Expats aid BelOrta’s Asian expansion

Belgian co-operative continues to grow a niche market for its range of endives and leaks, as well as other offerings

Small volumes of uniquely European offerings aren’t always conducive to growing market share in Asian nations.

However, a growing presence of Western expats in Asia is providing leading Belgian co-operative BelOrta with an avenue into its newest frontier.

“Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore; these are big, worldly cities with large expat populations that like to have good products,” BelOrta’s commercial director Jo Lambrecht said. “They’re a good consumer base to help open up markets and get things moving.”

BelOrta’s trade into Asia has focused largely on Belgian endives and leeks to date, with encouraging levels of demand being generated in Japan and South Korea.

The co-operative auctioneer has also supplied small volumes of Conference pears to China over recent seasons. In several Asian countries Lambrecht sees potential for both Conference pears and for a number of apple varieties exclusive to Belgium.