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About China Food Expo 2011
2011-12-04Text Size: A A A

China Food Expo 2011 (hereafter called the Expo) opened in Ningbo International Conference and Exhibition Center from November 30 to December 4. This is the 7th year Ningbo hosts the Expo, one of the mainstream exhibitions sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce in the field of domestic trade. In recent years, the Expo has been on a constant rise in scale, being more professional, international and market oriented. It is now the greatest, highest ranked and most popular event in the food trade of China. The Expo opened in 8 exhibition halls, including 6 temporary ones and 2 permanent ones. The exhibition area is over 72,000 square meters, with 3,600 international standard exhibition stalls—a historical record in this respect. Following its theme "Promoting the value of the participating enterprises and the development of the food industry" set by the Organization Committee, the Expo gave priority to exhibitions and trade talks, and in the meanwhile it held such activities as the opening reception party, the opening ceremony, the forum, the purchasing fair of trade businesses and the trade fair for large and middle sized chain enterprises. The Expo this year has the following new features.

New progress made in marketization. Marketization is the orientation of the Expo, as is set by the Ministry of Commerce. With the development in the past years, the Expo is now the leading one in the food industry in China, with quite a large number of regular participants of high-end merchants. For this situation, following the conception of marketization, the Expo has made notable progress in further exploring the market channels. This year, the Expo received over 20 government delegations from Fujian, Guizhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Xiaman and Changchun and delegations from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The participants in the Expo also include the leading food enterprises like Yurun, Kou Zi Jiao, Dong'e Ejiao, Wahaha, Master Kong, and Nongfu Spring. Despite the considerable reduction in administrative resources in the business invitation, the Expo is more market oriented. The scale and quality of the participating enterprises maintain stable and on the rise. The exhibition area and the number of exhibition stalls increase by 20%, the highest in the history of the Expo. Before the Expo opened, the Organization Committee organized promotion conferences in Beijing, Qingdao, Nanjing, Hefei, Nanchang and Xiamen. China Federation of Commerce sent invitations to the top 100 chain supermarkets and large purchasing merchants. Before the expo, it was estimated that over 3,000 large retail market, food dealers from the cities in the neighborhood of the Changjiang River Delta and Zhejiang would come to the expo and that there would be a rise in the quality and quantity of the professional merchants to the Expo.

New progress in specialization. For the convenience of the professional merchants, the Expo organized the exhibition in the categories of meat, sweets, baked food, milk products, snacks and drinks. It set special areas or halls for seafood, imported food, local specialties, and food machinery. The rate of special exhibition areas or halls is above 55%. The Organization Committee improved its management and mechanism to provide the participating merchants better and more satisfying one-stop services. The services range from tourism, express delivery, insurance, mail and transportation. For the convenience of the professional merchants, various means were taken to appropriately separate them in time and space from the visitors.

New breakthroughs made in internationalization. Making full use of the advantageous conditions of Ningbo as an open coast city of China, the Organization Committee of the Expo took active measures to invite famous foreign food enterprises and food machinery enterprises to the Expo. The Expo had a special exhibition hall for imported food, a hall for imported wine and one for products of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Statistics show that imported foods accounted for over 30% of the total. The participants included top enterprises of wine from 15 countries like France, Italy, Australia, USA and Argentina, and the imported foods included beer from Germany, cheese from Spain and specialties from South Korea. The Organization Committee made greater-then-ever efforts to invite the regional purchasing centers of foreign transnational chain enterprises. There was a notable rise in the quality and quantity of foreign merchants participating in the Expo. 8 such enterprises like TESCO, Wal-Mart, Metro, E-Mart Store and Pizza Hut sent their regional general managers or chiefs of purchasing departments to the Expo.

Improved information services. To make the Expo a "smart exhibition", the newest and most advanced information technologies were used, including the internet, 2-dimensional bar code, video visitor flow statistics and microblog. In the past two years, working with the mass media, Ningbo organized a number of activities of market surveys and elections of the food enterprises, which were widely accepted in the industry. This year, Ningbo organized such elections as China 50 Most Influential Food Enterprises, Zhejiang Top 30 Most Liked Food Brands and Gold Award of China Food Expo 2011. In addition, Ningbo made great efforts to build the internet purchasing platform, expanding the trade channels by the e-commerce. As a result of these efforts, the turnover via the internet increased radically.

Other themed activities related to the Expo. To achieve better and more practical results, in recent years, the Organization Committee organized fewer government activities like the large-scale opening ceremony and the evening performance and instead it organized more trade related activities, to the satisfaction of all related parties. In this aspect, Ningbo this year went a further step, simplifying the reception party and the opening ceremonies. It concentrated more on providing the merchants with better services and creating more values. The Expo this year arranged a dozen of promotion conferences: the Purchasing Fair of Imported Wine of Top 100 Enterprises of China, Quality Agricultural Products Fair of Ningbo and Xinjiang, News Release of Ningbo-made Bean Products, Auchan Purchasing Promotion & Food Safety Conference, Forum of Australia Wine Culture & High-end Wine Party, and Lecture of Foreign Wine Appreciation and so on. Besides, the Expo set aside special areas for trade talks, including the talks for provincial delegations, for international chain enterprises, and for enterprises engaged in the Rural Market Program. All this resulted in more opportunities for the exchanges of the merchants and purchasers. The Forum of China Food Expo took "Promoting the core competency of the food industry" as its theme. Experts like Chen Jian and Shi Xianming from Jiangnan University and Shanghai Jiaotong University and Xu Jinlong from TESCO spoke at the forum.

This year, the Expo was stricter with food safety. In addition to the strict measures in all the procedures from the business invitation to the checks of food, the individual merchants and new enterprises to the Expo had to pay security deposits before hand to ensure the safety of foods in the Expo. Measures were taken to ensure the order of the Expo.

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