Fruit Attraction 2021

Fruit Attraction 2021 incorporates new areas of Innovation, Research and Technology © Fruit Attraction

Madrid, 16 June 2021 – Fruit Attraction, a trade fair organised by IFEMA MADRID and FEPEX, will hold a new edition from 5 to 7 October aimed at promoting the sector’s competitiveness and growth. For this, and with the aim of promoting innovation, research, technology and digitisation as fundamental keys to future growth, Hall 5 will bring together the three solutions and services areas related to agricultural sector innovation: Biotech Attraction; Smart Agro and Smart Water&Energy.

Biotech, the great challenges of the horticultural and agricultural sectors

The fruit and vegetable sector faces major issues and challenges that will restrict its capacity for growth, development and competitiveness, such as the opportunities and future of plant biotechnology, its impact on the environment, on industry and society; new digital solutions that add value to the entire agri-food chain; the improvement of production in terms of productivity and sustainability; technological solutions to irrigation; and new developments in energy efficiency aimed at fruit and vegetable farms, among others.

Likewise, agriculture faces new challenges presented by demographic growth, which will increase demand for raw materials, by preferences in consumption, by environmental and legal aspects, and by issues related to the globalisation of the economy. Overcoming these challenges requires an increase in the efficiency (higher productivity with fewer inputs), quality (nutritional, organoleptic) and sustainability (lower environmental impact, reuse of waste, etc.) of agriculture that can only be achieved through the application of new technological developments.

The knowledge generated in applied Plant Biology offers a set of strategic technologies (development of new plant varieties, bioinformatics, genomic editing techniques, agrobiologicals for plant nutrition and protection, revaluation of waste and circular economy, new plant sources for obtaining protein, bioproducts of plant origin with industrial, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, plant biofactories, etc., applications that will make it possible to get to grips with global challenges (productivity, sustainability, quality) faced by the agri-food sector.

Driven by this reality, Fruit Attraction 2021, with the collaboration of BIOVEGEN, is including the plant innovation hub in its BIOTECH ATTRACTION programme, aimed at bringing together and promoting technological innovation and innovation-based business development opportunities. A new specialised area, aimed at companies dedicated to research and technological development of plant genomics.

Smart Agro, precision technological solutions

Likewise, Smart Agro will once again be the specialised space for technology solutions companies in precision agriculture, focused on showing the latest developments in management products for agri-food companies and advanced mobility and analytics solutions, promoting agro-industrial transformation.

Fruit Attraction will also have the collaboration of AgroTech ESPAÑA, which aims to encourage and create business opportunities for agrotech. To this end, different initiatives, such as ´AgroTech Tours´, will be launched, which will allow producers and other agents in the sector to be put in contact with those ‘Techs’ that propose specific solutions. In short, to generate encounters between supply and demand.

Smart Water & Energy, water and renewable technologies

Fruit Attraction incorporates, also as a novelty, Smart Water & Energy, which is oriented to water and renewable technologies in the agri-food sector. Thus, SMART WATER is a new area with the goal of addressing the technological transformation of water in horticulture for the best and most efficient use of water and to improve crop productivity.   It is aimed at professional horticultural producers, and managers and technical directors of companies that install irrigation systems and are interested in learning about new irrigation technologies. In this space, participating exhibitors will present equipment, products and services that incorporate the latest technological solutions in irrigation that are dedicated to smart water management.

In addition, renewable energy on fruit and vegetable farms is a valuable opportunity for farmers to reduce costs and emissions. SMART ENERGY was created with the aim of promoting the transformation of energy use in the sector. It is aimed at fruit and vegetable producers, agriculture and energy consultants, installation companies, engineering companies, and technicians from public bodies and administrations. Leading companies in the renewable energy sector linked to agriculture will participate in this exhibition area; suppliers of renewable energy, electricity, green hydrogen, battery storage, bioenergy, solar pumping, self-supply, financing, etc., which will showcase all the new developments in energy efficiency aimed at fruit and vegetable farms.

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Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect to remain active and open

Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect to remain active and open
© IFEMA

 

LIVEConnect will remain active and open to allow the community to continue generating contacts, expanding networking, meetings, video calls and continue working with the contacts made, as well as having access to all the sectorial content.

Fruit Attraction held its first virtual edition during the month of October, bringing together the entire world fruit and vegetable community through a new and advanced technological platform: Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect.

During this first phase, Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect has become established as a community made up of almost 7,000 members, generating more than 15,000 professional contacts; 40,814 messages exchanged between professionals in the community; more than 500 meetings held within the platform, 186 video calls and 228 conferences and technical seminars.

The next in-person edition of Fruit Attraction, organised by IFEMA and FEPEX, will be held from October 5 to 7, 2021.

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Going beyond organic

BIOFRUIT CONGRESS 2020 AT FRUIT ATTRACTION

The third BioFruit Congress examines new developments in the world of organic fruit & vegetables

 

The big issues facing the future of the organic produce market were debated during the 3rd annual BioFruit Congress, which took place in three sessions over October 20-22. Held on FRUIT ATTRACTION LIVEConnect, the congress was organised by EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION and IFEMA in collaboration with FiBL, PROEXPORT, ZERYA & CAERM. Issues covered included the latest developments in the EU market, shifting consumer priorities and how cooperation between organic breeders and retailers has benefits throughout the organic value chain.

SESSION ONE: Latest trends and strategies in the EU, demand in China

On Tuesday October 20, and following an introduction from FRUIT ATTRACTION director Raúl Calleja, EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION editor Pierre Escodo kicked off the first session of the BioFruit Congress by welcoming the over 300 participants in the first online edition of the congress, noting it was a similar number to the earlier editions held at IFEMA in Madrid. Escodo said one of the objectives of the congress was to examine emerging sustainable product labels – going beyond organic – which many consumers now seek. In an overview of the organic market, Escodo said consumption of organic produce rose during Covid-19 lockdowns in Europe and many retailers expect at least some of that increase to be enduring.

The EU green deal and Farm-to-Fork strategy

Next up, Juri Mara, a DG Agri market officer in the EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC)’s horticulture unit, spoke about the EU Farm to Fork Strategy, explaining that it is at the heart of the overarching European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Mara said one of the four pillars of the strategy is the ambitious objective of having at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming by 2030. On that subject, he also invited the audience to participate in an open consultation (running until the end of November) and provide feedback to the EC on preparation of the future Action Plan (2021-2026) on organic farming. “In a nutshell, the and Farm-to-Fork strategy is for healthy people, a healthy society and a healthy planet, and it’s down to all of us,” he said. 

Changing consumer demands on how to signal sustainability

Organic food has outperformed compared to overall food sales in Western Europe since 2012, said EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL food analyst Tea Thaning. But she signalled an important shift in consumer response to the different labels used to communicate sustainability, and differences across regions. For instance, the top two product claims for juice in Western Europe in 2019 were vegan and organic, while in the US they were organic and gluten free and vegan was not even in the top five. She also stressed that: “Covid-19 has accelerated consumer interest in and scrutiny of supply chain transparency.” Thaning said two main points to drive home are the increasing diversification of claims and shifting priorities among consumers, and the need for tangible information and clarity around consumer products. The pandemic will have a persisting impact on consumer behaviour and provides opportunities for the use of a vast range of functional claims in relation to food and drinks, but: “The market is fragmenting and it’s becoming harder to know what will appeal to whom and who your consumer is,” she warned.

Pandemic has also fuelled organic food interest in China

The coronavirus has made Chinese consumers even more sensitive about food safety and boosted sales of high quality and organic products, said Sophia Yan Xue, head of international procurement at CHUNBO. Due to the limited availability and cost of organic food in China, sometimes organic products are twice the price of conventional, she said. Nevertheless, from January to August, sales of organic products on Chunbo were up 7.2% on the same period in 2019. Moreover, organic vegetables – which account for nearly half of all sales of organic products by Chunbo this year – are up nearly 9.6% YoY, she said. But: “For Chinese consumers and retailers, we have problems buying organic products, especially organic produce from abroad. Very few organic foods from abroad can be found on the Chinese market because China has its own organic certification system and very few exporters have made the effort to expand to the Chinese market,” Yan Xue said. New Zealand and China, however, have signed a mutual recognition protocol for organic certification. Exporters from New Zealand have made efforts and invested in expansion in China’s organic produce market and the data for the past few years shows a good return on this, she said. Overall, she believes there is “great potential for organic food in China with a simplified organic food certification system and increasing recognition of organic food by consumers.”

Diversification of organic products and channels – examples of Spanish success

The first session of the BioFruit Congress wrapped up with presentations from three Spanish companies on how they have courted success in the organics arena.

  • Almería-based organic grower BIOSABOR was founded in 2008 and initially grew only the Rama tomato but when it added in other organic varieties as from 2013-14, particularly cherry, its sales turnover took off much faster than its production volume. BIOSABOR CEO Francisco Belmonte said this was because the firm invested in organic varieties that are harder to grow but that satisfy consumer hunger for tasty tomatoes. After first adding in the Angelle, BIOSABOR now also grows varieties including Adora, Piccolo, Tomazur and Sorrentino, as well as the Pimiento Palermo.
  • Formed in 2007, Murcia’s CAMPOSEVEN has gradually transformed since 2014 from being primarily a conventional grower to now growing the lion’s share of its fruit and vegetable production volume under biodynamic methods, “in order to look after the health of people and the environment”, said CEO Adolfo Garcia. Germany is by far its main export market, followed by France and Switzerland. CAMPOSEVEN has diversified by also selling organic and biodynamic produce online through its Freshvana offshoot and, as part of its commitment to innovation, it partners with the Polytechnic University of Madrid in research company Plant Response Biotech.
  • Organic producer and exporter HACIENDASBIO says it is thanks to its value-adding that its sales revenue has almost doubled since 2017 to an expected €49 million for 2020. CEO Paco Casallo said the firm does all its farming itself, so it can do it to its own high standards, allowing it to differentiate on quality. “We measure quality in details like the width of a pepper wall and the length of its shelf life, the kind of criteria that really make a product stand out in a store or when consumed, and that deliver what the market is looking for,” he said. The firm has 36 farms, all biodynamic, across 7 regions in Spain, with just over 1,000 ha in use and another 1400 ha lying fallow at the moment. “We’ve built a product range with long seasons across various regions in order to be the leaders in this attention to product quality,” Casallo said. HaciendasBio also has an automated packhouse 4.0 and uses blockchain to ensure the integrity of information, for example, “we can reliably state on a product label who harvested it and where and how it was cultivated.”

SESSION TWO: What else are consumers seeking in regard to sustainability today?

Setting the scene for the second session, on October 21, EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION editor Pierre Escodo provided examples of how retailers are responding to current consumer demand for sustainability. He said Auchan, for instance, has a responsible sourcing policy and was one of France’s zero residue pioneers and has 60 such fruit and vegetable items. It also uses blockchain technology in 8 countries, “so customers can trace their food they purchase back to the farm.” Escodo said as well as being a leader among “socially engaged” retailers, Colruyt has an organic range, BioPlanet, while in Spain, EL CORTE INGLÉS has the largest organic assortment, including 200 fruit and vegetable items, and in the UAE, organic items account for 10% of SPINNEYS’ sales – double the the 5% average in European stores.

Also meeting demand for more sustainable products: no-residue labels

ZERYA director Javier Arizmendi also noted that demand for differentiated products, particularly those with quality marks and labels, has been increasing in recent years. Zerya is one such label and is not organic certification but a guarantee that a product of conventional agriculture is free of pesticide residues, while also communicating that it is innocuous and the result of responsible production, he said. One of the countries leading the way in ‘no pesticide residue’ initiatives is France: “All retailers in France have this category on their shelves in some way,” Arizmendi said. He also stressed the importance of labels engaging with consumers and said there are significant differences in how this occurs even within Europe. “There are consumers who are eager to receive information, like Scandinavian or Swiss consumers, who are very good at processing it, and there are consumers who tend to do it in an emotional way, like the Mediterranean consumers in Spain or Italy, while it’s a combination of both in France and Central Europe, and there some other consumers who are very influenced by trends or media, like in the UK,” he said. “We need to focus on the drivers of every consumer around the world and make sure that the messages we are elaborating are clear enough for these consumers to engage with.” This is particularly important now, with a poll of Europeans during the northern summer showing, “After Covid, 79% on average are looking for CSR criteria in the products that they are buying,” he said.

Carbon neutral brand BE CLIMATE delivers clear messaging, transparency

What if a fruit brand could assist in achieving both climate and revenue targets? A year ago, Hamburg-based Port International GmbH introduced just such a brand, BE CLIMATE, the first carbon neutral fruit brand in the world. Managing Director Mike Port said the brand was born of a desire to reduce emissions and make the world a better place for future generations, and aims to provide what consumers want – clear messaging and transparency on sustainability. An example of the latter is the way it calculates its CO2 footprint: “It’s very important for us to use mainly primary data, not from statistical banks, but checking all individual steps where emissions occur. It’s quite sophisticated and time intensive but it’s what we think is necessary for a serious project,” he said. In January, Belgian retailer Delhaize replaced its then premium banana line with BE CLIMATE bananas and Port said their sales volume in 2020 has exceeded that of the previous brand, showing “customers will switch to more sustainable bananas when given the choice.” BE CLIMATE also has climate neutral strawberries, blueberries, and clementines, with more products in the pipeline. Port and its partners along the supply chain have carbon reduction projects across eight categories: wind power, solar power, water treatment, energy efficiency, greening, recycling, fuel saving and E-drive, Port also said.

The case for going beyond organic

LEHMANN NATUR sees permaculture as a necessary step beyond organics. “In times of climate change…we need more than just ‘organic’, we need sustainable agriculture that supports soil fertility, biodiversity and preservation of natural resources,” said Didier Fleury, business development manager for the northwestern Germany-based organic fruit and vegetable supplier. Fleury explained permaculture as a holistic approach to life and the most natural way to grow produce. Beyond Germany, the firm also owns about 200ha in Huelva, Spain, which it uses not just to apply permaculture but to teach it. “It’s very important to us to help producers in this conversion,” he said, “especially given “80% of production worldwide is still conventional.” As for demand in Germany, one of the countries leading the push for more natural production, 19% of fruit and vegetables sold there are organic, of which 8% is permaculture-demeter. “It’s still low because the volume is really huge and there is a conversion time”, Fleury said. Growing the market for permaculture will depend greatly on making it affordable for more consumers, he stressed. Tests in various German supermarkets show that when the price of such produce is not more than 25% above conventional, then the market share goes from 15% to 30% and sometimes 40%, which means there is a high level of customer willingness to buy more natural, tastier produce but the price is sometimes a barrier, he said. In the case of ginger, retailers have found that when they offer only organic, and combine it with very focused marketing, the volume increases and the price comes down. But retailers need to work a different way with the producers and agree on 1-2 prices a year, as the current weekly price system can’t work for organic growers, he said. Also, in supermarkets, organic tomatoes are usually twice the price of conventional ones, and that’s not the case in production. “Across the whole chain there is a lot of opportunity to drop the price of organic…such as in the areas of packaging, logistics and waste at the end of the chain,” he said.

SESSION THREE: The case for cooperation between breeders and retailers

How organic breeding adds value to the food chain

“The benefits of organic breeding span the whole value chain,” said FiBL Europe plant breeding expert Mariateresa Lazzaro, opening the third session of the congress. “Organic breeding delivers cultivars that are reproducible, robust, yield stable, locally adapted and tasteful for organic production,” she said. However organic plant breeding needs to be strongly promoted, which requires funding. Lazzaro gave examples of ongoing small-scale value-chain based collaborations for securing such funds (e.g. the Fair-Breeding® and Organic Sunflower Seed initiatives) and proposed a cross-sector funding pool strategy to boost organic breeding. A flat rate of 0.1-0.2% of total organic market turnover at point of sale has been proposed for promoting collaboration across the value-chain to achieve the objective of organic products from the start (Engagement.Biobreeding project). “Integrating organic breeding into value-chain partnerships will ensure the integrity of the organic products of tomorrow and strengthen consumer confidence,” she said.

Retailer EcorNaturaSì works closely with farmers to ensure the best for them, and consumers 

“The products we distribute must contribute to improving human health – both consumers and producers – as well as the well-being of the soil and the environment in which we live.” That’s the mission of Italian organic and biodynamic grower and retailer ECORNATURASÌ, said its supermarket chain manager Carlo Murer. EcorNaturaSì has over 70 stores in Italy and 2 in Madrid and boasts over 4,000 organic products. It owns 2 farms but also works with over 300 producers in Italy (and some in Spain), with production over 7,000 ha in Italy alone, and controls production supply chains for bananas in Colombia; pears, garlic and onions in Argentina; and ginger and turmeric in Peru. “Price is not the key concern when we select a farm, it is the quality of and the type of farming,” he said. And a sign of consumer trust in the chain is the fact that it saw a 14% increase in sales during lockdown. “When people need to feel safe they come to our shop,” Murer said. Although retail prices for organic fresh produce are above those for conventional, the true cost of conventional production is actually much higher, he said.

The need for organic veg varieties that free from cell-fusion breeding

A big problem for organic growers is knowing if seeds result from a method known as cell fusion and obtaining ones that do not. So said biologist Holger Scharpenberg, who handles the subject of organic plant breeding for Germany’s Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren (BNN), an association representing the organic food sector’s interests. He said while several organic farming associations do not allow varieties produced with the help of cell fusion to be sold as ‘organic’, the EU organic regulation does and imposes no labelling requirement regarding it. “This is a big problem, and furthermore, the market of brassicas and chicory is dominated by cell fusion-derived CMS (cytoplasmic male sterility) hybrids.” CMS uses methods “that are not genetic engineering but similar to it,” he said. “The proportion of hybrids in Germany’s certified organic agriculture is between 65% and 100%, it depends on the type of vegetable, and in the end, organic breeding often reaches a dead end with increasing uncertainty.” The BNN is thus lobbying for mandatory labeling of the methods used in plant breeding and in the meantime is helping the organic sector in two key ways, one being the publication of a list of all available varieties of sugar loaf, chicory, cabbage and radicchio types that are cell fusion-free. The second is a concrete breeding-project to develop cell fusion-free varieties as an alternative to CMS hybrids. The latter has involved cooperation from Germany’s vegetable wholesalers and the donation of a small percentage of annual turnover to help fund it. Seeds are already available for three new varieties – Rasmus (broccoli), Etardo (chicory) and Cleopha (cucumber). And by 2022, a further nine varieties should be market ready, including a yellow-fruited courgette and a cauliflower called Selma Grando, Scharpenberg said.

New organic varieties and brands meeting consumer demands

VITALIS Organic Seeds regional sales director Christof Flörchinger started with a look at what’s driving consumer food choices today. A desire for taste, shared experiences, and for healthy, nutritious food that has been produced fairly are key factors, as is the fact people have less time to cook and are snacking more, he said. Understanding such trends could help boost organic food sales in the European market, which has considerable scope to grow given its value of €37 billion is well below global leader the US’s €47 billion, according to AMI FiBL 2017-18 figures Flörchinger shared. He went on to list the hottest issues in consumer demand, which include reduction of waste and plastic, and foods that are organic, non-GMO, pesticide-free, flavoursome and nutritious. “Organic production starts with organic seeds,” he said, so VITALIS has bred new organic varieties and brands addressing these trends. Among them are greenCumbers, which are cucumbers with genetics giving them longer shelf life (thus reducing waste) without the need for plastic wrapping, and the Orange Summer F1 pumpkin, which ticks off many consumer desires with its excellent taste, suitability for a wide variety or production zones, and good yield and storage. “The sweetness index of Orange Summer F1 is much higher than standard pumpkins,” and “its sugar content is even higher three months after harvest,” Flörchinger said. Also new is the Tribelli pepper range, catering to consumer demand for food that is enjoyable and easy to eat. Flörchinger’s advice to organic suppliers is to offer products “with special traits you can really make a story out of.”

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REDI broccoli wins Fruit Attraction Innovation Hub Awards in Fresh Produce category

REDI broccoli wins Fruit Attraction Innovation Hub Awards in Fresh Produce category
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Bejo Iberica’s REDI broccoli was crowned winner of Fruit Attraction’s Innovation Hub Awards in the Fresh Produce category, beating 10 other finalists. REDI is a vegetable with unique attributes that will add colour and originality to any meal. It is characterised not only by being extremely healthy, but also by its unique taste and striking appearance. Its high levels of naturally occurring glucosinolate compounds make REDI extraordinarily healthy. REDI has purple shoots, which consist of tender stems that end in tiny flowerheads. Its colour contains more antioxidant compounds than normal broccoli, thus consolidating and enhancing its reputation as a power food.

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Fruit Attraction 2020 will be held using telepresence technologies

Fruit Attraction 2020 will be held using telepresence technologies
PRESS RELEASE

 

Madrid, 1 September 2020 – The Organising Committee of Fruit Attraction met and decided that the 12th edition of this world leading event for the international fruit and vegetable professional community would be held using new, advanced telepresence technology: Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect. The next in-person edition of Fruit Attraction, organised by IFEMA and FEPEX, is scheduled to take place from 5-7 October 2021.

This decision has been taken based on months of careful monitoring, assessing the development of the global situation, the unpredictability of the measures that will be deployed to control the pandemic in different countries in the coming weeks, and a concerted desire to cater for the concerns and needs of the entire Fruit Attraction exhibition community.

The Organising Committee acknowledges the effort made by IFEMA during recent months to help exhibiting companies to decide whether to take part according to developments in different scenarios, and the protocols introduced on its sites to ensure a safe, hygienic environment for productivity and business activities. The Committee, chaired by FEPEX president Jorge Brotons also committed to holding its next in-person exhibition from 5-7 October 2021.

Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect 2020 will be active for 31 days

The first ever online Fruit Attraction will be live from 1 to 31 October 2020. By registering as exhibiting company on the Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect platform you keep and renew all your seniority and loyalty rights for the next edition, which include a new Loyalty and Stimulus Programme.

Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect is an advanced technological platform and artificial intelligence system able to generate thousands of impacts and raise brand awareness of companies and their products among thousands of buyers, distributors and traders from 160 countries, making it the largest professional network and community in the world specialised in the fruit and vegetable sector.

The structure of Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect has everything needed to generate and promote new opportunities for professionals from all over the world to buy, sell and build sales teams’ networks of contacts in participating companies. It provides comprehensive information about suppliers, products and news about sector in 2020 and has tools for making video calls and doing eB2B in the same platform itself. There is a chat-live system and users can receive contact recommendations thanks to the artificial intelligence system and organise meetings and demonstrations with exhibiting companies and host videos and technical documentation about products and services.

In short, it is a new work and networking tool for the professional community that will be available throughout October, a pivotal moment for planning the season, which will allow companies to generate countless new commercial leads from buyers to be able to do business.

Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect will amalgamate all the sectors connected to Fruit Attraction, Flower&Garden and Fresh Food Logistics.

A month of Congresses, Seminars and Meetings

Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect 2020 will be a framework for numerous technical seminars, debates, meetings and daily monographic conferences dealing with product categories, international market opportunities on topics of great interest to the sector organised by associations, the media and participating exhibitors.

Among the events scheduled are conferences like Biofruit Congress, World Fresh Forum (with specific sessions for buyers from the USA, India, China, Japan and the UAE), Grape Attraction Congress; seminars on packaging, SDG, Sustainability, The Fresh Convenience Market, Factoría Chef …

Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect will be the best space to get news on the market for 2020 and watch the finals of the Innovation Hub-Accelera Awards, and plenty of daily sessions organised by exhibitors who will make the 31 days of Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect the largest and influential edition to date. You can be part of everything just by registering on the platform at www.fruitattraction.com

The world’s most extensive fruit and vegetable sector trade community

The theme is Connecting The World’s Fresh Produce Community, and the event is backed by a massive global communication and viral marketing campaign that will enrich the platform community, fed from the Fruit Attraction database that has 230,000 active users from 160 countries. In fact, Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect is aiming to become a world leading professional community for sales networking in the fruit and vegetable sector . To participate as an exhibitor, just register at www.fruitattraction.com . Companies wanting to take part in the first remote edition of Fruit Attraction and take advantage of its telepresence technologies should see the Exhibitor’s Guide, which contains full details and comprehensive information.

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Fruit Attraction 2020 goes digital

Fruit Attraction 2020 goes digital © Eurofresh Distribution
Stand of Freson de Palos, Fruit Attraction 2019 © Eurofresh Distribution

 

The 12th edition of Fruit Attraction will be held digitally. This is the outcome of a meeting of the Fruit Attraction Organising Committee yesterday. The digital event is made possible thanks to a new and advanced technological platform placed at the service of the international fruit and vegetable professional community: Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect. The next face-to-face edition of Fruit Attraction, organised by IFEMA and FEPEX, will be held from October 5 to 7, 2021.

This decision is the result of months of exhaustively monitoring and assessing the development of the situation around the world, the unpredictable evolution of measures to control the pandemic in the different countries in the coming weeks, and the ever permanent will to address sensitivities and the needs of the entire Fruit Attraction exhibition community.

The Organising Committee has recognised the efforts made by IFEMA during these months to keep pace with the developing situation and ensure the necessary protocols were implemented at its facilities to guarantee maximum safety, hygiene and commercial productivity. The Committee, chaired by Jorge Brotons, president of FEPEX, has announced its commitment to holding the next face-to-face edition in 2021 from October 5 to 7.

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Fruit Attraction 2020 to offer yet more quality and diversity

Fruit Attraction 2020 to offer yet more quality and diversity

 

The 2020 edition of the IFEMA event will focus on multiple aspects of the fresh produce industry, including Innovation, market trends, formats and convenience, technology, marketing, transportation and logistics, and organics. The main objective is to continue raising the level of quality and diversity of the offer on display, as well as the quality and relevance of the professional visitors from all over the world.

“The growth of Fruit Attraction is not an objective. We have seen growth in each of our editions thanks to the event’s usefulness for the fruit and vegetable industry, its relevance to the market, and the international nature of its professional community, with almost 130 countries represented,” said the event’s director Raúl Calleja. The Fruit Attraction concept is a useful and profitable product that is commercially relevant and offers a very friendly environment in a magnificent city like Madrid. It is a modern and avant-garde event because of its format and content, where user experience is the priority under the premises of sustainable development. “Fruit Attraction is the future and is a guarantee of commercial return for companies that are part of its community. It represents the right place at the right time,” said Calleja.

The 2019 edition saw 60,000 professional participants from 127 countries. From October 22 to 24, it presented the largest and most complete of all its editions, with 1,770 exhibitors from 58 countries, an increase of 9%. It covered an area of 55,938 m2, 10% more than in 2018. These figures made Madrid a world fruit and vegetable capital for 3 days. The fair has now established itself as a fundamental tool for global fruit and vegetable marketing with its ability to promote international trade. Foreign participation was up 23%, and the international attendees remained at the fair for an average of 1.83 days, compared to the overall average of 1.55 days. Europeans were the most numerous (65% of those attending), 16% more than 2018. Latin America and the Caribbean saw the largest increase (+ 47%), followed by North America (+ 31%), the Middle East (+ 21%), and other countries (+ 20%). Fruit Attraction is now firmly established as a key global event for fruit and vegetable trade. It provides a commercial connection point and a framework for innovation across the entire value chain.

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Going beyond organic: 2nd BioFruit Congress examines how to fuel and sustain growth in the organic market

Going beyond organic: 2nd BioFruit Congress examines how to fuel and sustain growth in the organic market

The big issues facing the future of the organic produce market were debated on Wednesday, October 23 at the 2nd annual BioFruit Congress. Held as part of the Fruit Attraction fair in Madrid, the congress was organised by EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION and IFEMA, with the collaboration of PROEXPORT. Topics covered included how to satisfy increasing consumer demand for produce that goes beyond organic production to address wider issues, how retailers are responding to this, regulatory issues, and the impact of other standards and certification in the value chain.

What matters most to organic consumers?

In an overview of the organic market, EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION editor Pierre Escodo said the global sales for organic fresh food food is now worth €62 million. However, he said the growth of the organic demand is slowing down bellow the annual 10% rate, needs more product innovation and consumer promotion. Consumers are also confused by a multiplicity of messages.. In order to seduce more consumers to move to organic produce, Escodo said it’s important to understand regional differences in what matters most to them. In China and Russia, for instance, truth and transparency about food products are prime, while environmental production and plastic reduction lead as issues for American consumers, and in Europe taste is an overriding factor, he said.

Natural vs Organic

Tea Thaning, senior food analyst at EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL, shared results from a global survey by the firm showing nearly 45% of respondents rated ‘all-natural’ as important to them in diets and ingredients, while less than 30% cited ‘organic’. “It’s important to emphasise the definition of organic to compete with natural claims,” she stressed. Similarly, Thaning said there should be more communication around organic’s contribution to sustainable agricultural practices “Connect organic labelling to the narrative around environmental concerns,” she advised.

EUROMONITOR presentation available at http://bit.ly/2NqllRX

Wide consumer expectations, including fair pay

“Consumers do not just buy organic produce because it’s healthy, but because of the story behind it,” said Michel Reynaud, vice president of ECOCERT, World leader in organic farming certification. He said consumers not only want strict and transparent rules on organic production, they have wider expectations, including fair pay across the supply chain. “They also want organic to have an impact on the environment, not only on carbon but water,” he said. Reynaud also explains the use of “Fair-for-Life” standard, in order to build up a resilient organic and fair trade supply chain in one tool.

Supporting growers during conversion

Cordoba-based Campiña Verde supplies Germany’s REWE Group with organic produce and Jose Tienda, head of its organic sourcing division, spoke of the importance of supporting growers who are undergoing the long conversion process to organic production. Tienda said a good example of this is the Naturgut Junior Helden (‘junior heroes’) range sold at REWE’s Penny supermarket chain, which finds a market for produce from such soon-to-be organic farms. Under the Bio-Helden (‘organic heroes’) organic produce line, Penny also gives growers higher tolerance, allowing the sale of unusual-looking produce and also promoting it in a campaign with a slogan meaning “real organic heroes might have flaws”.

French organic pioneer Biocoop continues to expand

Illustrating the sturdiness of organic demand in France, the leading European organic chain BIOCOOP spans 3,200 farms and 600 specialist organic stores there. Its retail turnover in 2018 was up 10.4% to €1.2 billion and it plans 70 store openings over 2019, according to David Siffert, head of Biocoop’s fruit and vegetable division. The organic market has changed considerably in the last few years and reflecting this, today Biocoop favours suppliers who are committed to sustainability and transparency, he said.

Multi-certification a challenge

The event wrapped up with a panel discussion on value-adding beyond official organic certification which featured DEMETER INTERNATIONAL head of certification for Spain & Latin America Eduardo Tilatti, BRIO SPA (ALEGRA GROUP) commercial director Anton Carra, PLANET PROOF program manager for F&V Stefanie de Kool, COLLECTIF NOUVEAUX CHAMPS (0 residue) chairman Bruno Vila and FIBL Europe director Miguel de Porras.

Miguel de Porras from FIBL commented the economic impact of multiple certification for produce under different standards such as FairTrade, and Rainforest Alliance. He said producer groups are finding it increasingly challenging to manage this range of standards, which can mean a lot of extra work in maintaining records and even separate audits.

Eduardo Tilatti from DEMETER INTERNATIONAL revealed the experimental program of cultivating and packing with 0 plastics, testing the use of paper, water resistant and fully biodegradable. Demeter international certifies today biodynamic 5300 farms and 183000ha worldwide. “The economic empowerment of small farmers and their local communities is part of our fundamental values, along with Biodiversity, Carbon foot print and soil fertility” commented Tilatti.

BRIO SPA (ALEGRA GROUP) commercial director Anton Carra share its experience of developing organic markets overseas like Brazil & Asia, the developing new organic lines like kaki and pomegranate. Brio is also involved in multiple value-chain programs like Demeter, Naturland, FairTrade pineapples from Togo and the new European promotion campaign “Made in Nature”.

PLANET PROOF program manager for F&V Stefanie de Kool explained why the Dutch protocol “Milieukeur” is getting international, in response to the demand of the Dutch retailers and how it is helping the stakeholders of other countries to organize for more ambitious sustainability goals and achieve a reduction of environmental impact up to 50%.

COLLECTIF NOUVEAUX CHAMPS (0 residue) chairman Bruno Vila explains how the new « 0 residue segment is positioning between the conventional and organic lines, responding to a consumer segment which is aiming to consume residue free produce, a major concern among the French consumers. Just created 18 months ago, 0 residue certified produce represent €59 millions of revenues and 23,000 tons of fresh fruit & vegetables marketed.

 

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The World Citrus Organisation is founded

The World Citrus Organisation is founded

 

The World Citrus Organisation (WCO) was officially launched at the Fruit Attraction fair in Madrid. The WCO was founded to provide the citrus sector with a global platform for collaboration. The new organisation was constituted by the Spanish Lemon and Grapefruit Interbranch Association (AILIMPO) and the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA), as well as representatives from other growing countries such as Argentina, Chile, Italy, Morocco and Peru.

According to a WCO press release, the body will act as the global platform for dialogue and action between the citrus-producing countries worldwide. Its central aim is to enable member countries to address common challenges and seize opportunities for the collective benefit of the citrus sector (fresh and processed).

The WCO’s mission is to discuss common issues affecting citrus-producing countries, exchange information on production and market trends to prepare for the next decade, foster dialogue on policy issues of common concern, identify and promote research and innovation projects specific to the citrus sector, liaise with public and private stakeholders on citrus-related matters to highlight the importance of citrus producers and the need for a fair return, and promote the global consumption of citrus.

Freshfel Europe will coordinate and administer the WCO. The next meeting of the entity will take place at FruitLogistica 2020 in Berlin.

TAGS: events, Fruit Attraction, WCO, World Citrus Organisation

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Prince de Bretagne: Major player in “the eating well” and the development of organic agriculture

Prince de Bretagne: Major player in “the eating well” and the development of organic agriculture

With nearly 120 Prince de Bretagne organic vegetable farms certified or in conversion, France’s leading organic vegetable producer group had a production volume of 20,000 tons in 2018, is expecting 25,000 tons in 2019 and will reach 32,000 tons in 2020. Strengthened by more than 20 years of experience in organic farming, Prince de Bretagne’s organic vegetable producers have reaffirmed their commitment to contributing to its development to mark Organic Spring.

Georges Guézénoc, President of CERAFEL Prince de Bretagne’s organic section and producer of organic endives, Traditional shallots, broccoli and squash presents these commitments.

“OUR COMMITMENTS FOR DEVELOPING ORGANIC AGRICULTURE”:

Guaranteeing rigorous compliance with European organic specifications:

  • “The best way to offer consumers a clear label and harmonised practices that respect the environment.”
  • Continuing dedicated organic research through “Terre d’Essais”, our own experimental station: “An indispensable tool for continued progress.”
  • Continuing to breed and produce our own seeds, through the work of OBS: “Seeds specifically adapted to our region’s climatic conditions.”
  • Offering GlobalG.A.P.* certified organic vegetables: “Which includes recycling the materials used during cultivation.”
  • Ensuring a fair return for producers and encouraging the installation of younger generations: “More than 50% of Prince de Bretagne’s organic producers are young farmers!”
  • Not opposing different types of agriculture: “On their farms, producers are independent and remain their own decision-makers even if they have chosen to group together in a collective under a strong brand.”

“OUR GUARANTEES TO CONSUMERS”:

  1. Offering quality organic vegetables: “Because good, fine-looking and organic are not incompatible.” 
  2. Guaranteeing that 100% of our vegetables are grown in Brittany: “Securing jobs and the attractiveness of our region.”
  3. Offering a range of more than 40 fresh organic vegetables throughout the year: “Thanks to our long crop rotations.”

To conclude, Georges Guézénoc adds: “It’s not by imposing their vision but by showing solidarity with one another that Prince de Bretagne’s producers have developed and will continue to develop ever-more environmentally friendly farming practices. Today, 100% of Prince de Bretagne’s producers are committed to a progress plan and are a breeding ground for organic agriculture.” And he lets slip the famous Breton proverb “An douar a zo re gozh evit ober goap outañ.” (The earth is too old not to be respected).

*GlobalG.A.P. (Good Agricultural Practices) certification: a set of globally recognised traceability and food safety standards for agricultural, plant, animal and aquaculture production.

Key figures – Prince de Bretagne Organic Vegetables:

Producers:

116 producers committed to organics, comprising:

91 certified – 25 in conversion

Production: 2017-2018: 20,000 tons

Forecasts:

  • 2018-2019: 25,000 tons
  • 2019-2020: 32,000 tons (arrival of producers at the end of their conversion period)
  • 2020-2021: 38,000 tons
  • In terms of volumes, Prince de Bretagne is France’s Number 1 organic vegetable producer.
  • Range: More than 40 fruits and vegetables

For more information:

Stand (No. 4 B07, Hall 4) at Fruit Attraction.