New Zealand company BBC Technologies consolidated its business operations in Asia early this month as the company matched its world-leading capability in solutions for the horticulture industry with spiralling demand in the fast growing region.
BBC, the world’s leading supplier of blueberry sorting and packing machinery, demonstrated its commitment to the Asian region by, for the first time, joining the New Zealand country pavilion at Asia Fruit Logistica 2014. The family-owned business has previously been an observer at the show, which was held in Hong Kong from 3-5 September.
Asia Fruit Logistica is Asia’s leading trade show for the fresh produce trade, attracting more than 460 exhibitors from 38 countries. The sell-out show featured innovative new varieties, the latest technologies and commentary on market trends from international experts and influencers.
As well as exhibiting its cutting-edge sorting and packing solutions, BBC leveraged off the momentum generated at Asia Fruit Logistica, by bringing together, in Hong Kong, a selection of key partners and current and new customers from different parts of the world.
The initiative, says CEO Geoff Furniss, illustrates BBC’s approach, which is “customer-centric, keen to draw lessons from a wide range of range of associates and markets and strong on continuous learning”.
BBC is on a growth curve in Asia. It sold its first blueberry sorting machine five years ago to a company which is now part of Joyvio Group, the largest end-to-end fruit company of its kind in China. Joyvio and the New Zealand company have forged a strong working relationship with BBC continuing to supply processing equipment to support Joyvioi’s blueberry operation.
BBC gained a second customer in 2010 and several more in the last year as testimonials about the company are passed through word-of-mouth. These customers are in China and Korea.
Furniss says BBC’s reputation for innovation and its “consistent and significant” investment in research and development are key strengths in Asia. “Our track record for working closely with customers and continually evolving and adapting our offering, in response to what customers tell us they want, gives BBC a point of difference in a highly competitive marketplace.
“This goes for blueberry processing technology, of course, but also for other small fruit we specialise in such as cherries and small tomatoes.”
“Our focus is on giving customers certainty,” says Furniss. “They need to know they have robust packaging and processing, the best possible fruit quality, extended shelf life and lower costs so they, in turn, can give consumers a high quality eating experience.”
Visitors to the New Zealand pavilion had the opportunity to learn about BBC’s full range of equipment and its ability to develop turnkey solutions that are specifically designed to meet the needs of individual customers.
This includes BBC’s Fresh Tracker traceability software which can track individual products from harvesting and processing through to packaging and point of sale. This is a particular advantage in China, says Furniss, where safety and integrity of the food chain is of paramount importance.
Blueberries have been the first focus for the company in Asia but BBC also sees opportunities to provide its equipment to producers of cherries and cherry tomatoes.
BBC had a team of senior executives on its stand at Asia Fruit Logistic—including international sales and marketing manager Jason Walker, the company’s European sales manager, Fred Douven, and Stanley Lim, BBC’s sales and service manager for China and other parts of Asia.
“We are strongly committed to the market in Asia,” says Jason Walker. “We are investing in training and preparing a larger team of people to be on the ground, to provide our renowned level of superior service to companies using our equipment.”
BBC has deep roots in the horticulture sector, both as a grower of blueberries and a developer of innovative processing solutions. It has been selling its technology in the United States for 13 years and also has established markets in Europe, South America and Australasia. www.bbctechnologies.com