the real work starts: growing and maintaining the crop. And this often still is a challenge. Particularly for the vegetable industry one sees a lack of knowledge. However, for the ornamental industry, there is still a lot to learn as well. Most plants, for example are grown from seed and vegetative cultivation is something new, of which the long-term benefits need to be explained.

Intellectual property rights
Illegal propagation is still a major issue for the breeders and the Chinese distributors. There are breeder rights now, but when it happens often not much can be done regarding receiving the royalties. However, an awareness of the benefits of legally propagated plants (for which royalties are paid) is being recognized among more and more growers; it will not only improve the quality of the product, it will also give them access to novelties.

Want to know more about the flower production, the infrastructure and the developments in imported flowers? Read more on 

But for now, curious about the Hortiflorexpo Shanghai? Click here for our photo report.