Inspiratie Published at 21 January 2021

First edition of MX-NL Fruit Matchmaking Program big success

On 20 and 21 January, the first MX-NL Fruit Matchmaking Program took place, organized by Holland House Mexico (HHM) and United Producers of Mexico (UPM). The two-day virtual event brought together Mexican and Guatemalan exporters of fruits and Dutch and European importers, in a dynamic environment of conferences and direct B2B meetings.

The European market shows great potential for agricultural products from Mexico. Currently, the vast majority of exports in the sector are send to neighboring country USA, leaving ample room for healthy growth in European markets. Particularly avocado and lime are showing a promising increase in exports, but other fruits including mango, berries, grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, and banana are also on the rise.

The aim of the event was to bring together importers and exporters from both continents and to create long-lasting, sustainable, and durable business connections that will contribute to the further expansion of Mexican and Central American fruit exports to The Netherlands and Europe. A total of 175 business meetings were concluded during the event.

The event was supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Mexico as well as the Embassy of Mexico in the Netherlands, and the Guatemalan Embassy in The Netherlands.

The representatives of both the Mexican and Dutch embassies, Desirée Colomé and Eric Plaisier, respectively, inaugurated the event during a live session in which they highlighted the importance of bilateral trade in fresh produce the two countries, demonstrating how Dutch fruit imports from Mexico have grown over the last few years.

Next, Marifer Aguirre and Gerald Baal from Dutch consultancy company Transfer LBC presented a cohesive overview of Europe’s growing import market, in which country-specific preferences were underlined.

On the second day, export expert Astrid Astillon shared her expertise on how best to increase sales in the European market, by providing a step-by-step approach to enter and expand on the European fruit market.  Lia Bijnsdorp from UPM and Jorge Narváez, General Director at AGREE elaborated further on the topic by emphasizing on how to create a competitive advantage for the European market. Quality control and certification are key for exportation.

Before the conference ended to make way for another round of matchmaking sessions, Coen van Iwaarden from Nature's Pride spoke about particular sourcing trends that Mexican exporters ought to bear in mind when seeking to increase exports to Europe, summarized in the concept of “good business”. Good business cares for its people and the planet, considering employee wellbeing such as nutrition, and issues such as water and land use.

We look back at a very successful event and forward to seeing a healthy increase in exports of Mexican and Central American fruits to The Netherlands and Europe in the coming years. 

Recordings of the two conferences are available via the following links:

Recording day 1

Recording day 2

Gold Sponsors: Control Union, Liquidseal

Silver Sponsors: Aktion Trade Services, ISAOSA, Valmik, Aweta