Dutch consul in Chongqing will open Online Sino-Dutch Conference for Climate Control Technology in the Fruit Industry

How do Chinese and Dutch cold supply chains for fruit compare?

The Netherlands is an important distributor of agricultural products and a significant participant in the international fruit and vegetable market. Innovative Dutch technology for post-harvest management and climate control is widely applied in the agricultural industry to keep fruit and vegetables fresh.

The Dutch consul in Chongqing is working together with the Chongqing Agricultural Committee to organize the Online Sino-Dutch Conference for Climate Control Technology in the Fruit Industry. The conference will take place on the 21st of July and will be hosted on the Tencent Meeting platform. Discussion during this conference will revolve around such questions as how to reasonably store fruit during different segments of the supply chain such as harvest, packaging, and transport; or how to extend the shelf-life of fruit; and how to use market differences to add value to fruit products.

According to Hu Xizhe (Sietse), agricultural advisor at the Dutch consulate in Chongqing, "We have invited many Dutch Cold Supply Chain companies to introduce key aspects and application principles of Dutch climate control technology to cooperative partners in China. They will also discuss the practical application of climate control technology in the Dutch cold supply chain industry, and introduce examples of the successful application of Dutch refrigerated truck technology in China. We hope that this forum will allow us to share knowledge of and experience with advanced Dutch climate control technology. At the same time, we also hope to improve the structure for Sino-Dutch interaction and promote the application of advanced technology in the fruit industry. In this way we hope to further advance cooperation between China and the Netherlands in terms of industrial development."

Source: DL Logistics B.V.

Differences between the cold supply chains for fruit in China and the Netherlands
When asked about differences between the cold supply chains for fruit in China and the Netherlands, agricultural advisor Hu explained, "We have studied feedback from various companies in the industry and this data shows that there are three main differences. First, the post-harvest ratio of commercially viable fruit is different for China and the Netherlands. Around 90% of the fruit survives the harvest, processing, and selection in the Netherlands.

"The fruit is stored according to industry standards and sold under specific brands. This improves the commercial value of fruit products and turns them into attractive commercial products. However, in China only 20% of the fruit production volume reaches this stage where stable product quality and commercial value is guaranteed by the product brand. Second, the loss of fruit due to damage during transport is much higher in China than in the Netherlands. Only about 5% of the fruit is damaged during transport in the Netherlands, while that percentage can be as high as 30% in China. Third, a higher percentage of fruit companies in the Netherlands makes use of cold supply chain technology. Almost 80% of the fruit companies in the Netherlands take advantage of an integrated cold supply chain (combining processing, distribution, and storage into one continuous, climate-controlled system). In China only 5% of the companies use this type of integrated cold supply chain."

Source: DL Logistics B.V.

How can companies improve the post-harvest freshness of fruit?
"Imitating foreign technology will not be enough to close the gap, to minimize the differences between China and the Netherlands. Foreign technology alone will not bring the fruit industry in China to the same level as the Dutch fruit industry. There are several companies that have made huge investments in the import and installation of advanced technology, but the way their employees operate and manage the equipment is not the same as in the Netherlands.

"For example, different fruits have different characteristics and this requires employees to understand not just the equipment itself, but also the specific needs for different fruits. Employees need to become familiar with different parameters such as temperature and oxygen concentration in fruit, because these parameters influence the operation of advanced equipment. The efficiency of advanced climate control facilities can only be optimized if hardware and software are seamlessly integrated," explained agricultural advisor Hu. "It is also necessary to pay attention to conditions in the fruit market, especially when seasonal fruits enter the market. Imprecise market decisions will result in price fluctuations. Improper planning and use of refrigerated storage will result in product loss. And inaccurate calculations for delivery to supermarkets will put pressure on products in storage. All of these problems will have direct or indirect consequences for the profit of farmers, distributors, and even consumers."

Source: DL Logistics B.V.

Chongqing - A city that represents the cold supply chain industry
When asked why Chongqing is the right place to organize this conference on climate control technology in the fruit industry, agricultural advisor Hu replied: "Chongqing is in an excellent geographical position to represent the Chinese cold supply chain industry. First, Chongqing is a traffic hub and central distribution point for the fruit industry in the southwest of China. Chongqing plays an extremely important role in domestic and international transport and distribution. At the same time, Chongqing is one of the most important fruit production areas in China. Every year, Chongqing produces a wide variety of fruits in large volumes.

"Chongqing is an excellent representation for the Chinese cold supply chain industry and the Chinese fruit industry as a whole, and we hope that our focus on logistical problems in Chongqing will benefit these industries in other places. There is a lot of room for improvement and a lot of potential for development in Chongqing. Once we have solved some of the problems in Chongqing, we can then disseminate our experience to other places in China."

This online conference is also organized as a WeChat Group. People from the industry who are interested in this conference can join the WeChat Group and participate in discussions. The link to the online conference room will be distributed in the WeChat Group prior to the conference.

Conference details are available here (Chinese).

For more information:
Dutch Consulate in Chongqing
Hu Xizhe (Sietse) - Agricultural Advisor
E-mail: Xizhe.Hu@minbuza.nl 

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