What do we need to bear in mind to export fruit to China?

Below is a checklist for Spanish fruit exporters who want to sell their products to China:

  1. Read up on the regulations and documentation you'll need. Look at the requirements set out in the protocol and register your orchards and warehouses with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment. Make sure you have all the right paperwork for exporting: certificates of origin, phytosanitary certificate, packing list, bill of lading and commercial invoice.
  2. Identify local business partners. Identify potential importers at the main fruit entry points (Guangdong and Shanghai) who can work with reliable logistics providers and access retail outlets that will give you good product positioning. Companies use the network of Economic and Commercial Offices of Spain in China to do this, as they are highly experienced in finding potential local business partners and arranging meetings. 
  3. Participate in the main fruit trade fairs in the country. Trade fairs are very useful for finding importers and distributors in China, and for learning about the ins and outs of the market on the ground. We strongly recommend that fruit exporters go to trade fairs such as Asia Fruit Logistica (Hong Kong), China Fruit Logistica (Shanghai), IFE (Canton) and iFresh (Shanghai).
  4. Find out when imported fruit is most in demand. Maximise on seasons when people eat a lot of fruit (Chinese New Year and National Holiday), and on times of the year when there is a shortage of both local fruits and imported fruits.
  5. Make sure the products you export are good quality and uniform. Consumers prefer fruits that are high-quality, uniform and have a bright colour, as well as branded and labelled fruit, as this is a sign of food safety.
  6. Give business partners promotional materials and support them with marketing actions. You can give yourself a leading edge by providing gift-type packaging, promotional videos on fruit production in Spain, or supporting Chinese business partners with advertising campaigns.
  7. Offer Chinese business partners technical training on proper product handling, with particular focus on the cold chain.

SOURCE: The fruit market in China August 2017. Dídac González Màsich. Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Canton.

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