Following last year’s success, the Spices & Herbs Global Expo, the first exhibition in Europe dedicated to the world of spices, medicinal herbs and aromatic herbs, will be held again at Macfrut, the international trade fair for the fresh produce industry, at Rimini Expo Centre (Italy), scheduled from 3 to 5 May 2023. This specialised event will serve as a meeting point for producers, experts, researchers, traders and processors: a “fair-within-a-fair” with a dedicated exhibition area, professionals from all over the world, technical workshops, and business meetings with foreign buyers. The Exhibition is coordinated by FIPPO (Italian Federation of Medicinal Plant Producers), Erboristeria Domani, the Italian newspaper dedicated to the sector, and Cannamela, specialist in spices and herbs.
Andrea Primavera, President of FIPPO, explains: “There are more than 35,000 widely known and officially recognised botanical species worldwide, which are used for their active ingredients and their aromatic and functional substances. It is estimated that many more useful plants with functional substances exist, and new species and uses are being discovered daily. Medicinal plants, aromatic plants and spices are increasingly associated with keywords such as health, well-being, and advanced nutrition. What is more, the supply chain of these agricultural products is also permeated by concepts such as sustainability, green chemistry, biodiversity, and circular economy.”
“With nearly 8 billion people on the planet, – Primavera adds – over a third of which are treating themselves with medicinal plants and spices and use them for scientific purposes, it will soon be more and more difficult and challenging to rationally produce and ensure a commodity-like supply of such products. A number of studies have shown that, over the next five years, global herbal medicine markets alone are expected to grow at rates of between 38% and 53%, depending on the region. The current global crisis, which is characterised by significant social and political tensions, climate change, and limited access to energy resources, may trigger further demand for products with a low environmental impact, whether health and well-being products or for technological uses, as we have seen in the past with other crises.”
This sector poses multiple challenges such as producing sustainably, ensuring product quality (functionally speaking) and safety, supplying new and different industry segments, and, above all, protecting biodiversity and the integrity of production environments and the people who make a living from them. These key themes will be addressed in the second edition of the Spices & Herbs Global Expo, which will take place during the three-day trade fair.
He then continues: “Last year, Macfrut hosted the 10th biennial Forum of FIPPO, which was a huge success among specialists and covered a wide range of topics, especially the market and innovation. The Forum will not be held this year, but several meetings on specific topics will take place, such as the sustainable production of spices and medicinal plants, protecting biodiversity, and safeguarding the rights of traditional knowledge holders. Speakers will include global experts who will assess the situation and initiate a debate that will hopefully lead to advances in knowledge, which is something that all sectors need. It is essential that we – the medicinal plant, spice, and aromatic herb sector – find a place to gather, introduce ourselves and discuss sector-related topics, network as much as possible, and tackle the challenges ahead of us.”