The Food Procurement Meeting in Kaohsiung 2017 was the largest event of the year for Southern Taiwan's food exporters. Organized by the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and implemented by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the Kaohsiung Food Show was launched at the Kaohsiung Exhibition Centeron October 26, 2017. 33 buyers from 12 countries/regions including Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Russia, US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, China, and Hong Kong, were invited to the event. 299 one-on-one procurement negotiations were held between the buyers and 107 domestic food companies, generating transactions amounting to US$6.72 million. The procurement volume has an estimated value of US$12.2 million for the coming year, and trade leads could generate a total of US$18.92 million.
The Kaohsiung Food Show is the largest-scale food fair in Southern Taiwan, bringing together Taiwanese agricultural/fishery products and processed foods suppliers. Procurement meetings are held annually to help local food manufacturers expand their markets into the international sphere. This year, most of the participants covered the top 10 markets for food exports in Taiwan. Among buyers, six arrived from the New Southbound Policy countries: Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia – Taiwan’s main food export markets. Procurement items included tea leaves, fruits and vegetables, aquatic products, Taiwanese souvenirs, organic produce, sauces, and more.
Buyers participating in negotiations included NTUC Foodfare, a Singapore-based, multiple food and beverage brand company; Villa Market, a Thai supermarket chain; Nihon Ryutsu Sangyo Co. Ltd., which oversees procurement for 19 supermarkets; Kobe Yoko, 60-year veterans in the import and export of agricultural products; Rainbow Department Store Company Ltd. among the top 100 Chinese chain stores; Guangdong's Aoyuan AO Mygod Electronic Commerce; Qingdao Juxin Bangchu Limited Company; Giant Union, a major US importer of Asian food, and others. In addition to traditional traders and supermarkets, many buyers from the e-commerce, F&B and catering industries also attended, indicating that international food trade is undergoing a change. TAITRA has invested much effort to evolve with the times by inviting buyers from new channels.
During the negotiations, Canada’s L&W Food Corporation showed great interest in Diing Yuh's and Fuche’s products, with factory visits being arranged during the meeting. L&W plans to procure a counter of Diing Yuh's Hanyu series. Asia Info Trading from St. Petersburg has long imported Chinese tea to Russia and came to Taiwan seeking higher quality tea. The company was very satisfied with Oolong tea products, and has plans to implement a chain business and import Taiwanese specialty brands. During the meeting, the company also demonstrated much interest in Old Sichuan Mala Hotpot, and further collaborations will be negotiated and introduced to Russia. ADW Acosta is Costco's largest supplier, and was represented by its Asian region procurement staff. Many interesting products were explored in the talks, including Ganna beans and Puli farmers’ rose sauce, which have exquisite packaging and novel tastes. ADW Acosta will consider introducing them to Costco Japan and Korea in the future.
That same afternoon, TAITRA held a seminar on "Food Packaging Design for Taiwan and Indonesia", to boost the marketing and competitive edge of Taiwanese food and strengthen the market’s connection with ASEAN countries. Diaz Hendrassukma, Secretary-General of the Indonesian Association of Graphic Designers (ADGI) and Hung-Chih Liu, Deputy Director of Taiwan Package Design Association presented their insights on the latest trends and specifications of food packaging design in Indonesia, as well as on Taiwan's food export packaging strategy and brand building. 52 food manufacturers participated, stating that the seminar helped in understanding the Indonesian market, and was highly beneficial regarding product packaging and marketing strategies for the ASEAN market in the future.
Bubble Milk Tea and Halal Food Zones were set up at the Kaohsiung exhibition in order to strengthen their international trade promotion, while staff were deployed to provide on-site services. Enthusiasm for the products was clear from day one, as they garnered countless inquiries from many buyers. TAITRA organizes two large-scale international food distributors' procurement meetings in Taipei and Kaohsiung on an annual basis. It also organizes delegations to professional overseas food exhibitions for trade promotion purposes in Japan, Korea, Dubai, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, India and mainland China, to develop more business opportunities for Taiwan's food industry businesses.