Message from the Publisher

Welcome to Fruit & Veg World

A magazine for people who love their fruit and vegetables fresh


Kesu Kesavankutty

welcome to our second issue of Fruit & Veg World as we seek to cover an industry that is essential for our daily health and is also evolving to be a bigger part of global trade flows every year.

A rapidly rising middle class and increasing urbanization around the world, especially in developing countries, have spurred this growth. Advances in technology, production, packaging and storage have, meanwhile, created an industry that produces seasonal fruit all-year round to all parts of the world.

But this has also been a tumultuous year for the industry, which has to constantly grapple with the vagaries of climate change that affect production.

In August, Russia banned food imports, including fruit and vegetables, from the European Union and the US for a year, in response to sanctions over Ukraine. Such trade barriers affect not just economies and farmers, but also Russian consumers who end up paying more for their farm produce.

While China, Argentina and Chile are some of the countries planning to pick up some of the slack in Russian food imports, we hope that the world’s economies can band together and prevent bans like these that are harmful to both trade and people’s livelihoods.

Letter from the Editorial Director

A Bank For The World’s Food Trade

The proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) should give priority to projects that ensure food security and much needed roads and coldstorage banking when it begins lending


Gopi Gopalan

“if you want to get rich, you have to build roads first”, President Xi Jinping said in October this year, citing a Chinese proverb. He made this remark soon after the signing of a memorandum of understanding to create the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. AIIB is the second multilateral lender in which China will play a major role, after the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – agreed in July to set up a Shanghai-based development bank with an initial capital of US$50 million.

China and 20 other nations signed the MOU of AIIB on October 24 in Beijing. Among the signatories were India, Singapore and Vietnam, while Australia and Indonesia had been conspicuous by their absence. Up to half the shares in the US$50 million bank would be owned by China, which has a proven record in successfully building major infrastructure projects on the Mainland; China has already undertaken or committed dozens of such projects in African countries.

These lending institutions are not commercial banks. Their objectives are to assist the economic development of member countries and when necessary, and if capital permits, help others in need. We appeal to the board of AIIB to show in practice a qualitative difference in its services over those of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank and other similar organisations.

For example, it should give priority in lending to logistics projects that ensure food security in every country. Millions of dollars of fresh produce go to waste every year because of inadequate roads, rail, sea transport and cold storage facilities. Currently, producers, traders, wholesalers and retailers, not to mention the ultimate consumer, are at the mercy of a private sector whose concern is profit and not development.

If the first “I” in AIIB is to be fulfilled, this multilateral lender would play a big part in financing much-needed infrastructure in emerging markets, including improving roads, rail, water resources, and cold storage systems. That would provide relief to those farmers who suffer from the vagaries of erratic weather while ensuring food security. Such a bank would be a boon for developing countries in Asia and Africa.

In other news, in this our second issue, we explore the growth in the world’s pumpkin trade, the challenges faced by Hong Kong farmers, the development of a new variety of potatoes, hydroponic farming, and even the global rush for farmland. We hope you enjoy it.


    T.J.S George is a veteran journalist and one of India’s bestknown columnists, as well as an old Asia hand and China watcher. Currently the editorial advisor of the New Indian Express, George has worked in the Far Eastern Economic Review, was founding editor of Asiaweek, and has penned several biographies, including that of Indian statesman and freedom fighter Krishna Menon and Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew.

  • Sergio Held
    Sergio Held

    Sergio Held is a writer based in Bogota, Colombia. A contributor to Bahati Ltd and to a range of publications, he specialises on issues of business, trade and economics. He previously lived in Hong Kong and is a qualified lawyer.

  • steven knipp

    Steven Knipp is an American journalist. Based in Asia for many years, he’s also reported from Washington DC , and Moscow, the Middle East, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. His favourite fruit is the mango; his favourite vegetable is the potato… served with a steak.


    Robin Lynam is a Hong Kong based freelance journalist who writes on food, drink, arts and culture for local, regional, and international publications. Here he looks into the concept of “terroir” and the role it plays in brandies.

  • Shree Padre
    Shree Padre

    Shree Padre is a farmer by profession and a journalist by obsession. Has been reporting on agriculture, development, rainwater harvesting and jackfruit development for many years. He is the founder editor of a unique Indian vernacular farm magazine run by farmers. Under the auspices of this 27-year-old magazine, Adike Patrike, he has launched a movement called Krishikara Kaige Lekhani – meaning ‘pen to farmers’ hands.’

  • Julian Parr
    Julian Parr

    Julian Parr holds degrees from Lancaster and London Universities, SOAS and LSE in English, Law, and Development Economics. He has lived in India for the last 14 years working with the BBC , the UN and Oxfam GB and is currently working as the Director Asia for CIP, part of the CGIAR Group.

  • Stuart Wolfendale
    Stuart Wolfendale

    For thirty years, Stuart Wolfendale has been a freelance columnist, writer and editor based in Hong Kong. He has contributed to various media in the region, Europe and North America. His most recent book is Imperial to International: A History of St John’s Cathedral Hong Kong published by the Hong Kong University Press in the spring of 2013.

  • Kristine Yang
    Kristine Yang

    Kristine Yang is a writer with Bahati Ltd based in Hong Kong. Kristine speaks four languages and is working on a fifth. She writes about business and economics in China and much of the rest of Asia from her base in Hong Kong. Originally from Southern China, she has a masters in international political economy that comes in handy. Kristine is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.


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Fruit & Veg World

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Phone: +852 2984 0983



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