China’s biggest wine and spirits fair, China Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF), has finally set a date for November merging the spring edition of the fair with autumn edition, after experiencing several delays due to the country’s strict zero Covid policy that have disrupted large-scale events.
This is the first time that the spring edition which is normally scheduled in China’s southwestern metropolis Chengdu is merged with the fair’s autumn edition, as Covid restrictions pushed the March edition in Chengdu three times to April, then to July before finally confirming November 10-12.
However, the fate of the fair is still up in the air, due to uncertainty of Covid rules, constant PCR test for inter-city domestic travelers, and lack of international visitors, as China shows no sign of opening up its borders to international arrivals or loosening its Covid restrictions yet after three years of self-isolation.
Additionally, the new dates conflict with another major wine trade fair, ProWine Shanghai, which is scheduled for November 8-10 in Shanghai. For Baijiu, the dates also overlap with the 11th China (Guizhou) International Alcoholic Beverages Expo.
This might pose a challenge for exhibitors and visitors as they might be forced to choose one or the other, or even stretch resources to cover both shows in two cities.
“The organizing committee will strictly implement the requirements of the national epidemic prevention policy. If there are force majeure factors, the exhibition arrangements will be adjusted accordingly,” says the organizer in a statement posted last week.
“We sincerely thank you for your understanding and support during this special period! We will make every effort to mobilize resources and strength from all sides and work together with our customers to create a safe, efficient and wonderfully orderly industry event,” it continues.
Other major wine shows in China including Vinitaly’s Wine to Asia in Shenzhen and Interwine, as well as several roadshows have suffered a few postponements due to these stringent Covid rules.
The fair prides itself as the most effective trade fair for the country’s drinks industry that covers Baijiu, beer, spirits, wine and other drinks beverages, and the 106th edition was expected to attract over 300,000 trade visitors at Western China (Chengdu) International Expo City.